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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Robert H. Smith (MMD 23)

Call sign:
November - Kilo - Lima - Zulu

Allen M. Sumner Class Destroyer/Robert H. Smith Class Light Minelayer:

  • Laid down 10 January 1944 as DD-735 by Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
  • Launched 25 May 1944
  • Reclassified as a Light Minelayer, DM-23, 19 July 1944
  • Delivered and commissioned USS Robert H. Smith (DM-23), 4 August 1944
  • Decommissioned 29 January 1947 at San Francisco, CA and laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, San Diego Group
    Naval Vessel Register of 1 January 1949 lists plan for decommissioning and placing in reserve as December 1946
  • Reclassified as a Fast Minelayer, MMD-23, 1 January 1969
  • Struck from the Navy Register 26 February 1971
  • Sold for scrap 1 November 1973 by the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service.


  • Displacement 2,380 t.(lt), 3370 t.(fl)
  • Length 376' 6"
  • Beam 40' 10"
  • Draft 18' 10"
  • Speed 34 kts.
  • Complement 363
  • Armament: Three twin 5"/38 dual purpose gun mounts, six twin 40mm gun mounts, eleven 20mm guns, two .50 cal. machine guns, two depth charge tracks and four depth charge projectors
  • Propulsion: Four Babcocks and Wilcox boilers, two 60,000shp General Electric Corp. geared turbines, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Robert H Smith 164k
    Robert H Smith 198k Steve Drawdy
    Robert H Smith 188k Underway with her mines visible amidships on tracks that lead over her stern
    National Archives photo 80-G-237956
    Robert Hurst
    Robert H Smith 284k Aft and forward plan views of Robert H. Smith at Mare Island on 27 June 1946. She was under going repairs at the yard from 30 April to 1 July 1946.
    U.S. Navy photos 2222-46 and 2223-46
    Darryl Baker
    Robert H Smith 266k

    Commanding Officers
    01CDR Henry Farrow, USN - USNA Class of 19264 August 1944 - 11 May 1945
    02CDR Wilber Haines Cheney, Jr., USN - USNA Class of 193411 May 1945 - 19 January 1947
    03LT Theodre McElhone Gilliand, USN - USNA Class of 194419 January 1947 - 29 January 1947
    Courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    View the Robert H. Smith (DM-23)
    DANFS History entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Website
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    NavSource Destroyer Pages, USS Robert H. Smith (DD-735)
    Naval Minewarfare Association
    Association of Minemen
    Back To The Main Photo Index Back To the Mine Warfare Ship Photo Index Back to the Fast Minelayer (MMD) Photo Index

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    This page created by Gary P. Priolo and maintained by Joe Radigan
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