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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Mainstay (MSF 261)

Call sign:
November - Golf - Whiskey - Lima

Admirable Class Minesweeper:

  • Laid down 10 April 1943 by the American Shipbuilding Co., Lorain, OH
  • Launched 31 July 1943
  • Commissioned USS Mainstay (AM 261), 24 April 1944
  • Decommissioned 6 November 1946 at Bremerton, WA
  • Placed in service, caretaker status in July 1947 at Yokosuka, Japan
  • Placed "in service" 28 November 1947
  • Placed "out of service" 16 April 1948
  • Recommissioned 1 March 1949
  • Decommissioned 10 January 1950 at Yokosuka, Japan
  • Recommissioned 12 December 1950
  • Decommissioned 21 September 1954 at Long Beach, CA and entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet at San Diego, CA
  • Reclassified as a Fleet Minesweeper (Steel Hull), MSF-261, 7 February 1955
  • Struck from the Naval Register 1 December 1959
  • Sold for scrap 8 August 1960 to National Metal and Steel Corp. of Terminal Island, CA.


  • Displacement 945 t.(fl)
  • Length 184' 6"
  • Beam 33'
  • Draft 9' 9"
  • Speed 14.8 kts.
  • Complement 104
  • Armament: One 3"/50 dual purpose mount, one twin 40mm gun mount, six 20mm gun mounts, one depth charge projector (hedgehog), four depth charge projectors (K-guns) and two depth charge tracks
  • Propulsion: Two 1,710shp Cooper Bessemer GSB-8 diesel engines, National Supply Co. single reduction gear, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Mainstay 89k Method (AM 264) and Mainstay under construction Historical Collections of the Great Lakes
    Mainstay 238k c. 1944
    Norfolk, VA
    The Hotel Chamberlin in Hampton, VA is in the background
    Jim Tomlinson, whose father, Charles Tomlinson served in Mainstay
    Mainstay 258k c. 1944
    Off Norfolk, VA
    Mainstay 246k

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR Henry Boyle Clark, Jr., USNR24 April 1944 - 9 December 1945
    02LT Hendrik William Turgo "Hank" Nyland, USN9 December 1945 - 24 July 1946
    03LT William Kenneth Bickenbach, USNR24 July 1946 - 6 November 1946
    04LT Frank Mason Smith, Jr., USNR6 November 1946
    05LT Don Henry Lane, USNR28 November 1947
    06LT William Bryan Patterson, USNR15 February 1948 - 17 April 1948
    07LT John Spence Crow, USN1 March 1949 - June 1949
    08LT Edward W. Linton, USNJune 1949 - January 1950
    09LT Thomas Emmett Reynolds, USN12 December 1950
    10LCDR Claude Denis Gilcrist, USNRDecember 1951 - November 1952
    11LCDR John Hobson Wagner, USNRNovember 1952 - 21 September 1954
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves, Joe Radigan and R. A. Moody

    View the Mainstay (MSF 261)
    DANFS History entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Website
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Naval Minewarfare Association
    Association of Minemen
    Back To The Main Photo Index Back To the Mine Warfare Ship Photo Index Back to the Minesweeper (AM) Photo Index

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    This page created and maintained by Joseph M. Radigan
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