USS ASSURANCE (MSO-521)
The first Assurance (MSO-521) was laid down on 28 January 1957 at Sturgeon Bay
by Peterson Builders
Inc.; launched on 31 August 1957
sponsored by Mrs. Vernon W. Thomson; and commissioned at Boston
on 21 November 1958
Lt Comdr. Frank L. Crump
nonmagnetic ocean minesweeper was assigned to Mine Force
Atlantic Fleet as a member of Mine Division (MinDiv) 45
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
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
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
before moving to Naples
Italy. The minesweeper sortied with Task Force 61 for operations at Aranci Bay
Sardinia. After stops in Toulon
and Santa Manza
Assurance proceeded to San Remo
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
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
on 2 July. She shifted to La Spezia
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
on 25 August. She also visited Piraeus Greece
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
S.C. Her overhaul was finished on 11 November; and
on 3 December
Assurance got underway for Guantanamo Bay
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
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
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]