USS VENTURE (MSO-496)
The third Venture (MSO-496) was laid down on 11 January 1955 at Ft. Lauderdale
by Broward Marine Inc. as AM-496
redesignated MSO-496 on 7 February 1955
launched on 27 November 1956
sponsored by Mrs. Leroy Williams
wife of the Governor of Florida; and commissioned on 3 February 1958
Lt Comdr. James H. Agles in command.
Following shakedown training at Guantanamo Bay Cuba
during March and April
Venture conducted local minesweeping operations out of Charleston
until late June at which time she entered the Charleston Naval Shipyard for post-shakedown availability. That repair period lasted until 1 December when she began preparations to deploy to the Mediterranean Sea. Although her home port was changed from Charleston S.C.
to Panama City
on New Year's Day 1959 the minesweeper embarked upon her first Mediterranean cruise from the former port on 9 January as the flagship of Mine Division (MinDiv) 81. After a routine tour of duty with the 6th Fleet Venture returned to Charleston on 30 May for a tender availability at the naval shipyard and normal operations out of Charleston until late summer.
On 3 August 1959
the minesweeper departed Charleston
bound finally for Panama City
her new home port. For the next dozen years
she served the Navy's Mine Defense Laboratory located there. For the remainder of her career
the minesweeper and her division mates helped that institution to develop mine warfare countermeasures. When not operating under the auspices of the laboratory
she performed mine warfare training exercises under the direction of the Commander
Mine Squadron 8. In addition
she periodically provided services in support of the research and developmental work carried on by the Operational Test and Evaluation Force frequently in conjunction with the Naval Mine Defense Laboratory mentioned above and by the Naval Ships Research and Development-Center (popularly dubbed the David Taylor Model Basin) located at Carderock
During that time period
Venture departed the immediate area of the eastern Gulf of Mexico infrequently. On occasion
she made visits to Norfolk
Charleston and Mobile
but those calls either were very brief or were made strictly for the purpose of repairs and availabilities. Early in 1969
she did clear the Panama City area for a tour of duty overseas. Between 10 January and 16 June 1969
she made her second and last deployment to the 6th Fleet - almost a decade to the day after she had begun her first Mediterranean mission.
Back in Panama City by mid-June
the minesweeper resumed duty assisting in the development of mine countermeasures. That task carried the warship through the last two years of her naval career. Just before she began inactivation preparations
she became flagship of MinDiv 21 when the Atlantic Fleet Mine Force was reorganized
and MinDiv 81 was transformed into MinDiv 21. Venture began preparations for her inactivation on 3 May 1971 at Charleston. She was decommissioned there on 2 August 1971 and
on 10 November was berthed with the Norfolk Group
Atlantic Reserve Fleet. In September 1977
Venture's name was struck from the Navy list
and she was slated to be sold for scrap. As of 21 April 1978
no final disposition had been consummated.
[Note: The above USS VENTURE (MSO-496) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS VENTURE (MSO-496) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]