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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Nausett (MMA 15)
ex-USAMP Major General Wallace F. Randolph (MP 7)

Camanche Class Auxiliary Minelayer:

  • Laid down in 1942 as USAMP Major General Wallace F. Randolph (MP 7) for the U.S. Army Coast Artillery Corps, Mine Planter Service at the Marietta Manufacturing Co., Point Pleasant, WV
  • Transferred to the Navy in March 1951, designated as an Auxiliary Minelayer, ACM-15 and berthed at Charleston, SC with the Atlantic Reserve Fleet
  • Moved to Green Cove Springs, FL
  • Reclassified MMA-15, 7 February 1955
  • Named Nausett 1 May 1955
  • Struck from the Navy Register 1 July 1960
  • Stripped and sold 17 May 1961 to Caribbean Enterprises, Inc. of Miami, FL
  • Renamed Sea Searcher and Thunderbolt
  • The research vessel Thunderbolt got her final name by serving as a stationary focal point for lightning strikes. Researchers from Florida Power and Light (FP&L) used two jet engines to blast ionized gas
    into the upper atmosphere, attracting large numbers of strikes on the target vessel. Following the lightning research (in the early 1980s), she was to begin a new career as an underwater surveyor vessel. Unfortunately for the Thunderbolt, she sank at the dock in Miami Harbor. Members of the Middle Keys diving community bought her in 1986 and paid to have her cleaned and prepped as an artificial reef. She was scuttled 3 March 1986 in 120' of water off Marathon, FL at 24 39.663' N., 80 57.784' W.
  • Nausett was never commissioned in the U. S. Navy.


  • Displacement 910 t.
  • Length 189'
  • Beam 37'
  • Draft 12'
  • Speed 12 kts.
  • Complement 135.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    USAMPS Major General Wallace F. Randolph (MP 7)
    Nausett 95k

    Wallace Fitz Randolph (June 11, 1841 December 9, 1910) was a United States Army major general who enlisted as a private at the start of the American Civil War, rose in rank to Major General and, after serving in the artillery branch his entire career, became the first U. S. Army Chief of Artillery

    Tommy Trampp
    Nausett 77k

    Major General Randolph's grave marker is one of the most idiosyncratic in Arlington National Cemetery. His resting place, including that of his wife and two daughters, is marked by a twelve-hundred-pound Napoleon cannon. The brass fieldpiece, cast in 1862 and believed to have been used in combat during the American Civil War, was placed shortly after his funeral

    Nausett 400k 1 October 1942
    Point Pleasant, WV
    Marietta Manufacturing Co. photo. Special Collections Department, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina
    Robert Hurst
    Nausett 305k Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society from "U.S. Army Ships and Watercraft of World War II" by David H. Grover
    Nausett 60k c. 1948
    R/V Thunderbolt
    Nausett 7k Thunderbolt prior to being sunk as an artificial reef
    Nausett 113k Dive map for Thunderbolt Tommy Trampp
    Nausett 84k Cable reel on main deck of Thunderbolt

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