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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Courtesy of Al Grazevich

Courtesy of Mike Smolinski

Vital (MSO 474)

Call sign:
November - Sierra - November - Romeo

Aggressive Class Minesweeper:

  • Laid down, 31 October 1952 as AM-474 by the Burger Boat Co., Manitowoc, Wisc.
  • Launched, 12 August 1953
  • Reclassified as an Ocean Minesweeper, MSO-474, 7 February 1955
  • Commissioned USS Vital (MSO-474), 9 June 1955 at Boston Naval Shipyard, Charlestown, MA
  • Decommissioned, 22 September 1972
  • Struck from the Navy Register in September 1977
  • Sold for scrap 21 July 1979 by the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service to Union Minerals and Alloys Corp. of New York, NY for $25,250.


  • 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, 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 controllable pitch propellers, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Vital 37k Zippo lighter Mike Smolinski
    Photo added 30 August 2019
    Vital 97k c. 1955
    U.S. Navy photo from the 1959/1960 edition of Jane's Fighting Ships
    Original photo: USS Vital Web site
    Replacement photo: Robert Hurst
    Vital 86k c. 1960
    Valletta, Malta
    Anthony Vella
    Senglea, Malta
    Vital 53k Photo by Wright and Logan, Southsea, England from the 1960/1961 edition of Jane's Fighting Ships Robert Hurst
    Vital & Venture 306k 19 March 1969
    La Spezia, Italy
    Outboard of Venture (MSO 496)
    Carlo Martinelli

    Commanding Officers
    01LT Bruce Edward Prum, USN9 June 1955 - 20 March 1957
    02LT/LCDR Herbert Tucker Lake, USN20 March 1957 - 25 January 1958
    03LCDR Felix Salvatore "Hap" Vecchione, USN25 January 1958 - 18 July 1959
    04LCDR Stanley Washburn Jones, USN18 July 1959 - 12 August 1960
    05LCDR Edward John Hedbawny, USN12 August 1960 - 15 February 1963
    06LT Irvine Keith Heyward, IV, USN - USNA Class of 195415 February 1963 - 1964
    07LCDR Virgil Chester Snyder, USN1964 - 19 November 1965
    08LT/LCDR Donald Henry Porter, USN19 NOvember 1965 - 12 June 1968
    09LT/LCDR Richard James White, USN12 June 1968 - May 1970
    10LCDR Thomas Edward Blundell, USNMay 1970 - 31 July 1971
    11LCDR George Edward Scearce, USN31 July 1971 - July 1972
    12LT Raymond Arthur Grandon, Jr., USNJuly 1972 - 22 September 1972
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    View the Vital (MSO-474)
    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 was created by Gary P. Priolo & maintained by Joseph M. Radigan & Michael Mohl
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