The Astoria Marine Construction Company produced many YM, AM and MSO minesweepers for service in World War II and the Korean Conflict. Several veterans of these proud vessels have visited our site, and it is in their honor that we post these images.
...and this submission from one of our vets!
The USS Dash in 1980
YMS 424 Vet Bill Day tells of Typhoon Tragedy
In July of 2009, we received the brief but amazing note from H. Willis (Bill) Day regarding some harrowing days aboard YMS 424 in the Pacific in 1944-1945. Bill writes, "My name is H. Willis Day, Jr, born June 7, 1925. I graduated from Columbia Midshipmans School in April, 1944; went to West Coast Sound School and US Navy Small Ship Training Center, Miami. I was assigned to USS YMS 424, to board her at Okinawa. I was to be the most junior officer aboard. A few weeks after I boarded, the typhoon of October 9, 1945 occurred. After abandoning the ship, hanging on a life raft with 4 other men for 12 hours, we landed on a small beach on an atoll. I believe its name was Kataka Shima (sp??). I would be interested to know of any information about the ship, my former mates and any other information you might give me. Thanks very much."
If you have any information for Bill, please let us know!
July 6. 1944 progress photo of YMS 424, Launched 12 August 1944; Completed 24 November 1944; Grounded and damaged in typhoon, Okinawa 9 October 1945 (see inset). Destroyed Dec 1945.
Calisto, YMS 137, Still Afloat!
Calisto, ready for launching in the shops of AMCCO, March 19, 1943
Calisto was one of the many Yard Mine Sweepers built for WWII and the Korean Conflict by the Astoria Marine Construction Company. Calisto, 135 feet long and displacing 292 tons, was designated as a “BYMS”, or British Yard Mine Sweeper, because it was one of two mine sweepers commissioned at AMCCO by the British Admiralty in 1943. After launching, Calisto was sailed to the UK by her British Crew. She served in the British Navy through the War and was sent to Malta in 1946. Returned to the US Navy in 1947 at the completion of her lend-lease, she was sold to Italy in May of that year. Later, she was sold into private hands, was refitted for cruising, and today is a charter yacht sailing out of Thailand.
Calisto on her way out of AMCCO with her Britsh crew, March 1943
Calisto as she appears today, (above and below)