USS Disdain (AM-222)

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USS Disdain (AM-222) under construction
Career (United States)
Name: USS Disdain (AM-222)
Builder: American Ship Building Company, Lorain, Ohio
Laid down: 23 October 1943
Launched: 25 March 1944
Commissioned: 26 December 1944
Decommissioned: 22 May 1945[1]
Fate: Transferred to Soviet Union, 22 May 1945[1]
Reclassified: MSF-222, 7 February 1955
Struck: 1 January 1983[citation needed]
Career (Soviet Union)
Name: T-271[2]
Acquired: 22 May 1945[1]
Commissioned: 22 May 1945[1]
Refit: Converted to naval trawler, 1948[citation needed]
Fate: See note[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 (1944-1945)
Soviet Pacific Ocean Fleet (1945-1960 or 1964)[3]

USS Disdain (AM-222) was an Admirable-class minesweeper built for the United States Navy during World War II and in commission from 1944 to 1945. She was transferred to the Soviet Union in 1945 and after that served in the Soviet Navy as T-271.

Construction and commissioning[edit]

Disdain was launched on 25 March 1944 at Lorain, Ohio, by the American Shipbuilding Company, sponsored by Mrs. J. P. Sturges, and commissioned on 26 December 1944 with Lieutenant H. D. Lindsay, Jr., USNR, in command.

Service history[edit]

U.S. Navy, World War II, 1944-1945[edit]

Departing Chicago, Illinois, on 4 January 1945, Disdain made her way down the Mississippi River to New Orleans, Louisiana, arriving there on 31 January 1945 for shakedown training.

She was decommissioned on 21 May and transferred to the Soviet Navy under lend lease as T-277. In 1948, the Soviets converted the ship into a naval trawler and renamed her Shtorm. She was stricken in 1964 and converted to a whaler around this same time.

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 JapanDisdain departed Burrwood, Louisiana, on 27 February 1945, transited the Panama Canal, called at San Diego, California, and arrived at Seattle, Washington, on 22 March 1945 for pre-transfer overhaul and alterations. Departing Seattle on 7 April 1945, she arrived at Cold Bay on 15 April 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, Disdain was decommissioned on 22 May 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-271[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] and was converted into a naval trawler in 1948.[citation needed]

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 Disdain to the United States, although the U.S. Navy reclassified her as a "fleet minesweeper" (MSF) and redesignated her MSF-222 on 7 February 1955.

Disposal[edit]

Confusion exists as to the final disposition of T-271. Sources claim both that she was scrapped in 1960[3] and that she remained in Soviet Navy service until 1964, when she was stricken from the Soviet Navy list and converted for civilian use as a whaling ship named Shtorm.[3] Unaware of her fate, the U.S. Navy kept Disdain on its Naval Vessel Register until finally striking her name from it on 1 January 1983.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships Disdain article states that the U.S. Navy decommissioned Disdain on 21 May 1945 and NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive Disdain (MSF 222) ex-AM-222 and hazegray.org Disdain 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 22 May 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 22 May 1945.
  2. ^ a b NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive Disdain (MSF 222) ex-AM-222 states that Disdain was named T-277 in Soviet service, but 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-271, while another Admirable-class minesweeper, USS Mirth (AM-265), also transferred in 1945, had the Soviet name T-277. 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 c d 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, reports that Disdain became T-271 in Soviet service and that T-271 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. However, NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive Disdain (MSF 222) ex-AM-222 claims that Disdain was named T-277 in Soviet service – the name Russell ascribes to USS Mirth (AM-265) in Soviet service – and that the Soviet Navy struck ex-Disdain in 1964, after which the ship was converted for civilian use as the whaling ship Shtorm. It is not clear that confusion about the identity of ex-Disdain is explained by the confusion between T-271 and T-277, as no source claims that ex-Mirth (which Russell claims became T-277) was stricken in 1964 or became a civilian whaler.
  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]