USS Fancy (AM-234)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Career (United States)
Name: USS Fancy (AM-234)
Builder: Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Company, Seattle, Washington
Laid down: 12 May 1944
Launched: 4 September 1944
Sponsored by: Mrs. E. L. Skeel
Commissioned: 13 December 1944
Decommissioned: 21 May 1945[1]
Fate: Transferred to the Soviet Union, 21 May 1945[1]
Reclassified: MSF-234, 7 February 1955
Struck: 1 January 1983[citation needed]
Career (Soviet Union)
Name: T-272[2]
Acquired: 21 May 1945[1]
Commissioned: 21 May 1945[1]
Refit: Converted to naval trawler, 1948[citation needed]
Renamed: Vyuga, 1948[citation needed]
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

USS Fancy (AM-234) was an Admirable-class minesweeper built for the United States Navy during World War II and in commission from 1944 to 1945. In 1945, she was transferred to the Soviet Union and served in the Soviet Navy after that as T-272[3] and Vyuga.[citation needed]

Construction and commissioning[edit]

Fancy was launched on 4 September 1944 at Seattle, , Washington by the Puget Sound Bridge and Dredging Company, sponsored by Mrs. E. L. Skeel, and was commissioned on 13 December 1944 with Lieutenant F. D. Abbott in command.

Service history[edit]

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

Following shakedown and antisubmarine training, Fancy departed Seattle for Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, on 15 February 1945. 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 JapanFancy, in company with three other ships earmarked for Project Hula – her sister ship USS Rampart (AM-282) and the auxiliary motor minesweepers USS YMS-38 and USS YMS-237 – departed Pearl Harbor on 7 March 1945 and steamed back to Seattle, arriving there on 19 March 1945. She then proceeded to Kodiak, Alaska, and then to Cold Bay to begin familiarization training of her new Soviet crew.[3][4]

Soviet Navy, 1945-1960[edit]

Following the completion of training for her Soviet crew, Capable was decommissioned on 21 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-272[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.[3] The Soviets converted her into a naval trawler in 1948[citation needed] and renamed her Vyuga.[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 Fancy to the United States, although the U.S. Navy reclassified her as a "fleet minesweeper" (MSF) and redesignated her MSF-234 on 7 February 1955.

T-272 was scrapped in 1960.[3] Unaware of the ship '​s fate, the U.S. Navy retained Fancy on its Naval Vessel Register until her name was stricken on 1 January 1983.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships Fancy article states that the U.S. Navy transferred Fancy to the Soviet Navy on 20 May 1945 and decommissioned her on 21 May 1945, and NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive Fancy (MSF 234) ex-AM-234 and hazegray.org Fancy 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 21 May 1945 and, 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 Fancy '​s U.S. Navy decommissioning, transfer, and Soviet Navy commissioning all occurred simultaneously in a single ceremony on 21 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.
  2. ^ a b NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive Fancy (MSF 234) ex-AM-234 and hazegray.org Fancy state that Fancy was named T-271 in Soviet service, but 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-272 and that it was ex-USS Disdain (AM-222), transferred the following day, that had the Soviet name T-271. 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 e 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.
  4. ^ Dictionary of American naval Fighting Ships: Rampart
  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.