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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Swan (MSC[O] 37)
ex-Swan (AMS 37)

Call sign:
November - Quebec - Zulu - Delta


YMS-1 Class Auxiliary Motor Minesweeper:

  • Laid down 12 August 1943 as PCS-1438 by the Gibbs Gas Engine Co., Jacksonville, FL
  • Reclassified as an Auxiliary Motor Minesweeper, YMS-470, 27 September 1943
  • Launched 5 April 1944
  • Completed and commissioned USS YMS-470, 14 October 1944
  • Decommissioned 1 June 1946 at Stockton, CA and laid up at San Diego, CA
    Naval Vessel Register of 1 January 1949 lists plan for decommissioning and placing in reserve as February 1947
  • Named Swan and reclassified as a Motor Minesweeper, AMS-37, 18 February 1947
  • Recommissioned 8 November 1950
  • Reclassified as a Coastal Minesweeper (Old), MSC(O)-37, 7 February 1955
  • Decommissioned 6 October 1955 at Green Cove Springs, FL
  • Struck from the Navy Register 1 November 1959
  • Sold in 1959 to the General Motors Defense Research Laboratories at Santa Barbara, CA
  • Acquired in 1960 by the General Motors Corp. of Goleta, CA
  • Acquired around 1980 by Windjammer Cruises of Honolulu, HI for use as a yacht and renamed Royal Taipan
  • Acquired in the early 1990s by Sause Brothers Ocean Towing Co., Inc. of Portland, OR
  • Sank a short time later and was out of documentation in 1996.


  • Displacement 270 t.
  • Length 136'
  • Beam 24' 6"
  • Draft 8'
  • Speed 15 kts.
  • Complement 32
  • Armament: One 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount, two 20mm mounts and two depth charge projectors
  • Propulsion: Two 880bhp General Motors 8-268A diesel engines, Snow and Knobstedt single reduction gear, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS YMS-470
    YMS-470 138k San Francisco Bay, circa 1945
    Courtesy of Donald McPherson, 1976
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 84991
    Mike Green
    SC-1306 46k Chief Motor Machinist Mate Murdock Rozell Hewett enlisted in the Navy on 18 May 1939. Upon completion of training was assigned to the destroyer USS Rueben James (DD-245) on 9 September 1939. He served aboard Rueben James until he was transferred to the American Locomotive Company on 20 February 1941 for training on diesel engines. He was then assigned to the USS Betelgeuse (AK-28) once training was completed arriving aboard on 14 June 1941. He served on the AK until being reassigned to Norfolk 26 January 1943 for additional training on diesel motors. He was next assigned to the USS SC-1306 when she was commissioned on 4 September 1943. On 18 June 1944 he was transferred back to U.S. Naval Training Station Norfolk [Virginia] for further training. Having completed training he was part of the commission crew for the USS YMS-470 on 14 October 1944. His service aboard ended on 31 May 1945 when his orders transferred him to stateside San Francisco, California
    Acme Newspictures photo
    Bill Gonyo
    USS Swan (AMS 37)
    Swan 40k Namesake: Swan - Any of various heavy-bodied, long-necked, mostly pure white aquatic birds, related to but larger than the goose. These birds walk awkwardly but fly strongly once started and swim gracefully Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 8 March 2020
    Bluebird 95k Naval Minecraft Base Charleston, SC. View of Pier Baker from the Ashley River showing crowded mooring condition at pier
    U.S. Navy photo
    Robert Hall

    Commanding Officers
    01LT Emanuel Duke, USNR14 October 1944 - March 1945
    02LTJG Stanley S. Rapport, USNRMarch 1945 - June 1945
    03LTJG John T. Knight, USNRJune 1945 - September 1945
    04LTJG Stanley S. Rapport, USNRSeptember 1945 - December 1945
    05LTJG Eugene E. Boynton, USNRDecember 1945 - March 1946
    06LTJG John T. Knight, USNRMarch 1946 - 1 June 1946
    07LT George A. Cashman, USNR8 November 1950 - 21 July 1952
    08LT William Reutter Steers, USN/USNR - USNA Class of 194621 July 1952 - 18 October 1952
    09LTJG Ronald Stewart Burton, USN - USNA Class of 1948-B18 October 1952
    ??LCDR Charles Henry Garner, USN
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Joe Radigan

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships History:


    Any of various heavy-bodied, long-necked, mostly pure white aquatic birds, related to but larger than the goose. These birds walk awkwardly but fly strongly once started and swim gracefully.

    The second Swan was laid down on 12 August 1943 by the Gibbs Gas Engine Co., at Jacksonville, Fla., as PCS-1438; redesignated YMS-470 on 27 September 1943; launched on 5 April 1944; completed and commissioned on 14 October 1944.

    YMS-470 operated along the east coast of the United States until March 1945. She then sailed to the South Pacific and operated in the vicinity of New Caledonia and the New Hebrides until August. From there, the minesweeper moved north for duty at Okinawa and in Japan, in connection with post-war minesweeping and the occupation of Japan. YMS-470 returned to the United States in mid-April 1946 and, on 1 June, was decommissioned and placed in reserve at Stockton, California. While there, she was named Swan and redesignated AMS-37.

    In 1950, with the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, Swan was called back to active service. She was towed to the Bethlehem Pacific Coast Corp. yard at San Francisco, where she was recommissioned on 8 November 1950. For just over three years, the ship trained crews for minesweepers serving in the Far East. She operated with Mine Squadron 5 on the west coast, first as flagship of Mine Division (MinDiv) 55 and later of MinDiv 51. In January 1954, Swan was reassigned to MinDiv 45 of the Atlantic Fleet and home ported at the Minecraft Base in Charleston, S.C. A year later, she joined MinDiv 44 as a school ship at the Mine Warfare School at Yorktown, Va. She was redesignated MSC(0)-37 on 1 August 1955, and reported to the Florida Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet for inactivation and decommissioning.

    Swan was decommissioned on 6 October 1955 and berthed at Green Cove Springs, Fla. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 November 1959, and she was sold to the General Motors Defense Research Laboratories at Santa Barbara, for conversion to a research vessel.

    Back to the Main Photo Index Back to the Patrol Craft/Gunboat/Submarine Chaser Ship Index Back to the Patrol Craft Sweeper (PCS) Photo Index Back to the Mine Warfare Ship Photo Index Back to The Auxiliary Motor Minesweeper (YMS) Photo Index Back To The Motor Minesweeper (AMS) Photo Index Back to the Coastal Minesweeper (MSC) Photo Index

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