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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Courtesy of Al Grazevich

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Illusive (MSO 448)

Call sign:
November - Romeo - Oscar - Yankee


Aggressive Class Minesweeper:

  • Laid down 23 October 1951 by the Martinolich Shipbuilding Co., San Diego, CA
  • Launched 12 July 1952
  • Commissioned USS Illusive (AM-448), 14 November 1953
  • Reclassified as an Ocean Minesweeper, MSO-448, 7 February 1955
  • Decommissioned 30 November 1970
  • Recommissioned 3 February 1972
  • Decommissioned 30 March 1990
  • Struck from the Naval Register 1 June 1990
  • Sold for scrap 9 February 1993 by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service to Sea Witch Salvage of Baltimore, MD, for $12,000.


  • 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
    Illusive (AM 448)
    Illusive 27k 14 February 1953
    Being launched at the Seattle Shipbuilding and Dry Docking Co., Seattle, WA
    Seattle Public Library, Photo No. spl_shp_41039
    Mike Green
    Illusive 251k 16 October 1953
    National Archives photo from the Bureau of Ships collection National Archives Identifier 6933091
    Robert Hurst
    USS Illusive (AM 448)
    Illusive 114k Plank owners certificate John S. Fosberg
    USS Illusive (MSO 448)
    Illusive 27k 102 Minesweeper Web Site
    Dick Lewis
    Cape/Illusive 45k c. 1963.
    Cape (MSI 2) outboard of Illusive at San Francisco, CA.
    USS Cape (MSI 2) Web Site
    MINDIV 72 617k Ocean minesweepers of Mine Division 73 steam together in Pacific. Top to Bottom: Illusive, Conquest (MSO 488), Esteem (MSO 438), 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
    Joseph M. Radigan (of blessed memory)
    Illusive 499k 1 September 1987
    Rota, Spain
    A starboard bow view of the ocean minesweeper Illusive leaving port. The Illusive was towed to the Persian Gulf to support U.S. Navy escort operations
    U.S. Navy photo DN-SN-88001105 by PH2 C. Duvall
    Robert M. Cieri
    Illusive 449k 1 September 1987
    Storekeeper 2nd Class Randy Summers stands watch at the helm of the ocean minesweeper Illusive
    U.S. Navy photo DN-ST-88-01147 by PH2 C. Duvall
    Bill Gonyo
    Illusive 418k 1 September 1987
    Crew members prepare to lower an acoustical device into the water during a training exercise
    U.S. Navy photo DN-SN-88-01073 by PH2 C. Duvall
    Fearless 390k Grapple (ARS-53) tows the ocean minesweepers USS Inflict (MSO-456), USS Fearless (MSO 442) and Illusive to the Persian Gulf to support U.S. Navy escort operations. The ships departed Little Creek, VA., on 6 September 1987. Traveling via the Suez Canal and arriving in the Gulf of Oman on 2 November 1987. At the time, the 9,000-nautical-mile (17,000 km) trip was the longest distance three ships were towed by one
    U.S. Navy photo ID DN-ST-88-01143 by PH2 C. Duvall
    Robert Hurst
    Illusive 106k Diver's head toward Illusive in the Persian Gulf, c. fall 1987
    Defense Visual Information Center photo DN-SN-88-01078
    Joseph M. Radigan (of blessed memory)
    Illusive 394k Illusive off Sitrah, Bahrain, 26 December 1987. USS Conquest (MSO-488) in background
    Defense Visual Information Center photo DN-SC-88-03287
    Original photo: Joseph M. Radigan (of blessed memory)
    Replacement photo: Robert Hurst
    Illusive 40k Illusive in foreground with Mount Vernon (LSD-39) in background, Persian Gulf, circa 1987-88.
    U.S. Navy photo
    Illusive 47k Illusive in foreground with Fearless (MSO 442) and Mount Vernon (LSD-39) in background. Mount Vernon was serving as a support vessel for the minesweepers in the Persian
    Gulf, 1987-88
    U.S. Navy photo
    Darrell G. Miller USS Mount Vernon
    Illusive 101k 20 September 1993
    Illusive at the Sea Witch Marine Salvage Company, Lambert Point, Baltimore, MD
    Photo by Dan Keller from "Warship Boneyards", by Kitt and Carolyn Bonner.
    Robert Hurst
    Illusive 61k 20 September 1993 Tommy Trampp
    Illusive 113k 13 July 1994
    Port side view of the ocean minesweeper Illusive at the Sea Witch Marine Salvage Company, Baltimore, MD. The ship is moored off to the side of the aircraft carrier Coral Sea (CV 43) which is also being scrapped out at the yard.
    Defense Visual Information Center photo DNSC9402523 by Don S. Montgomery
    Joseph M. Radigan (of blessed memory)

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR John Edward Ruzic, USN14 November 1953 - 1954
    02LT Henry L. Stanfield, USN1954 - June 1955
    03LT Newton Henry Morgan, USNJune 1955 - 26 July 1957
    04LCDR Victor Manley Vissering, Jr., USN26 July 1957 - 26 August 1959
    05LCDR Dale Steel Perry, USN26 August 1959 - 21 July 1961
    06LCDR Thomas Francis Kilduff, Jr., USN - USNA Class of 1948-E21 July 1961 - 26 July 1963
    07LT/LCDR Norman Albertson, USN26 July 1963 - 24 May 1965
    08LT/LCDR Bob Lane Peterson, USN24 May 1965 - 19 August 1967
    09LCDR Edward Patrick Jones, USN19 August 1967 - 2 December 1969
    10LCDR Frank Dukat, USN2 December 1969 - 30 November 1970
    11LCDR Thomas Irvin Eubanks, USN2 March 1972 - 11 August 1973
    12LCDR Anthony John Kibble, USN11 August 1973 - 1974
    13LT Robert Vernon Coates, Jr., USN1974 - 1975
    14LCDR Charles Windfield Tuck, USN14 January 1977 - 1979
    15LCDR Robert James Shade, USN1979 - 1982
    16LCDR Frederick Hayes "Mad Dog" Michaelis, Jr., USN - USNA Class of 19691982 - 20 January 1984
    17LCDR David Gene Storer, USN - USNA Class of 197020 January 1984 - 7 March 1986
    18LCDR Robert David Liggett, USN - USNA Class of 19727 March 1986 - January 1988
    19LCDR Peter Wynkoop, Jr., USNJanuary 1988 - May 1988
    20LCDR John G. Hegeman, USNMay 1988 - 15 August 1988
    21LCDR Jerome E. Grause, Jr., USN (Blue Crew)15 August 1988 - 5 December 1988
    22LCDR Cary J. Hithon, USN (Gold Crew)5 December 1988 - 1989
    23LCDR Stephen Craig Bradley, USN1989 - 30 March 1990
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Peter M. Leenhouts

    View the Illusive (MSO 448)
    DANFS History entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Website
    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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