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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Left and center courtesy of Mike Smolinski, right courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler

Esteem (MSO 438)

Call sign:
November - Delta - Foxtrot - Hotel


Aggressive Class Minesweeper:

  • Laid down 1 September 1952 as Esteem (AM-438) by the Martinolich Shipbuilding Co., San Diego, CA
  • Launched 20 December 1952
  • Reclassified as an Ocean Minesweeper, MSO-438, 7 February 1955
  • Commissioned USS Esteem (MSO-438), 10 September 1955
  • Decommissioned 30 September 1970
  • Recommissioned 27 August 1971
  • Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register 30 September 1991 and laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, Bremerton, WA Group
  • Disposed of through the Maritime Administration 6 March 2000
  • Sold for scrap to Crowley Marine Services of Long Beach, CA.


  • Displacement 775 t.
  • Length 172'
  • Beam 35'
  • Draft 12'
  • Speed 14 kts.
  • Complement 78
  • Armament: As built, one 40mm gun mount and 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, replaced by four Waukasha Motors Co. diesel engines, two shafts, two controllable pitch propellers.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Esteem 80k 10 September 1955
    Commissioning invitation
    Mike Smolinski
    USS Esteem (MSO 438)
    Esteem 60k Richard Miller, BMCS, USNR, Ret.
    Esteem 42k Photos courtesy of RMCS Ron Schwab, USN Dick Lewis
    102 Minesweepers (MSO)
    Oceangoing Minesweepers website
    Esteem 167k Photo courtesy of Sam McCrow
    Esteem 89k . Tommy Trampp
    Esteem 179k
    Esteem 291k U.S. Navy photo David Wright
    Esteem 141k c. October 1955
    Post-commissioning shakedown off San Diego. Note original MSO configuration with short stack and boom for handling motor whaleboat. In march 1956 Long Beach Naval Shipyard removed boom and installed Wellin davit for launching motor whaleboat
    Photo courtesy of Stan Cochran
    Original photo: Dick Lewis
    102 Minesweepers (MSO)
    Oceangoing Minesweepers website
    Replacement photo: David Wright
    Esteem 128k c. 1956
    U.S. Navy photo
    Robert M. Cieri
    Esteem 91k 2 July 1956
    U.S. Navy photo
    David Wright
    Esteem 177k c. September 1957
    Returning to Long Beach, CA from deployment to WestPac
    Bridge Officer on the right is LTJG Stanley H. Cochran
    Esteem 228k c. mid-1958
    Off San Diego
    Photo courtesy of Stan Cochran
    Dick Lewis
    102 Minesweepers (MSO)
    Oceangoing Minesweepers website
    Esteem 257k 19 August 1960
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Photo by Walter E. Frost from City of Vancouver Archives
    Michael Mohl
    MINDIV 72 617k Ocean minesweepers of Mine Division 73 steam together in Pacific. Top to Bottom: USS Illusive (MSO 448), Conquest (MSO 488), Esteem, Gallant (MSO 489) and Pledge (MSO 492). The sweepers are working out of their home port at Long Beach, CA
    U.S. Navy photo from the August 1965 edition of All Hands magazine
    Joe Radigan
    Esteem 137k c. Spring 1973
    USS Guadalupe (AO-32) refueling Esteem off the coast of Vietnam during Operation Endsweep
    CDR Michael Cosgrove, USN, Ret. USS Conquest
    Esteem 130k c. 1978
    Pier 90, Seattle, WA
    Esteem, USS Conquest (MSO 488), USS Implicit (MSO 455), USS Higbee (DD 806), USS McKean (DD 784) and inboard of the DD's is USS Hector (AR 7)
    Dave Hood GMT2
    Esteem 144k 9 July 1986
    Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
    Photo by Rick Garcia
    Chris Howell
    Enhance 98k 29 October 1987
    Arabian Gulf

    The long awaited U.S. Navy Minesweepers US-[MSO] 438 the Esteem, followed by US- [MSO] 437 Enhance, lead the Frigate Carr [FFG 52], top right, and the Support ship Barbour County [LST 1195], up the Arabian Gulf off Dubai today Thursday, bringing the number of U.S. warships in the area to Forty
    Associated Press wirephoto pk42030 by Peter Kemp

    Tommy Trampp
    Esteem 385k 1 March 1988
    U.S. Navy photo DN-ST-89-02594 by PH2 Alexander C. Hicks, Jr., USN
    Robert Hurst
    Esteem 102k c. fall 1989.
    Esteem, Conquest (MSO 488) and Enhance (MSO 437) inport at Basrac Shipyard, Bahrain towards the end of Operation Earnest Will
    Tom Womble,
    Esteem 92k c. fall 1989.
    Basrac Shipyard Drydock, Bahrain.
    Esteem 65k c. fall 1989.
    Basrac Shipyard worker repairs deck on port side O1 level
    Esteem 106k c. fall 1989.
    LT Dave Bruin, Esteem's Chief Engineer. Basrac Shipyard.
    Esteem 48k c. Winter 1989.
    Esteem's Wardroom. LCDR Steve Johnson (CO), LT Russ Harris (XO), LT Dave Bruin (Chief Engineer), ENS Wes Spence (Deck), ENS Tom Womble (Supply), LTJG Pete Petrucione (Operations), ENS Steve Powell (Communications), on port side of Pilot House while ship was inport Basrac Shipyard, Bahrain
    Esteem 88k c. Winter 1989.
    LT Dave Bruin, LTJG Pete Petrucione, ENS Wes Spence in the Wardroom after hours
    Esteem 91k c. Winter 1989.
    LTJG Pete Petrucione enjoys a humorous tape on an off duty night in the Arabian Gulf.
    Esteem 182k c. Winter 1989.
    Port propeller, in dry dock, Basrac Shipyard, Bahrain.
    Esteem 107k c. Winter 1989.
    Starboard quarter, in dry dock, Basrac Shipyard, Bahrain.
    Esteem 102k c. Winter 1989.
    Stern view, in dry dock, Basrac Shipyard, Bahrain.
    MSO-437/438/488 78k c. November 1989.
    Esteem, Enhance (MSO 437) and Conquest (MSO 488) in the Arabian Gulf
    MSO-437/438/488 75k c. April 1990.
    Esteem, Enhance and Conquest return to Seattle aboard the Super Servant 3 from the Arabian gulf. This apparently was the first multiship lift for the Navy.
    MSO-437/438/488 63k
    Esteem 75k c. Summer 1990.
    Pilot House of Esteem while in a maintenance period at Lake Union Drydock Company, Seattle, WA.
    Esteem 58k c. fall 1990.
    Open bridge.
    Lake Union Drydock Co, Seattle, WA.
    Esteem 108k 26 June 2000
    Being scrapped at Crowley Marine Services
    Photo courtesy of Friends of USS Esteem MSO-438
    Tommy Trampp
    Esteem 88k

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR George W. Bird, USN10 September 1955 - July 1957
    02LT Timothy J. Keen, USNJuly 1957 - 1958
    03LT Howard Norman Kay, USN - USNA Class of 1948-BApril 1958 - 12 October 1959
    04LCDR James Patrick "Jim" McMahon, USN12 October 1959 - 8 July 1960
    05LCDR George Albert Harper, USN8 July 1960 - 1961
    06LCDR James Thomas Williams, USN1961 - 17 July 1963
    07LCDR/CDR Thomas Owen Nutt, Jr., USN17 July 1963 - 28 April 1965
    08LCDR Hainyard Liston "Les" Horne, Jr., USN28 April 1965 - 8 August 1967
    09LCDR Paul Hamilton Jacobs, USN8 August 1967 - 23 July 1969
    10LT/LCDR Lauren Seeber, USN23 July 1969 - 30 September 1970
    11LT Frank John Dobscha, Jr., USN30 September 1970 - 1972
    12LT Donald Bruce Haslett, USN - USNA Class of 19661972 - 11 August 1974
    13LT Stanley B. Chepenik, USN11 August 1974
    14LCDR William Harvey Skidmore, USN1979
    15LCDR Thomas Milton Daly, USN1979 - 1980
    16LCDR Arthur Eugene Osiecki, USNJanuary 1980 - February 1983
    17LCDR William Howard Ward, USNFebruary 1983 - 10 August 1985
    18LCDR Alfred W. Mitchell, USN10 August 1985 - 1986
    19LCDR Peter Avard Chipman Long, USN1986 - 27 June 1987
    20CDR Robert Emmett McCabe, III, USN - USNA Class of 197427 June 1987 - January 1988
    21LCDR Bruce T. VanBelle, USNJanuary 1988 - June 1988
    22LCDR William A. Weronko, USNJune 1988 - October 1988
    23LCDR James E. Keys, Jr., USNOctober 1988 - July 1989
    24LCDR Michael Stewart O'Bryan, USN - Awarded the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, Seven Legions of Merit and the Bronze Star
    Retired as Rear Admiral
    July 1989 - August 1989
    25LCDR Michael McQueen Moore, USNAugust 1989 - October 1989
    26LCDR Steven Paul Johnson, USNOctober 1989 - May 1990
    27LCDR Richard B. Southard, USNMay 1990 - 20 September 1991
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves, Peter M. Leenhouts and Joe Radigan

    View the Esteem (MSO-438)
    DANFS History entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Website
    Additional Resources and Websites of Interest
    Booklet of General Plans
    from the Historic Naval Ships Association website
    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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