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USS ASSURANCE (MSO-521) - an Ability-class minesweeper

In Commission 1958 to 1977

MSO-521 Deployments - Major Events

Add a MSO-521 Shellback Initiation Add a MSO-521 Deployment - Major Event
Month Year to Month Year Deployment / Event
JAN 1957 - Keel Date: 28 JAN 1957
AUG 1957 - Launch Date: 31 AUG 1957
NOV 1958 - Commissioned: 21 NOV 1958
JAN 1973 - JUN 1975 Mediterranean
JAN 1977 - JAN 1977 Dependents Cruise
JAN 1977 - MAR 1977 Dry Dock
APR 1977 - JUN 1977 Caribbean
SEP 1977 - Decommissioned: 30 SEP 1977

MSO-521 General Specifications

Complement: 83 Officers and Enlisted

Displacement: 934 tons

Length: 190 feet

Beam: 36 feet

Draft: 12 feet

Flank Speed: 15 knots


The first Assurance (MSO-521) was laid down on 28 January 1957 at Sturgeon Bay Wis. by Peterson Builders Inc.; launched on 31 August 1957 sponsored by Mrs. Vernon W. Thomson; and commissioned at Boston Mass. on 21 November 1958 Lt Comdr. Frank L. Crump Jr. in command.

The new nonmagnetic ocean minesweeper was assigned to Mine Force Atlantic Fleet as a member of Mine Division (MinDiv) 45 with Charleston S.C. her home port. While taking part in numerous minesweeping exercises she visited ports along the east coast on the Gulf of Mexico and in the Caribbean into the following summer.

On 1 July 1959 Assurance was transferred to MinDiv 81 and her home port was changed to Panama City Fla. Her primary mission then changed to service as a test platform for the Mine Defense Laboratory located there. She operated in the Panama City area until 9 February 1962 when she sailed for the Mediterranean and visited ports in Sicily Greece Crete Italy Spain and France. She carried out several minesweeping operations before getting underway on 6 August to return to Panama City. Upon her arrival home on 24 August the minesweeper resumed her schedule of local operations.

Late in 1963 the ship varied this routine with a deployment to the Caribbean. While in the West Indies she took part in amphibious landing exercises off Vieques Puerto Rico. She returned to Panama City in February 1964 and resumed her service with the Mine Defense Laboratory. In May she got underway to sail via Key West Fla. to Charleston S.C. for repairs in drydock. She returned to Panama City in June.

After three months of service and a short tender availability Assurance sailed on 1 October with MinDiv 81 for a tour in the Mediterranean. She took part in Operation "Steel Pike II " then put in to Malaga Spain before moving to Naples Italy. The minesweeper sortied with Task Force 61 for operations at Aranci Bay Sardinia. After stops in Toulon France and Santa Manza Corsica Assurance proceeded to San Remo Italy for the Christmas holidays.

During the first two months of 1965 the minesweeper took part in various NATO exercises. Upon her return to Panama City in March she resumed work for the Mine Defense Laboratory before entering the Charleston Naval Shipyard in July for an overhaul. In September she returned briefly to Panama City and then sailed in early October for Port Arthur Tex. The ship resumed her duties at Panama City on 21 October.

Assurance began 1966 with a tender availability alongside Pandemus (ARL-18). On 7 March she sailed for refresher training at Guantanamo Bay Cuba and visited Montego Bay Jamaica before returning to Panama City on 6 April. The next one and one-half months were spent preparing for overseas deployment On 12 June' Assurance got underway and joined other units of MinDiv 81 at Valencia Spain on 2 July. She shifted to La Spezia Italy on the 16th and took part in an exercise with minesweeping craft of the Italian Navy. On 8 August she participated in "Phiblex 1-66" held south of Porto Scudo Sardinia. On the 18th the ship headed for Malta. En route she was diverted to conduct a special surveillance mission off the coast of Tunisia. Having completed this task Assurance arrived at Valetta Malta on 25 August. She also visited Piraeus Greece Naples Italy and Rota Spain before sailing on 21 September for the United States. The vessel spent the remainder of the year in a leave and upkeep status at Panama City.

Assurance sailed to Charleston S.C. on 11 January 1967 for interim overhaul and returned to her home port on 11 March to commence type training. She sailed back to Charleston on 5 July to provide services to the naval mine warfare school and then briefly visited Panama City before returning to Charleston for overhaul. This yard period ended on 15 December enabling the minesweeper to return to Florida on the 19th.

The first three months of 1968 found the ship conducting refresher training. She returned to Panama City in April and worked with the Mine Defense Laboratory. In October Assurance was at Pensacola Fla. for a restricted availability before finishing the year in port at Panama City.

The minesweeper got underway for the Mediterranean on 11 January 1969 and following stops at Bermuda and the Azores arrived at Gibraltar on 4 February. Visits to Valetta Malta and Athens Greece preceded the minesweepers participation in an amphibious exercise near Namplion Greece. Assurance then conducted surveillance operations south of Crete and visited La Spezia in March. Combined NATO amphibious operations occupied the month of April. The ship left Rota Spain on 26 May to sail back to the United States. After her arrival in Panama City on 16 June she spent the next four months in local operations and on 13 November 1969 commenced an overhaul at Charleston that lasted until early April of 1970. Between April and September of 1970 Assurance conducted refresher and type training along the eastern seaboard. Late in September she arrived in Charleston to begin preparations for inactivation. After 10 weeks in Charleston however the minesweeper learned that the order for her decommissioning had been reversed. In mid-December 1970 her home port assignment was changed from Panama City Fla. to Charleston.

The new year 1971 found Assurance involved in the reactivation process. On 1 April she became a member of Mine Division 21 Mine Flotilla 2. On 26 April the minesweeper got underway for refresher training; but that same day she suffered a major engine casualty and was forced to return to port for repairs which lasted three months. The ship got underway again on 2 August successfully completed all phases of her training by 5 October and rejoined the Atlantic Fleet. Assurance took part in MINEX 1-71 from 15 to 22 October and then sailed to Mayport Fla. for interim drydocking. The minesweeper returned to Charleston on 19 November and soon thereafter took part in an air mine countermeasures operation. On 14 December she was back at Charleston for a leave and upkeep period.

Assurance spent most of 1972 operating in the Charleston area. She provided services to the Fleet Mine Warfare Training Center at Charleston and conducted minesweeping exercises before sailing to Cape Kennedy' Fla. to support the launching of the Apollo XVII space shot. The vessel returned to Charleston on 8 December and finished the year undergoing upkeep.

Assurance was redesignated AG-521 on 1 March 1973. On the 23d she sailed to Fort George Island Fla. for overhaul by the Atlantic Drydock Corp. During this work her minesweeping gear was removed. Assurance was back in Charleston on 1 June to commence a restricted availability. She got underway on 8 October? bound for Norfolk and refresher training. From 19 to 27 November Assurance was off Port Everglades Fla. for tests. The ship closed the year in port at Charleston.

On 7 January 1974 Assurance got underway at Nassau for New Providence. The ship remained in the Bahamas until late in January when she returned to her home port. The period from 25 February to 5 May was spent in a restricted availability at Charleston. Then fleet exercises and a midshipman training cruise occupied Assurance until 16 July when the ship began a transatlantic voyage to join the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. Following brief stops at Bermuda and Ponta Delgada the minesweeper arrived at Rota on 8 August. For the next three and one-half months she participated in numerous exercises and visited Palma Mallorca; Naples and Brindisi Italy and Barcelona Spain. On 3 December she reversed her course and headed back to Charleston. She arrived there on 20 December.

For the first four and one-half months of 1975 the ship operated in the Caribbean. On 10 May she returned to Charleston and prepared for an overhaul. On 16 June she entered the Detyen's Shipyard Wando S.C. Her overhaul was finished on 11 November; and on 3 December Assurance got underway for Guantanamo Bay Cuba and refresher training. She returned to Charleston on 23 December for holiday leave and upkeep.

The minesweeper began 1976 in upkeep at Charleston and operated in the Jacksonville Fla. area from 13 to 26 March. She conducted special operations in the western Atlantic from 15 April through 14 June and after a brief visit to Halifax Nova Scotia returned to Charleston. On 26 July Assurance got underway for two weeks of operations in the Virginia Capes area followed by a week of repair work on her engines at Little Creek. On 20 August Assurance arrived back at Charleston and remained there for the duration of the year.

On 10 January 1977 the ship entered drydock at Mayport Fla. She cleared the keelblocks on 7 March and took part in Operation "Cleansweep " from the 11th to the 20th. She resumed briefly to Charleston before deploying on 11 April for special operations in the Caribbean and western Atlantic. Upon her return to Charleston on 24 June the minesweeper commenced preinactivation procedures. Assurance was decommissioned at Charleston on 30 September 1977 and her name was struck from the Navy list simultaneously. In December of 1979 the former minesweeper was sold to the Ampol Corp. for scrapping.

[Note: The above USS ASSURANCE (MSO-521) history may or may not contain text provided by crew members of the USS ASSURANCE (MSO-521) or by other non-crew members and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]