USS Heron (AMS-18)
|Laid down:||13 January 1943|
|Launched:||24 July 1943|
|Sponsored by:||Miss Frances J. McCarthy|
|Commissioned:||11 October 1943|
|Decommissioned:||2 March 1946|
|Renamed:||USS Heron (AMS-18), 7 February 1947|
|Namesake:||the heron bird|
|Recommissioned:||15 July 1949|
|Reclassified:||MSC(O)-18, 17 February 1955|
|Decommissioned:||21 March 1955|
|Fate:||transferred to Japan, 21 March 1955|
|Acquired:||returned from Japan, 31 March 1967|
|Struck:||31 March 1967|
|Fate:||Used as a fire target|
|Name:||JDS Nuwajima (MSC-657)|
|Acquired:||21 March 1955|
|Fate:||Returned to U.S. custody, 31 March 1967|
|Class and type:||YMS-135 subclass of YMS-1-class minesweepers|
|Length:||136 ft (41 m)|
|Beam:||24 ft 6 in (7.47 m)|
|Draft:||6 ft (1.8 m)|
|Speed:||13 knots (24 km/h)|
Heron was laid down as YMS-369 on 13 January 1943 by Wheeler Shipbuilding Corp., Whitestone, New York, and launched 24 July 1943. The sponsor was Miss Frances J. McCarthy, an employee of the firm. The YMS was commissioned 11 October 1943 with Lt. Joseph R. McMahon in command.
The minesweeper’s World War II service in the American Theatre of operations consisted of minesweeping and escort duty in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean while based in Key West; in the Gulf of Maine while based in Portland; and sweeping the approaches to New York City while based in Tompkinsville. Pacific operations included sweeping around the home islands after the Japanese surrender. On 2 March 1946, she sailed for home after 4 months in Japanese waters and was decommissioned. She was named USS Heron and reclassified AMS-18 7 February 1947.
After recommissioning 15 July 1949, Heron engaged in training exercises on the U.S. West Coast until 4 October 1950 when she sailed for Korean War duty. She patrolled off the Korean Peninsula and was of invaluable assistance for her clearing of channels for blockading ships in the siege of Wonsan Harbor in March 1951.
Reclassified MSC(O)-18 on 17 February 1955, Heron decommissioned again 21 March, and was turned over to the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force the same day to serve as Nuwajima (MSC-657).
Awards and honors
- "U.S. Navy Ships: Sunk & Damaged in Action during the Korean Conflict (Partial)". United States Navy. 1 April 2004. Retrieved 2007-12-26.
- Photo gallery of Heron at NavSource Naval History
- The Shore Batteries at Wonsan, an account by Burl Gilliland of serving on Heron, while under fire from North Korean shore batteries. (Includes photos.)
- Photo of U.S. Navy ships at Sasebo, Japan, that includes Heron in the distance. (see this page for description of photo.)