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|64k||3 March 1942
Shortly after launching
Laid down in June 1941 at the Henry C. Grebe and Co. shipyard in Chicago, IL, the USS YMS-84 was a YMS-1 Class Auxiliary Motor Minesweeper built for the United States Navy and commissioned into service in May 1942. Notable for being the first US Navy Vessel built in Illinois during the Second World War, the YMS-84 and her crew steamed down the Mississippi River to New Orleans and then into the Gulf of Mexico, where she began training and convoy escort duties through early 1943.
Crossing the Panama Canal and entering the US Pacific Fleet, the YMS-84 and her crew passed through Pearl Harbor on their way to join the US Southwest Pacific Force operating in the Solomon Islands. Working as a Minesweeper, transport, convoy escort and anti-aircraft screen among other roles for the next two years, the YMS-84 and her crew worked their way up the Solomon Islands Chain with US forces through 1943 and into 1944 and steamed to the Philippine Archipelago in late 1944 to sweep the myriad channels free of Japanese mines as the US fought to retake the islands. With the Philippines campaign winding down in early 1945 and moving further inland, the YMS-84 and her crew retired to the Allied base at Manaus where she underwent upkeep and repair while awaiting the marshalling of the ships and men of the Allied force bound for Borneo.
Standing out of Manaus in late April, the YMS-84 joined with several other minesweeping units off Tarakan on May 1st and swept the landing beaches for Japanese mines as the combined troops of four Allied nations invaded the island. Continuing her work for over a month, the YMS-84 stood out for the shores of Balikpapan in late June and began minesweeping duties there in advance of an
Allied invasion force.
When the combined US/Australian force hit the shores of Balikpapan on 1 July 1945 the YMS-84 and her crew had been at work clearing the heavily mined harbor approaches for over 24 hours under heavy shore fire. Coming to the aid of disabled landing craft or ships knocked out by mines or shore fire as she continued her sweeping operations, the YMS-84 made it through the worst of the shoreside fighting and with the battle progressing steadily inland began sweeping out the rest of Balikpapan harbor. So engaged on July 9th and while proceeding through a cleared shipping lane, the YMS-84 struck a drifting mine, likely cut loose from its anchor by other minesweepers. Taking the blast towards her Stern, the Veteran Minesweeper took severe damage in her rudder stock and propeller, as well as having many of the seams in her wooden hull opened up by the blast. Within minutes, the YMS-84 was taking a considerable list to Starboard and beginning to swamp by the Stern, and with no way to check the enormous amounts of water entering her hull the order was passed to abandon ship. Though several of her crew were wounded by the blast, all of her men were able to get off the YMS-84 onto other ships and landing craft before the three year old Minesweeper sank stern-first at this location on 9 July 1945.
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This page created and maintained by Joseph M. Radigan |