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USS LEADER (MSO-490) - an Aggressive class minesweeper

In Commission 1955 to 1991

MSO-490 Deployments - Major Events

Add a MSO-490 Shellback Initiation Add a MSO-490 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
SEP 1953 - Keel Date: 22 SEP 1953
at J. M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp. Tacoma Washington
SEP 1954 - Launch Date: 15 SEP 1954
NOV 1955 - Commissioned: 16 NOV 1955
SEP 1966 - Shellback Initiation - 16 SEP 1966 - Pacific Ocean
JAN 1967 - JAN 1967 West Pac-Viet Nam
FEB 1977 - APR 1978 Antarctic Circle
JAN 1978 - APR 1979 north atlantic
AUG 1978 - SEP 1979 North Atlantic
JAN 1988 - MAY 1988 West Pac-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
JAN 1988 - JAN 1992 Desert Shield
JAN 1988 - MAY 1988 Arabian Gulf Mine Battle Fleet Fearless (Gold)
JAN 1988 - MAY 1988 Mediterranean-Indian Ocean-Persian Gulf
FEB 1991 - SEP 1991 Desert Storm
DEC 1991 - Decommissioned: 12 DEC 1991

MSO-490 General Specifications

Class: Aggressive class minesweeper

Complement: 74 Officers and Enlisted

Displacement: 775 tons

Length: 172 feet

Beam: 36 feet

Draft: 10 feet

Final Disposition: Scrapped 1994


Leader (AM-490) was laid down by J. M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp. Tacoma Wash. 22 September 1953; launched 15 September 1954; sponsored by Mrs. Norman Wordlund; reclassified MSO-490 7 February 1955 and commissioned 16 November 1955 Lt. Comdr. Harvey Toponce in command.

After shakedown Leader joined Mine Squadron 9 at Long Beach 21 December. During 1956 she performed mine evaluation exercises and tactical training until 1 October when she departed on her first WestPac cruise. Arriving Yokosuka 30 October she operated with the 7th Fleet for the next 5 months performing mine warfare exercises in the Far East. Returning home 12 April 1957 the minesweeper resumed mine evaluation tests along the west coast; and she continued these operations for the next 2 years.

From 1959 through 1968 Leader alternated six WestPac cruises with west coast mine warfare and mine countermeasures exercises. During her 1961 cruise Leader became the first warship ever to visit the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh when she completed the 180-mile transit up the Mekong River 27 August. On this same cruise she directed South Vietnamese units in minesweep training operations. During her tour with the 7th Fleet in 1965 Leader again operated off South Vietnam this time under more serious circumstances. From June to August she performed special minesweeping operations and played a major role in the expanded American effort to assist the courageous people of Vietnam in their fight against Communist aggressors. Her tour completed Leader returned to Long Beach 14 December to resume training operations.

1966 saw an extensive overhaul for the minesweeper from 9 May to 30 September After further training and readying for deployment Leader once again sailed for WestPac 6 January 1967. She participated in Market Time operations for the better part of her tour returning to Long Beach 18 November. She operated locally through the first half of 1968 Then on 12 August Leader departed Long Beach for another extensive deployment and continues operating off Vietnam into 1969.

Decommissioned 12 December 1991 and struck from the Navy Register 18 March 1992, Leader was sold 15 April 1994 and scrapped.

[Note: The above USS LEADER (MSO-490) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS LEADER (MSO-490) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]