USS Skill (MSO-471)
|Builder:||Luders Marine Construction Co., Stamford, Connecticut|
|Laid down:||17 August 1953, as AM-471|
|Launched:||3 April 1955|
|Commissioned:||7 November 1955|
|Reclassified:||MSO-471 (Ocean Minesweeper), 7 February 1955|
|Fate:||Sold for scrapping, 1 April 1979.|
|Class & type:||Aggressive-class minesweeper|
|Displacement:||630 long tons (640 t) light
755 long tons (767 t) full load
|Length:||172 ft (52 m)|
|Beam:||36 ft (11 m)|
|Draft:||10 ft (3 m)|
|Propulsion:||4 × Packard ID1700 diesel engines
2 × shafts
2 × controllable pitch propellers
|Speed:||15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)|
|Complement:||6 officers, 74 enlisted|
|Armament:||• 1 × single 40 mm gun mount (later replaced by 1 × twin 20 mm gun mount)
• 2 × .50 cal (12.7 mm) twin Browning M2 machine guns
Skill was the second U.S. Navy vessel of that name. It was an ocean minesweeper, laid down by Luders Marine Construction Co., Stamford, Connecticut, on 17 August 1953 under the designation AM-471; redesignated MSO-471 on 7 February 1955; launched on 3 April 1955; sponsored by Mrs. John C. Niedermair; and commissioned on 7 November 1955, Lt. Robert A. Latka in command.
Atlantic Ocean operations
During her 15 years of active service with the Navy, the minesweeper served with the Atlantic and 6th Fleets. She operated out of Charleston throughout her career, when not deployed to the Mediterranean. Skill operated with the 6th Fleet in the "middle sea" in 1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1962, 1964, 1966, and 1968. Skill participated in the recovery effort of the 1966 Palomares B-52 crash in early 1966. In late May 1968, during the return voyage from her last Mediterranean deployment, Skill participated in the unsuccessful search for the nuclear submarine, USS Scorpion (SSN-589).
Skill spent all of 1969 around Charleston, South Carolina, and most of it at the Detyens Shipyard being repaired. Skill was finally decommissioned and placed in reserve in October 1970. She was berthed at Beaumont, Texas, as a unit of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet until sold for scrap by the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service on 1 April 1979.
- Melson, June 1967, p.31
- Melson, Lewis B., CAPT USN (June 1967). Contact 261. United States Naval Institute Proceedings.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Photo gallery of USS Skill (AM-471/MSO-471) at NavSource Naval History