Edited by FLOYD FARRAR
Ex Electricians Mate 2/c
Early February 1959 thru mid August 1962
The second INFLICT (AM-456) was launched 16 October 1953, by Wilmington Boat Works, Inc., Wilmington, California, sponsored by Mrs. Robert E. Carlson; she was commissioned on 11 May 1954, in command was Lt. G. T. Ragon.
After shakedown along the West Coast, INFLICT engaged in sonar and mine sweeping exercises until she departed Long Beach 1 July for the Western Pacific. Arriving Yokosuka, Japan on 5 August 1954, she began operations with the navies of South Korea, Nationalist China, and Japan. In February 1955, she was reclassified as MSO-456. INFLICT returned to Long Beach 17 February 1956, and spent the remainder of the year on training operations along the west coast.
During 1957, INFLICT continued operations off California and Mexico, helping to maintain one of Americas mighty anti submarine warfare forces. The minesweeper sailed on 3 January 1958, for duty in the Far East. She arrived there as a crisis loomed in Indonesia. The strength of this mighty armada made itself felt as the crisis diminished quickly without incident. During her tour INFLICT participated in joint exercises with the Philippine, Thailand and Chinese Nationalist navies before returning to Long Beach on 15 July.
For the next 20 months she remained in California waters from San Diego toSanta Barbara constantly training to keep at peak readiness. In June 1959, INFLICT accompanied destroyers, other minesweeps, and heavy cruisers USS HELENA and USS BREMERTON up the Columbia River for the Portland, Oregon Rose Festival. INFLICT sailed 3 May 1960 for joint operations with our Asian allies in WesPac. She remained there for the next six months. Stopping at ports in Japan, Korea, Nationalist China, Hong Kong, The Philippines, Guam, and Pearl Harbor. While in Philippines the crew had the unusual opportunity to visit the island of Corregidor. She and her other sweeps were a symbol of joint naval cooperation for security of the Free World. She returned to Pier 9, Long Beach Naval Station on 16 November 1960. During 1961, INFLICT was engaged in minesweeping training operations and midshipman training out of Long Beach.
She sailed 7 April 1962, for exercises in and around Pearl Harbor. Participatingin the last atmospheric atom bomb tests, gathering data in and around Hawaiian waters from the air burst blasts above Johnston Island. She returned again to Long Beach on 17 August 1962.
During 1963, in addition to her training in California waters, INFLICT sailed 28 October for joint countermeasure exercises with Canada. Returning to Long Beach 3 December she resumed operations out of Long Beach until 22 May 1964, when she sailed for duty in the Far East. INFLICT again operated with friendly navies of Asia, and during the summer was deployed for service along South Vietnam, as our support of that embattled republic was increased to assist its struggle against aggression. INFLICT returned to Long Beach 7 December.
She sailed for the Far East on 7 February 1966. Arriving Subic Bay 28 March, she headed for"Market Time" station 5 April and remained on patrol preventing the infiltration of arms and men from North Vietnam to the south. Except for brief interludes, she continued this important duty until she left the war zone on 1 November and returned to Long Beach 13 December.
INFLICT continued to operate between her homeport of Long Beach, California and Vietnam, suffering some shore battery damage in the process, up to and including a reported heavy mortar shell through the forward berthing area.
Casualties taken were unknown to this author.
The shore battery damage I could never confirm. This info was related to me by an old shipmate. I ran into him in a Belmont Shore CA pub around 1966 or 1967. He was still in the Navy at the time. We even drove over to Fellows & Stewart Shipyard to see her in dry-dock. We could not get anyone at the gangway watch to tell us one way or another except that it was battle damage and a routine overhaul. NOTE: The 1966 or 1967 dates are not exact, you must remember this was the wild and woolly sixties and the authors memory of events during those days is fuzzy at best
The following two paragraphs were supplied by
CDR. S. Wayne Nuss, USNR-R Retired.
From November 1968 through the spring of 1971 INFLICT, along with the other four ships of MineDiv 71, were the first MSOs to go through the major MSO REHAB overhauls. Virtually the entire ship was reconfigured: all new Waukesha Diesels, a complete upgrade of the electronics, including radar, and all radio gear, removal of the WWII type 40MM with a modern 20 MM, all new interior appointments, including all new furniture and other hardware. Following our return to Long Beach from Marketime patrol in Vietnam on 24 June 68, we were in a major fleet exercise off Mexico, —we were the Russian Trawler for the exercise. We then received word that Kapalama shipyard in Honolulu, and not Long Beach shipyard, would be our home for the next year. The overhaul took almost 2 1/2 years. As Engineering Officer, I was kept on board to be liaison for the crew, acting as both EO and XO for the overhaul. I left active duty December 1970. The reason I mention the above is to show that this major upgrade extended the useful life of INFLICT far beyond its peers.
INFLICT, along with the rest of MineDiv 71 participated in "Operation End Sweep," which as part of the Vietnam peace agreement, swept Haiphong Harbor of mines we had laid. The operation was conducted from 28 January 1973 through 27 July 1973. This would be a preceding example, to that of the Persian Gulf, where MSO's were used for their designed purposes.
In 1974, she changed homeports sailing to the East Coast making Little Creek, Virginia her homeport. In September 1974, she operated out of Little Creek until 1986 when she became an Atlantic Fleet Reserve MSO.
In the fall of 1987, the Persian Gulf crisis started heating up with tankers being mined in the worlds oil lifeline sealanes. By that time the only actual minesweepers available to the US were six reserve MSOs, INFLICT included. She along with FEARLESS and ILLUSIVE were towed 9,000 nautical miles to the gulf by USS GRAPPLE (ARS-53).
The record compiled by the six US Navy MSOs operating in the gulf from 1987 through 1991 is by any definition exceptional. Within the first eighteen months of operations, the MSOs accounted for over fifty moored mines cleared three major minefields and check swept convoy tracks throughout the gulf. In March 1989, half of the MSOs returned to the states.
The INFLICT was one of the top hunters accounting for around 10 to 20 contact mines destroyed. After thirty years in the mine force the MSOs in the gulf had the rare opportunity to operate in the manner for which they had been designed
hunting and sweeping mines in established routes in advance of convoy sorties.
She was sold after the gulf war ended in December of 1992, and then scrapped in Baltimore, Maryland in November of 1993 And with her went many precious memories.
.To my knowledge
no artifacts were saved
Photo of the ship leaving Pier 9 LBNS
Circa late winter 1961
Photo courtesy of Larry Fugh EM2- Inflict Crewman 1959-1961
Patches from collection of Floyd Farrar