USS Capable (AM-155)

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For other ships of the same name, see USS Capable.
Career (United States)
Name: USS Capable (AMc-132)
Builder: Willamette Iron and Steel Works, Portland, Oregon
Reclassified: AM-155, 21 February 1942
Laid down: 12 May 1942
Launched: 16 October 1942
Commissioned: 5 December 1943
Decommissioned: 17 August 1945[1]
Fate: Transferred to Soviet Navy, 17 August 1945[1]
Reclassified: MSF-155, 7 February 1955
Struck: 1 January 1983
Career (Soviet Union)
Name: T-339[2]
Acquired: 17 August 1945[1]
Commissioned: 17 August 1945[1]
Fate: Scrapped 1960[3]
General characteristics
Class & type: Admirable-class minesweeper
Displacement: 650 tons
Length: 184 ft 6 in (56.24 m)
Beam: 33 ft (10 m)
Draft: 9 ft 9 in (2.97 m)
Propulsion: 2 × ALCO 539 diesel engines, 1,710 shp (1.3 MW)
Farrel-Birmingham single reduction gear
2 shafts
Speed: 14.8 knots (27.4 km/h)
Complement: 104
Armament: 1 × 3"/50 caliber gun DP
2 × twin Bofors 40 mm guns
1 × Hedgehog anti-submarine mortar
2 × depth charge tracks
Service record
Part of: U.S. Pacific Fleet (1943-1945)
Soviet Pacific Ocean Fleet (1945-1960)

USS Capable (AM-155) was an Admirable-class minesweeper built for the United States Navy during World War II. In 1945, she was transferred to the Soviet Union and then served in the Soviet Navy as T-339.

Construction and commissioning[edit]

Originally classified as a "coastal minesweeper," AMc-132, Capable was reclassified as a "minesweeper," AM-155, on 21 February 1942. She was launched on 16 November 1942 at Portland, Oregon, by Willamette Iron and Steel Works and commissioned on 5 December 1943 with Lieutenant Commander W. C. Kunz, USNR, in command.

Service history[edit]

U.S. Navy, World War II, 1943-1945[edit]

After reporting to the Pacific Fleet for assignment, Capable cleared San Francisco, California, on 8 February 1944 bound for Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, and Majuro in the Marshall Islands. Arriving at Majuro on 9 March 1944, she was based there until October 1944, serving as a convoy escort, voyaging to Pearl Harbor, Kwajalein, Tarawa, Eniwetok, Manus, and Makin as the United States built up its fleet bases in the Pacific to support offensive operations against the Japanese. Moving on to the more advanced base at Eniwetok, she served on local patrol and escort in the Mariana Islands, and in February 1945 escorted a convoy to Ulithi as part of the preparations for the invasion of Iwo Jima.

Selected for transfer to the Soviet Navy in Project Hula – a secret program for the transfer of U.S. Navy ships to the Soviet Navy at Cold Bay, Territory of Alaska, in anticipation of the Soviet Union joining the war against JapanCapable arrived at Seattle, Washington on 6 April 1945 for pre-transfer overhaul. With her overhaul complete, she arrived at Cold Bay on 11 July 1945 to begin familiarization training of her new Soviet crew.[4]

Soviet Navy, 1945-1960[edit]

Following the completion of training for her Soviet crew, Capable was decommissioned on 17 August 1945[1] at Cold Bay and transferred to the Soviet Union under Lend-Lease immediately.[1] Also commissioned into the Soviet Navy immediately,[1] she was designated as a tralshik ("minesweeper") and renamed T-339[2] in Soviet service. She soon departed Cold Bay bound for Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in the Soviet Union, where she served in the Soviet Far East.[4]

In February 1946, the United States began negotiations for the return of ships loaned to the Soviet Union for use during World War II, and on 8 May 1947, United States Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal informed the United States Department of State that the United States Department of the Navy wanted 480 of the 585 combatant ships it had transferred to the Soviet Union for World War II use returned. Deteriorating relations between the two countries as the Cold War broke out led to protracted negotiations over the ships, and by the mid-1950s the U.S. Navy found it too expensive to bring home ships that had become worthless to it anyway. Many ex-American ships were merely administratively "returned" to the United States and instead sold for scrap in the Soviet Union, while the U.S. Navy did not seriously pursue the return of others because it viewed them as no longer worth the cost of recovery.[5] The Soviet Union never returned Capable to the United States, although the U.S. Navy reclassified her as a "fleet minesweeper" (MSF) and redesignated her MSF-155 on 7 February 1955.

Disposal[edit]

T-339 was scrapped in 1960.[3] Unaware of her fate, the U.S. Navy kept Capable on its Naval Vessel Register until finally striking her on 1 January 1983.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships Capable article states that the U.S. Navy decommissioned Capable on 16 August 1945 and transferred her to the Soviet Navy, and NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive Capable (MSF 155) ex-AM-155 ex-AMc-132 and hazegray.org Capable repeat this. However, more recent research in Russell, Richard A., Project Hula: Secret Soviet-American Cooperation in the War Against Japan, Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, 1997, ISBN 0-945274-35-1, p. 39, which includes access to Soviet-era records unavailable during the Cold War, reports that the transfer date was 17 August 1945. As sources, Russell cites Department of the Navy, Ships Data: U.S. Naval Vessels Volume II, 1 January 1949, (NAVSHIPS 250-012), Washington, DC: Bureau of Ships, 1949; and Berezhnoi, S. S., Flot SSSR: Korabli i suda lendliza: Spravochnik ("The Soviet Navy: Lend-Lease Ships and Vessels: A Reference"), St. Petersburg, Russia: Belen, 1994. According to Russell, Project Hula ships were decommissioned by the U.S. Navy simultaneously with their transfer to and commissioning by the Soviet Navy – see photo captions on p. 24 regarding the transfers of various large infantry landing craft (LCI(L)s) and information on p. 27 about the transfer of USS Coronado (PF-38), which Russell says typified the transfer process – indicating that Capable's U.S. Navy decommissioning, transfer, and Soviet Navy commissioning all occurred simultaneously in a single ceremony on 17 August 1945.
  2. ^ a b NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive Capable (MSF 155) ex-AM-155 ex-AMc-132 and hazegray.org Capable state that Capable was named T-595 in Soviet service, but more recent research in Russell, Richard A., Project Hula: Secret Soviet-American Cooperation in the War Against Japan, Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, 1997, ISBN 0-945274-35-1, pp. 39-40, which includes access to Soviet-era records unavailable during the Cold War, finds that the ship's Soviet name was T-339, while an auxiliary motor minesweeper, the former USS YMS-184, also transferred in 1945, had the Soviet name T-595. As sources, Russell cites Department of the Navy, Ships Data: U.S. Naval Vessels Volume II, 1 January 1949, (NAVSHIPS 250-012), Washington, DC: Bureau of Ships, 1949; and Berezhnoi, S. S., Flot SSSR: Korabli i suda lendliza: Spravochnik ("The Soviet Navy: Lend-Lease Ships and Vessels: A Reference"), St. Petersburg, Russia: Belen, 1994.
  3. ^ a b NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive Capable (MSF 155) ex-AM-155 ex-AMc-132 and hazegray.org Capable state that the ship, which they identify as T-595, probably was scrapped in 1956, but more recent research in Russell, Richard A., Project Hula: Secret Soviet-American Cooperation in the War Against Japan, Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, 1997, ISBN 0-945274-35-1, p. 39, reports that the ship's Soviet name was T-339 and states that T-339 was scrapped in 1960. As sources, Russell cites Department of the Navy, Ships Data: U.S. Naval Vessels Volume II, 1 January 1949, (NAVSHIPS 250-012), Washington, DC: Bureau of Ships, 1949; and Berezhnoi, S. S., Flot SSSR: Korabli i suda lendliza: Spravochnik ("The Soviet Navy: Lend-Lease Ships and Vessels: A Reference"), St. Petersburg, Russia: Belen, 1994. Russell, p. 40., also states that T-595 – a Soviet name previously attributed to Capable but now identified as belonging to the former USS YMS-184 – was stricken in 1955, and this confusion over the identity of the two ships may have led to the confusion over their fates, although it does not explain the assertion that T-595 probably was scrapped in 1956.
  4. ^ a b Russell, Richard A., Project Hula: Secret Soviet-American Cooperation in the War Against Japan, Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, 1997, ISBN 0-945274-35-1, p. 39.
  5. ^ Russell, Richard A., Project Hula: Secret Soviet-American Cooperation in the War Against Japan, Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, 1997, ISBN 0-945274-35-1, pp. 37-38, 39.

External links[edit]