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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Courtesy of Al Grazevich

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Illusive (MSO 448)

Call sign:
November - Romeo - Oscar - Yankee


Aggressive Class Minesweeper:

  • Laid down 23 October 1951 by the Martinolich Shipbuilding Co., San Diego, CA
  • Launched 12 July 1952
  • Commissioned USS Illusive (AM-448), 14 November 1953
  • Reclassified as an Ocean Minesweeper, MSO-448, 7 February 1955
  • Decommissioned 30 March 1990
  • Struck from the Naval Register 1 June 1990
  • Sold for scrap 9 February 1993 by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service to Sea Witch Salvage of Baltimore, MD, for $12,000.


  • Displacement 775 t.
  • Length 172'
  • Beam 35'
  • Draft 12'
  • Speed 14 kts.
  • Complement 78
  • 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, replaced by four Waukasha Motors Co. diesel engines, two shafts, two controllable pitch propellers.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Illusive (AM 448)
    Illusive 27k 14 February 1953
    Being launched at the Seattle Shipbuilding and Dry Docking Co., Seattle, WA
    Seattle Public Library, Photo No. spl_shp_41039
    Mike Green
    Illusive 251k 16 October 1953
    National Archives photo from the Bureau of Ships collection National Archives Identifier 6933091
    Robert Hurst
    USS Illusive (AM 448)
    Illusive 114k Plank owners certificate John S. Fosberg
    USS Illusive (MSO 448)
    Illusive 27k 102 Minesweeper Web Site
    Dick Lewis
    Cape/Illusive 45k c. 1963.
    Cape (MSI 2) outboard of Illusive at San Francisco, CA.
    USS Cape (MSI 2) Web Site
    MINDIV 72 617k Ocean minesweepers of Mine Division 73 steam together in Pacific. Top to Bottom: Illusive, Conquest (MSO 488), Esteem (MSO 438), Gallant (MSO 489) and Pledge (MSO 492). The sweepers are working out of their home port at Long Beach, CA
    U.S. Navy photo from the August 1965 edition of All Hands magazine
    Joe Radigan
    Illusive 499k 1 September 1987
    Rota, Spain
    A starboard bow view of the ocean minesweeper Illusive leaving port. The Illusive was towed to the Persian Gulf to support U.S. Navy escort operations
    U.S. Navy photo DN-SN-88001105 by PH2 C. Duvall
    Robert M. Cieri
    Illusive 449k 1 September 1987
    Storekeeper 2nd Class Randy Summers stands watch at the helm of the ocean minesweeper Illusive
    U.S. Navy photo DN-ST-88-01147 by PH2 C. Duvall
    Bill Gonyo
    Illusive 418k 1 September 1987
    Crew members prepare to lower an acoustical device into the water during a training exercise
    U.S. Navy photo DN-SN-88-01073 by PH2 C. Duvall
    Fearless 390k Grapple (ARS-53) tows the ocean minesweepers USS Inflict (MSO-456), USS Fearless (MSO 442) and Illusive to the Persian Gulf to support U.S. Navy escort operations. The ships departed Little Creek, VA., on 6 September 1987. Traveling via the Suez Canal and arriving in the Gulf of Oman on 2 November 1987. At the time, the 9,000-nautical-mile (17,000 km) trip was the longest distance three ships were towed by one
    U.S. Navy photo ID DN-ST-88-01143 by PH2 C. Duvall
    Robert Hurst
    Illusive 106k Diver's head toward Illusive in the Persian Gulf, c. fall 1987
    Defense Visual Information Center photo DN-SN-88-01078
    Joe Radigan
    Illusive 394k Illusive off Sitrah, Bahrain, 26 December 1987. USS Conquest (MSO-488) in background
    Defense Visual Information Center photo DN-SC-88-03287
    Original photo: Joe Radigan
    Replacement photo: Robert Hurst
    Illusive 40k Illusive in foreground with Mount Vernon (LSD-39) in background, Persian Gulf, circa 1987-88.
    U.S. Navy photo
    Illusive 47k Illusive in foreground with Fearless (MSO 442) and Mount Vernon (LSD-39) in background. Mount Vernon was serving as a support vessel for the minesweepers in the Persian
    Gulf, 1987-88
    U.S. Navy photo
    Darrell G. Miller USS Mount Vernon
    Illusive 101k 20 September 1993
    Illusive at the Sea Witch Marine Salvage Company, Lambert Point, Baltimore, MD
    Photo by Dan Keller from "Warship Boneyards", by Kitt and Carolyn Bonner.
    Robert Hurst
    Illusive 61k 20 September 1993 Tommy Trampp
    Illusive 113k 13 July 1994
    Port side view of the ocean minesweeper Illusive at the Sea Witch Marine Salvage Company, Baltimore, MD. The ship is moored off to the side of the aircraft carrier Coral Sea (CV 43) which is also being scrapped out at the yard.
    Defense Visual Information Center photo DNSC9402523 by Don S. Montgomery
    Joe Radigan

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR John Edward Ruzic, USN14 November 1953 - 1954
    02LT Henry L. Stanfield, USN1954 - June 1955
    03LT Newton Henry Morgan, USNJune 1955 - 1958
    04LCDR Dale Steel Perry, USNJuly 1959 - 27 January 1961
    05LCDR Thomas Francis Kilduff, Jr., USN27 January 1961 - 1963
    06LCDR Norman Albertson, USN1963 - 1965
    07LCDR B. L. Peterson, USN1965 - 1967
    08LCDR Edward P. Jones, USN1967 - 1969
    09LCDR Frank Ducat, USN15 December 1970
    10LCDR Thomas Irvin Eubanks, USN2 March 1972 - 11 August 1973
    11LCDR Anthony John Kibble, USN11 August 1973 - 1974
    12LT Robert Vernon Coates, Jr., USN1974 - 1975
    13LCDR Charles Windfield Tuck, USN14 January 1977 - 1979
    14LCDR Robert James Shade, USN1979 - 1982
    15LCDR Frederick Hayes "Mad Dog" Michaelis, Jr., USN - USNA Class of 19691982 - 20 January 1984
    16LCDR David Gene Storer, USN - USNA Class of 197020 January 1984 - 7 March 1986
    17LCDR Robert David Liggett, USN - USNA Class of 19727 March 1986 - January 1988
    18LCDR Peter Wynkoop, Jr., USNJanuary 1988 - May 1988
    19LCDR John G. Hegeman, USNMay 1988 - 15 August 1988
    20LCDR Jerome E. Grause, Jr., USN (Blue Crew)15 August 1988 - 5 December 1988
    21LCDR Cary J. Hithon, USN (Gold Crew)5 December 1988 - 1989
    22LCDR Stephen Craig Bradley, USN1989 - 30 March 1990
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Peter M. Leenhouts

    View the Illusive (MSO 448)
    DANFS History entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Website
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