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USS Peregrine (AG 176) on 9 May 1964.
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Class: PEREGRINE (AG 176, ex AM)
Design: Navy AM 221ft
Displacement (tons): (est.) 890 light, 1,235 full
Dimensions (feet): 221' oa, 215' wl x 32' e/wl x 11' max nav
Accommodations: (est.) 105-117
Speed (kts.): 18
Propulsion (HP): 3,200
Machinery: Geared diesel electric, 2 screws
|176||PEREGRINE||1 Apr 1964||Savannah Mach.||24 Oct 1944||17 Feb 1945||COM/SRV|
|176||PEREGRINE||31 Jan 1969||1 Feb 1969||6 Mar 1970||Navy sale||--|
PEREGRINE (AM 373), a late AUK class 220-foot steel hulled minesweeper, was commissioned on 27 September 1945 after the end of the war and after shakedown training was assigned as school ship for the Naval Mine Warfare School at Yorktown, Va. As such she conducted daily minesweeping activities in Virginia waters and at Charleston, S.C., and was also easily available for use in experimental tests. In 1948 the Bureau of Ships needed a test platform for a ship stabilization system using impellers that had been experimentally fitted in the forward boiler room of HAMILTON (DD 141) in 1939 but prematurely removed when the war began. The specifications of the impellers made AM 371 class minesweepers ideal as testbeds and on 21 September 1948 CNO designated PEREGRINE for the tests. The ship was fitted with a temporary "activated tank" system that had a water tank attached externally on each side amidships and that was designed to reduce the rolling motion of the ship by automatically pumping water rapidly from one tank to the other. The system was tested at sea in August 1949 and then removed, with a recommendation that the concept was worth pursuing.
On 19 February 1946 SECNAV directed that "hereafter the letter "E" prefixed to the classification letters of a ship or air unit ... will signify that experimental modifications require checking present characteristics before assignment of new or emergency tasks, as characteristics normal to the type may have been impaired." Accordingly PEREGRINE was referred to as E-AM 373 during the tests and reverted to AM 373 afterwards. The "E" was a prefix and not part of the ship's classification (in this case AM), and it did not appear in listings in the Naval Vessel Register.
In response to the magnetic mine threat wooden-hulled minesweepers replaced steel-hulled sweepers during the early/mid 1950s, but PEREGRINE remained active as an experimental ship in the Atlantic Fleet Mine Force homeported at Key West from 1955, eventually becoming the only one of her type. She was increasingly involved in special operations from 1960 and escorted the technical research ship OXFORD (AG-159) on patrol off Havana, Cuba, during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, earning an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. In around 1962 she again added an E prefix to her hull classification (this time rendered as EMSF 373). During 1963 PEREGRINE was involved in a major mapping project from Bermuda to Argentia and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Around this time all of her minesweeping equipment was removed. On 25 February 1964 her designation was changed again, this time to general auxiliary (AG-176), following which she engaged exclusively in classified oceanographic operations, special operations, and special project work. She shifted from the Atlantic to the Pacific in 1967.
|176||PEREGRINE||(completed 27 Sep 1945 as AM 373). To MSF 373 7 Feb 1955 and EMSF 373 in 1962. On 25 February 1964 effective 1 April 1964 PEREGRINE (EMSF 373) was reclassified AG 176.|
Compiled: 18 Oct 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021
Special sources: David W. Taylor Model Basin, Activated Antirolling Tanks Tested on the USS Peregrine (E-AM373), by Francis F. Vane, June 1951, https://dome.mit.edu/handle/1721.3/51149.