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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Ship Photo Archive

Right patch contributed by Mike Smolinski

Avenger (MCM 1)

Call sign:
November - Alpha - Hotel - Charlie

Avenger Class Mine Countermeasures Ship:

  • Built by Peterson Shipbuilders Co., Sturgeon Bay, WI
  • Ordered, 29 June 1982
  • Laid down, 03 June 1983
  • Launched, 15 June 1985
  • Commissioned, 12 September 1987
  • Decommissioned at San Diego, 30 September 2014
  • Stricken from Naval Register same day
  • Sold to Marine Group Boat Works, San Diego, for scrapping, 03 November 2014
  • Final fate, demilitarized and dismantled by Whillock Contracting, Inc., San Diego, by May 2015 1
    1. Other sources, including Wikipedia, are inaccurate in stating she was part of the Pacific Reserve Fleet "as of 2019."

  • Displacement 1,040 tons
  • Length 210'
  • Beam 38'
  • Draft 10' 6"
  • Speed 14 knots
  • Complement 81
  • Armament: Two M2HB .50 cal. machine guns, two M60 7.62 mm machine guns, two Mk19 grenade launchers
  • Propulsion: Four Waukesha Motors Co. diesel engines, two controllable reversible pitch propellers, two shafts, two electric light load propulsion motors
  • Auxiliary Systems: Three Waukesha ship service diesel generator sets, one solar gas turbine generator, one omnithruster bow thruster system
  • Electronic systems: One AN/SSN-2 Precise Integrated Navigation System (PINS), one AN/SQQ-32 Mine Hunting Sonar, one AN/SPS-55 Surface Radar. one AN/WSN-2 Gyro Compass
  • Mine Countermeasure Equipment Suite: One AN/SLQ-48 (V) Mine Neutralization System, one AN/SQL-37 (V) 3 Magnetic/Acoustic Influence Minesweeping Gear, Oropesa type 0 size 1 Mechanical
    Sweep Equipment, MDG 1701 Marconi Magnetometer Degaussing System.

    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Avenger 338k 15 June 1985
    Commander Robert Sherwood Rawls, prospective commanding officer of the mine countermeasures ship Avenger, and Lieutenant Commander Mark Yarosh pose for a photo in front of the ship prior to its launching
    National Archives photo
    Bill Gonyo
    Avenger 158k A view of the aft poppets underneath the mine countermeasures ship Avenger prior to its launching Delta Squad
    Avenger 429k 12 September 1987
    Sturgeon Bay, WI
    A starboard quarter view of Avenger moored at Peterson Shipbuilders Inc. the morning of the ship's commissioning ceremony
    U.S. Navy photos DN-SC-88-06070 and DN-SC-88-06071 courtesy of Peterson Builders, Inc.
    Robert M. Cieri
    Avenger 316k
    Avenger 255k 12 September 1987
    Sturgeon Bay, WI
    Retired VADM James B. Stockdale, Cmdr. Robert S. Rawls, commanding officer, and Sybil Stockdale, the ship's sponsor, meet aboard the Avenger prior to commencing the
    commissioning ceremony
    U.S. Navy photo DN-SC-88-06075 courtesy of Peterson Builders, Inc.
    Avenger 397k 12 September 1987
    Sturgeon Bay, WI
    Cmdr. Robert S. Rawls, commanding officer, speaks during the commissioning of Avenger. The crew has already been piped to quarters
    U.S. Navy photo DN-SC-88-06077 courtesy of Peterson Builders, Inc.
    Avenger 430k 12 September 1987
    Sturgeon Bay, WI
    Retired VADM James B. Stockdale speaks during the commissioning ceremony for the Avenger.
    U.S. Navy photo DN-SC-88-06078 courtesy of Peterson Builders, Inc.
    Avenger 39k Line drawing Joe Radigan
    Avenger 175k Commissioning day
    U.S. Navy photo by PH1(AC) W. V. Breyfogle from the January 1988 edition of All Hands magazine
    Avenger 148k Outboard of Guardian (MCM 5) BMCS Richard Miller, USNR, Ret.
    Avenger 454k Avenger during her initial shock test in 1987. An explosive device was placed beside the ship and detonated in order to simulate a mine explosion. She only suffered very minor surface hull damage to the hull coating during the test Thomas K. Peters, EN1(SW), USN 1982 - 1991
    Avenger 97k Lead ship of her class, underway during her trials in late 1987
    Peterson Builders photo from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
    Original photo: Peterson Shipbuilders
    Replacement photo: Robert Hurst
    Avenger 372k 14 July 1987
    At Peterson Builders, Inc.
    U.S. Navy photos 330-CFD-DN-SC-87-11344 and 330-CDF-DN-SC-87-11350 from National Museum of the U.S. Navy
    Michael Mohl
    Avenger 463k
    Avenger 156k 1988
    Key West, FL
    Crew photo. The commanding officer, CDR Robert S. Rawls, USN on the right
    Delta Squad
    Photo added 28 June 2019
    Avenger 91k U.S. Navy photo from the September 1989 edition of All Hands magazine Joe Radigan
    Avenger 58k
    Avenger 122k
    Avenger 148k . Richard Miller, BMCS, USNR, Ret.
    Avenger 66k The mine countermeasure ship Avenger is docked at a pier in Norfolk, VA prior to being positioned aboard the submerged deck of the Dutch heavy lift ship SUPER SERVANT 3, 19 August 1990. The SUPER SERVANT 3 transported the Avenger and several ocean minesweepers to the Persian Gulf in response to Iraq`s invasion of Kuwait
    Photo DNSN9011817 by JO2 Sosa, USN
    Defense Visual Information Center
    Avenger 689k c. 1991
    USS Leader (MSO-490) outboard of Avenger
    Delta Squad
    Photo added 28 June 2019
    Avenger 58k c. 1999
    Malaga, Spain
    Scout (MCM 8), Champion (MCM 4) and Avenger in port
    Thomas Dollard
    Champion 82k 13 March 1999
    Champion (MCM 4), Devastator (MCM 6) and Avenger in line for refueling
    U.S. Navy photo 990313-N-7949J-0101
    Champion 437k 27 April 1999
    Champion (MCM 4) and Avenger at Toulon, France
    Photo by Guy Schaeffer
    Paolo Marsan
    Avenger 223k
    Avenger 103k 23 April 2001
    Avenger passes under the Coronado Bay Bridge after a port visit to San Diego. Avenger is on a scheduled six-month deployment.
    U.S. Navy photo 010423-N-8894M-001 by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Federick McCahan
    Bill Gonyo
    Avenger 318k c. 2002
    Crew photo
    Thomas Dollard
    Avenger 90k 16 April 2004
    Avenger leaves Naval Base San Diego for a training deployment. Avenger, homeported in Texas, recently visited San Diego during a four-month training deployment.
    U.S. Navy photo 040416-N-8977L-002 by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Johansen Laurel
    Bill Gonyo
    Avenger 452k 10 July 2004
    Pacific Ocean
    Avenger operates off the coast of Hawaii during exercise Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2004. RIMPAC is the largest international maritime exercise in the waters around the Hawaiian Islands. This exercise includes seven participating nations; Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States. RIMPAC is intended to enhance the tactical proficiency of participating units in a wide array of combined operations at sea, while enhancing stability in the Pacific Rim region..
    U.S. Navy photo 040710-N-6551H-229 by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Michelle R. Hammond
    Robert M. Cieri
    Avenger 86k 10 July 2004
    Taking on fuel from HSV Swift (HSV 2) while deployed to the Pacific in support of RIMPAC 2004
    Thomas Dollard
    Avenger/Defender 137k c. 2005
    Avenger and USS Defender (MCM 2) at hurricane mooring.
    HMC(SW) Charles T. Canterbury, IDC
    MHC Crew Gallant
    USS Shrike (MHC 62)
    Scout 221k 23 September 2005
    Ingleside, TX
    In preparation of Hurricane Rita, mine countermeasures ships home ported at Naval Station Ingleside nest in a modified mooring. Ships present (left to right): Unknown, Scout (MCM 8), unknown, Sentry (MCM 3), Champion (MCM 4), Pioneer (MCM 9), Chief (MCM 14), Gladiator (MCM 11), Avenger and Defender (MCM 2).
    U.S. Navy photo 050923-N-4913K-006 by Fifi Kieschnick
    Robert M. Cieri
    Avenger 90k c. November 2005
    Panama City, FL
    Cormorant (MHC 57) on the right.
    DC2(SS) David Johnston, USNR
    MCM Crew Implicit
    USS Warrior MCM-10
    Avenger 180k c. November 2005
    Panama City, FL
    Avenger 90k
    Avenger 90k
    Avenger 90k
    Avenger 186k 10 July 2009
    Sasebo, Japan
    Avenger exits the submerged deck of the Military Sealift Command contracted heavy-lift vessel Ocean Force during a float-on/float-off evolution in Sasebo. The second of two mine ships to arrive in Sasebo, Avenger will join sister ship USS Defender (MCM 2) to conduct an extended deployment in the western Pacific Ocean. USS New Orleans
    (LPD 18)
    is in the background
    U.S. Navy photo 090710-N-0807W-474 by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua J. Wahl
    Lee Wahler
    Avenger 302k 23 September 2009
    Departing Sasebo, Japan
    U.S. Navy photo 090926-N-8335D-534 by Mass Communication Specialist 1nd Class Richard Doolin
    Avenger 87k San Diego, CA
    U.S. Navy photo
    Robert Hurst
    Avenger 234k 25 April 2011
    Sasebo, Japan
    Mineman 3rd Class Joshua Sinsheimer gives navigational readings to the Executive Officer Lt. Cmdr. Patrick Sullivan on the bridge
    U.S. Navy photo 110425-N-SP676-087 by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian A. Stone
    Bill Gonyo
    Avenger 117k 29 April 2011
    East China Sea
    Mineman 3rd Class Joshua Sinsheimer, a search and rescue diver aboard Avenger, swims to a dummy during a man overboard drill
    U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian A. Stone
    Delta Squad
    Photos added 28 June 2019
    Avenger 55k 15 July 2014
    Sasebo, Japan
    Avenger and Pioneer (MCM 9) during turnover
    Avenger 169k 30 September 2014
    San Diego, CA
    Sailors assigned to the mine countermeasures ship Avenger depart for the last time during the decommissioning ceremony of the ship after 27 years of service
    U.S. Navy photo 140930-N-ZF681-028 by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Christopher Farrington
    Ron Reeves

    Commanding Officers
    01CDR Robert Sherwood Rawls, USN - Awarded two Meritorious Service Medals, two Navy Commendation Medals, two Navy Achievement Medals and the Combat Action Ribbon12 September 1987 - 21 July 1989
    02CDR James Donald Cope, USN21 July 1989 - 25 October 1991
    03LCDR Joseph Edward Zavodny, USN25 October 1991 - 23 June 1993
    04LCDR Terrence Christopher (Rock) Ryan, USN23 June 1993 - 18 February 1994
    05CDR Michael John O'Moore, USN18 February 1994 - 15 March 1995
    06LCDR John Christopher Piper, USNR15 March 1995 - 13 April 1996
    07LCDR David Michael Fillion, USN - USNA Class of 198213 April 1996 - 15 May 1997
    08LCDR Gary Robert Gilleon, USN15 May 1997 - 17 September 1997
    09LCDR Stephen Christopher Shoen, USN17 September 1997 - 13 June 1999
    10LCDR David Allan Chase, USN13 June 1999 - 30 March 2001
    11LCDR John Thomas Beaver, Jr., USN30 March 2001 - 8 November 2002
    12LCDR Glenn Philip Kuffel, Jr., USN8 November 2002 - 5 April 2004
    13LCDR Philip Edward Sobeck, USN - USNA Class of 19915 April 2004 - 10 August 2006
    14LCDR Jeffrey Albyn Bennett, II, USN - USNA Class of 19922006
    14LCDR Mark Raymond Rios, USN - USNA Class of 198210 August 2006 - 4 December 2007
    15LCDR James Paul (Jim) Lowell, USN - USNA Class of 19934 December 2007 - 15 February 2008
    16LCDR Steven A. Johnson, USN15 February 2008 - 19 June 2009
    17LCDR Kenneth R. Lieberman, USN19 June 2009 - 2 October 2010
    18LCDR Patrick L. German, USN - Awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, four Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals2 October 2010 - 17 November 2011
    19LCDR Patrick Joseph Sullivan, USN - Awarded two Meritorious Service Medals, two Navy Commendation Medals and two Navy Achievement Medals17 November 2011 - 6 September 2013
    20LCDR Todd Brian Penrod, USN6 September 2013 - 15 July 2014 (hull swap with MCM 9)
    21LCDR Adam Christopher Soukup, USN15 July 2014 - 30 September 2014 (Crew Exultant)
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Joe Radigan

    View the Avenger (MCM 1)
    DANFS History entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command website
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    This page was created by Gary P. Priolo & maintained by Joseph M. Radigan & David L. Wright
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    Last Updated 14 December 2023