USS Marvel (AM-262)

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Career (United States)
Name: USS Marvel (AM-262)
Builder: American Shipbuilding Company, Lorain, Ohio
Laid down: 12 April 1943
Launched: 31 July 1943
Sponsored by: Miss Naomi Gordan
Commissioned: 9 June 1944
Decommissioned: 21 May 1945[1]
Fate: Transferred to Soviet Navy, 21 May 1945[1]
Reclassified: MSF-262, 7 February 1955
Struck: 1 January 1983[citation needed]
Career (Soviet Union)
Name: T-274[2]
Acquired: 21 May 1945[1]
Commissioned: 21 May 1945[1]
Refit: Converted to naval trawler, 1948[citation needed]
Renamed: Passat, 1948[citation needed]
Fate: Scrapped 1960[3]
General characteristics
Class & type: Admirable-class minesweeper
Displacement: 650 long tons (660 t)
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: United States Atlantic Fleet (1944-1945
United States Pacific Fleet (1945)
Soviet Pacific Ocean Fleet (1945-1960)

USS Marvel (AM-262) 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 then served in the Soviet Navy as T-272. The Soviets converted her into a naval trawler in 1948[citation needed] and renamed her Passat.[citation needed]

Construction and commissioning[edit]

Marvel was laid down on 4 April 1943 at Lorain, Ohio, by the American Shipbuilding Company, launched on 31 July 1943, sponsored by Miss Naomi Gordan, and commissioned on 9 June 1944 with Lieutenant Vincent de P. Hurley, USNR, in command.

Service history[edit]

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

Completing a brief shakedown at Little Creek, Virginia, Marvel got underway on 19 August 1944 for Naval Operating Base Bermuda. Into the mid-autumn of 1944, she operated from St. George's Bay, Bermuda, sweeping for mines and conducting antisubmarine patrols to ensure safe passage into the eastern terminus of the southern transatlantic convoy route. She returned to Virginia on 9 November 1944, and for the next two months conducted similar patrols in the Hampton Roads area.

On 17 January 1945, Marvel weighed anchor and began a two-and-a-half month cruise to Kodiak, Territory of Alaska. Steaming via Coco Solo in the Panama Canal Zone, San Diego, California, and Seattle, Washington, she arrived at Kodiak on 31 March 1945. On 2 April 1945 she departed for the Shumagin Islands, arriving at Baralof Bay on 3 April 1945. There she conducted local exercises.

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, Alaska, in anticipation of the Soviet Union joining the war against JapanMarvel proceeded to Cold Bay in the spring of 1945 to begin familiarization training of her new Soviet crew.[3]

Soviet Navy, 1945-1960[edit]

Following the completion of training for her Soviet crew, Marvel 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-274[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]

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.[4] The Soviets converted T-272 into a naval trawler in 1948[citation needed] and renamed her Passat,[citation needed] and never returned 'her to the United States, although the U.S. Navy reclassified her as a "fleet minesweeper" (MSF) and redesignated her MSF-262 on 7 February 1955.

Disposal[edit]

T-274 was scrapped in 1960.[3] Unaware of her fate, the U.S. Navy kept Marvel on its Naval Vessel Register until finally striking her on 1 January 1983.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships Marvel article states that the U.S. Navy decommissioned Marvel on 20 May 1945, and NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive Marvel (MSF 262) ex-AM-262 and hazegray.org Marvel 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 ship's transfer date to the Soviet Union was 21 May 1945. 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 Marvel '​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 Marvel (MSF 262) ex-AM-262 and hazegray.org Marvel state that Marvel was named T-272 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-274, while another Admirable-class minesweeper, the former USS Fancy (AM-234), also transferred in 1945, had the Soviet name T-272. 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, p. 39.
  4. ^ 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.

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