MSO-474 General Specifications
Class: Aggressive-class minesweeper
Complement: 70 Officers and Enlisted
Displacement: 630 tons
Length: 172 feet
Beam: 35 feet
Draft: 10 feet
Final Disposition: Sold for scrapping 21 July 1979
USS VITAL (MSO-474)
Vital (MSO-474) was laid down as AM-474 on 31 October 1952 at Manitowoc
by the Burger Boat Co.; launched on 12 August 1953
sponsored by Mrs. Edwina Smith; redesignated MSO-474 on 7 February 1955; and commissioned on 9 June 1955 at the Boston Naval Shipyard
Lt. Bruce E. Prum in command.
Following shakedown and availability at Charleston
Vital was deployed to the Mediterranean late in the spring of 1956. In addition to normal 6th Fleet operations and Mediterranean port visits
she participated in a special NATO minesweeping exercise conducted in the North Sea during September and October. The minesweeper returned to Charleston later that fall and began operations along the southern Atlantic seaboard of the United States. In March 1957
she moved to the Gulf of Mexico for a three-month training period at the conclusion of which she returned to Charleston and resumed normal duty.
In July 1958
Vital's home port was changed from Charleston to Panama City
Fla. From the latter port she participated in experimental work with the Operational Test and Evaluation Force under the auspices of the Naval Mine Defense Laboratory. She remained based at that port for the next 12 and one-half years departing periodically for deployments in foreign waters. The first break in her experimental work schedule came in August 1960 when she embarked upon a three-month cruise in the Caribbean. After returning in Panama City in November and resuming duty with the Mine Defense Laboratory
she remained so occupied until February of 1962
at which time the minesweeper headed across the Atlantic with the other units of Mine Division (MinDiv) 81 for a six-month tour of duty with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. She arrived back in Panama City in August and resumed services to the Mine Defense Laboratory. Following 14 months of normal operations in the Gulf of Mexico Vital headed south for a four-month assignment in the West Indies which she concluded at Panama City on 9 February 1964.
Upon the conclusion of that Caribbean deployment Vital settled down to a routine of operations out of Panama City broken only by three Mediterranean deployments and an ascent of the Mississippi River in May of 1967 to participate in the Cotton Carnival at Memphis
Tenn. On 1 January 1971
Vital received word that her home port had changed back to Charleston. She arrived there on the 27th and
for the next 20 months
operated from that base as a unit of the Atlantic Fleet Mine Force. On 22 September 1972
Vital was decommissioned at Charleston. She was towed to Hampton Roads late in November and
on the 30th
placed in the Norfolk Group of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. She remained there until struck from the Navy list in September 1977. At that time
she was scheduled to be sold but no word of her final disposition was available as of May 1978.
[Note: The above USS VITAL (MSO-474) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS VITAL (MSO-474) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]