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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Courtesy of Mike Smolinski

Firm (MSO 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.


  • 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 142k . Richard Miller, BMCS, USNR, Ret.
    Firm 94k
    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, USN - USNA Class of 194612 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 J. Baggett, Jr., USN - USNA Class of 1950
    Awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (1988), two Navy Distinguished Service Medals (1982/1985), the Legion of Merit (1977), two Bronze Stars, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon - Retired as Admiral
    15 March 1960 - 24 July 1962
    05LCDR Francis Eugene Brooks, USN24 July 1962 - 3 July 1963
    06LCDR Kenneth Warren Ruggles, USN - USNA Class of 19543 July 1963 - 18 December 1964
    07LCDR Charles W. Roth, USN18 December 1964 - 6 December 1966
    08LCDR Lloyd Wilbur Fernald, Jr., USN - USNA Class of 19576 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, Ron Reeves and Joe Radigan

    View the Firm (MSO-444)
    DANFS History entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Website
    Additional Resources and Websites of Interest
    102 Minesweepers (MSO) Oceangoing Minesweepers

    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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    This page created by Gary P. Priolo and maintained by Joseph M. Radigan
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