USS Osprey (AM-56)

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For other ships with the same name, see USS Osprey.
USS Osprey (AM-56) off the Norfolk Navy Yard, 19 April 1941
USS Osprey (AM-56) off the Norfolk Navy Yard, 19 April 1941
Name: USS Osprey
Builder: Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia
Laid down: 28 June 1939
Launched: 24 August 1940
Commissioned: 16 December 1940
Struck: 22 August 1944
Honors and
2 Battle Stars (World War II)
Fate: Struck a mine and sunk, 5 June 1944
General characteristics
Class and type: Raven-class minesweeper
  • 810 tons
  • 1040 tons full load
Length: 220 ft 6 in (67.21 m)
Beam: 32 ft 2 in (9.80 m)
Draft: 9 ft 4 in (2.84 m)
Speed: 18 knots (33 km/h)
Complement: 105 officers and men
Armament: 2 × 3 in (76 mm) guns, 2 × depth charge tracks

USS Osprey (AM–56), was a Raven-class minesweeper of the United States Navy, laid down on 28 June 1939 at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia; launched on 24 August 1940; sponsored by Ms. Margaret Kays; and commissioned on 16 December 1940, Lieutenant Commander L. Blackwell in command.

Service career[edit]

The United States’ entrance into World War II extended Osprey's coastal patrol and escort duties first to the Caribbean area, and by 8 November to North Africa. On "D-Day" of "Operation Torch" she helped direct and protect the waves of landing craft moving shoreward at Port Lyautey, Morocco. Anti-submarine patrol off Casablanca preceded her return to another year of coastal escort assignments out of Norfolk, Virginia.

On 3 April 1944, the minesweeper departed for England to take part in "Operation Overlord". With other units of Minesweeper Squadron 7 (MinRon 7), she had successfully conducted sweeping operations off Tor Bay, England. "At about 1700 on June 5, minesweeper USS Osprey hit a mine that blew a large hole in the forward engine room. Fires broke out and at 1815 the ship had to be abandoned. Osprey sank soon after with the loss of six men."[1] These were the first casualties of the D-Day invasion. She was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 22 August.

The wreck was first dived and identified by a team including nautical archaeologist Innes McCartney in 1997. It was found to be lying on its side.


Osprey received two battle stars for World War II service.


  1. ^ Ambrose, Stephen E. (1995). D-Day, June 6, 1944 : the climactic battle of World War II (1st Touchstone ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 254. ISBN 9780684801377. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°12′N 1°20′W / 50.200°N 1.333°W / 50.200; -1.333