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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive


Courtesy of Mike Smolinski

Firm (MSO 444)
ex-AM-444



Call sign:
November - Mike - Victor - Alpha


Firm served the Navies of the United States and the Philippines.

Aggressive Class Minesweeper:

  • Laid down 16 April 1952 at J. M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma, WA
  • Launched 15 April 1953
  • Commissioned USS Firm (AM-444), 12 October 1954
  • Reclassified as an Ocean Minesweeper, MSO-444, 7 February 1955
  • Decommissioned 5 July 1972, loaned to the Philippines and renamed Davao Del Sur (PM-92)
  • Returned to U.S. custody 1 July 1977
  • Struck from the Naval Register 1 July 1977
  • Sold for scrap 8 July 1977 to Ming Hing and Co. of Kowloon, Hong Kong.

    Specifications:

  • Displacement 630 t.(lt), 755 t.(fl)
  • Length 172'
  • Beam 35'
  • Draft 10'
  • Speed 14 kts.
  • Complement 80
  • Armament: As built, one 40mm gun mount and two .50 cal machine guns. Final configuration, bow gun replaced by one twin 20mm gun mount, two .50 cal. machine guns remain
  • Propulsion: Four Packard ID1700 diesel engines, two shafts, two controllable pitch propellers.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Firm (AM 444)
    Gallant 37k 4 June 1954
    Launching of Gallant (AM 489). In the background is Firm
    J. M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corp.
    USS Firm (MSO 444)
    Firm 54k Agana, Guam. Ed Livingston
    Firm 48k .
    Firm 57k c. 1968. En route from Long Beach to Vietnam for "Market Time" coastal surveillance duty. HMC Don S. Hoyt, USN, Ret.
    Firm 62k c. 1970-71, off Vietnam coast 102 Minesweepers web site
    Courtesy Dick Lewis
    Firm 53k

    Commanding Officers
    01LT John Edward Renn, USN12 October 1954 - 6 December 1956
    02LCDR Don E. Hihn, USN6 December 1956 - 4 June 1958
    03LCDR William Livingston Prange, USN4 June 1958 - 15 March 1960
    04LT Lee F. Beggett, Jr., USN15 Mach 1960 - 24 July 1962
    05LCDR Francis Eugene Brooks, USN24 July 1962 - 3 July 1963
    06LCDR Kenneth W. Ruggles, USN3 July 1963 - 18 December 1964
    07LCDR Charles W. Roth, USN18 December 1964 - 6 December 1966
    08LCDR Lloyd Wilbur Fernald, Jr., USN6 December 1966 - 18 June 1968
    09LCDR Norman G. Mosher, USN18 June 1968 - 10 November 1969
    10LCDR John Bledsoe Bonds, USN10 November 1969 - 5 July 1972
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    View the Firm (MSO-444)
    DANFS History entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Website
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Naval Minewarfare Association
    Association of Minemen
    Back To The Main Photo Index Back To the Mine Warfare Ship Photo Index Back to the Ocean Minesweeper (MSO) Photo Index

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