Ships of the United States Navy
Ships in current service
Ships grouped alphabetically
Ships grouped by type
USS Inchon (MCS-12) with four MH-53E minesweeping helicopters on deck, 2001

This is a list of mine warfare vessels of the United States Navy.

Ship status is indicated as either currently active [A] (including ready reserve), inactive [I], or precommissioning [P]. Ships in the inactive category include only ships in the inactive reserve, ships which have been disposed from US service have no listed status. Ships in the precommissioning category include ships under construction or on order.

Historical overview

Mine warfare consists of: minelaying, the deployment of explosive naval mines at sea to sink enemy ships or to prevent their access to particular areas; minesweeping, the removal or detonation of naval mines; and degaussing, the process of decreasing or eliminating a remnant magnetic field in a ship's hull to prevent its detection by magnetic mines. The US Navy has operated ships and craft for all three purposes. Mine planting is the laying and maintenance of controlled mines for harbor defense, which was traditionally a role of the US Army.


Mine warfare ships were originally considered by the US Navy to be either auxiliaries or yard and district craft, and so were given hull classification symbols beginning with either 'A' or 'Y', depending on their capabilities. The exceptions were four converted cargo ships with ID numbers (prior to the modern hull system), certain large 'cruiser' minelayers which were given hull symbols beginning with 'CM', converted destroyers which were given hull symbols beginning with 'DM', and three unclassified civilian cargo ships after World War II.

On 7 February 1955 all of these ships and craft still in service or reserve were reclassed and received new hull symbols beginning with 'M', usually without change of hull number. The exception was the degaussing ships, which retained the 'A' hull symbol.

Modern Littoral Combat Ships use 'L' hull symbols even though they can be used for mine warfare.

Auxiliary minelayers (ACM)

All ACMs except USS Buttress and USS Monadnock were originally US Army mine planters.

Chimo class

PCE-842 class

Camanche class

Other classes

Degaussing ships (ADG)

Further information: Degaussing

Minesweepers (AM)

USS Lapwing (AM-1)

Lapwing class

USS Osprey (AM-56)

Raven class

The Raven class became Minesweepers, steel hulled (MSF) on 7 February 1955.

USS Pheasant (AM-61)

Auk class

The Auk class became Minesweepers, Steel Hulled (MSF) on 7 February 1955.

Bullfinch class

Catbird class

Albatross class (1940)

Kite class

Goshawk class

Goldcrest class

Adroit class

All ships of this class were converted to submarine chasers (PC)

Hawk class

USS Admirable (AM-136)

Admirable class

Main article: List of Admirable-class minesweepers

The Admirable class became Minesweepers, steel hulled (MSF) on 7 February 1955.

Algerine class (built for the United Kingdom)

These minesweepers were built for the U.K. and redesignated from an AM hull number to a J hull number. Most were returned to the US at the end of Lend-Lease.

USS Agile (AM-421) as (MSO-421)

Agile class and Aggressive class

These classes have considerable overlap; some ships are considered both Agile and Agreessive class.[by whom?] A few more are occasionally considered Dash class. These classes became Minesweepers, ocean (MSO) on 7 February 1955.

Accentor or Acme class

The Acme class became Minesweepers, ocean (MSO) on 7 February 1955.

Ability class

The Ability class became Minesweepers, Ocean (MSO) on 7 February 1955.

Other/unknown class

Auxiliary base minesweepers (AMb)

Coastal minesweepers (AMc)

Pipit class

Goshawk class

Chatterer class

Grosbeak class

Crow class

Egret class

Frigate Bird class

Reedbird class

Firecrest class

Accentor class

Agile class

Acme class

Admirable class

PCS-1376 class

Main article: List of patrol vessels of the United States Navy § Patrol craft sweeper (PCS)

The PCS-1376 class of coastal minesweepers were originally Patrol Craft Sweepers (PCS) which lacked minesweeping gear. They were built on 134-foot YMS-1-class minesweeper hulls and then converted into sonar school ships or back into minesweepers.[3]

Other/unknown classes

Many coastal minesweepers were civilian ships purchased by the US Navy and then converted for use as minesweeper ships. Among them are various designs and makes of yachts, fishing vessels, and other ships.

Coastal minesweepers (Underwater locator) (AMCU)

On 7 February 1955, all AMCU's were redesignated as Coastal minehunters (MHC). Hull numbers were not changed.

AMCU-7 class

All AMCU-7 class minesweepers were conversions of Landing Craft Infantry (LCI).[4]

YMS-1 class

PCS-1376 class

Other/unknown classes

Ocean minesweepers (AMS)

YMS-1 class

Adjutant class or Bluebird class

The name of this class of ships internationally is Adjutant, named for the USS Adjutant (AMS-60), which was cancelled and transferred to Portugal as the Ponta Delgada (M 405). The first commissioned ship of this class in the US Navy was the USS Bluebird (AMS-121), hence its US Navy class name. This class became Minesweepers, coastal (MSC) on 7 February 1955.

Albatross class

The Albatross class became Minesweepers, coastal (MSC) on 7 February 1955.

Other/unknown classes

British minesweepers (BAM)

For more vessels of this class see Catherine class minesweeper

Minelayers (CM)

Further information: List of cruisers of the United States Navy § Cruiser minelayers (CM)

See also: § Converted steamships and freighters (ID)

Aroostook class

Catskill class

Other/unknown classes and unique ships

Coastal minelayers (CMc)

Light minelayers (DM)

Wickes class

These ships were originally designated as Wickes class destroyers and later reclassified to light minelayers around 1920.

Clemson class

These ships were originally designated Clemson class destroyers and later reclassified as light minelayers in 1937.[7]

Robert H. Smith class

These ships were originally designated Allen M. Sumner-class destroyers but were converted to Robert H. Smith class destroyer minelayers in 1944. In 1955 they would be reclassified as Fast minelayers (MMD).[7]

High speed/Destroyer minesweepers (DMS)

Further information: Destroyer minesweeper

Wickes class

Clemson class

Gleaves class

Converted steamships and freighters (ID)

Further information: Section patrol craft § Identification numbers (ID)

Eight steamships and freighters laid the North Sea Mine Barrage during World War I.[5]

Mine countermeasures ships (MCM)

Avenger class

Further information: Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship

Mine countermeasures support ships (MCS)

Many Mine Countermeasures Support (MCS) ships were previous vehicle landing, tank landing, dock landing, or amphibious assault ships that were reclassified to the MCS type in later years.

Catskill class

Osage class

LST-542 class

Ashland class

Iwo Jima class

Coastal minehunters (MHC)

On 7 February 1955, all Coastal minesweepers (Underwater locator) (AMCU)s were redesignated as MHCs. Hull numbers were not changed. Bobolink, Bunting, and the Osprey class never had AMCU designations.

LCI(L)-351 class aka AMCU-7 class

YMS-1 class

PCS-1376 class

Other/unknown classes

Osprey class

Coastal minelayers (MMC)

Auk class

LSM-1 class

At least 9 Landing Ship Medium (LSM)s were converted into coastal minelayers for transfer to NATO allies.[12]

unknown class

Fast minelayers (MMD)

Fast Minelayers (MMD) were originally classed as Light minelayers (DM), but were redesignated in 1955. Hull numbers were not changed.[13]

Robert H. Smith class

Fleet minelayers (MMF)

Catskill class

Minesweepers, coastal (MSC)

All Albatross and Bluebird class MSC vessels were originally classed as Ocean minesweepers (AMS) prior to 7 February 1955. Hull numbers were not changed.

Bluebird class

MSC-218 class

Albatross class (1960)

Unknown/other class

Minesweepers, coastal (Old) (MSC(O))

All Ocean minesweepers (AMS) which were originally YMS-1 class minesweepers and still on hand on 7 February 1955 were redesignated as Minesweepers, coastal (Old) (MSC(O)). Hull numbers were not changed.

YMS-1 class

Minesweepers, steel hulled (MSF)

All MSF vessels were originally classed as Minesweepers (AM) prior to 7 February 1955. Hull numbers were not changed.

Raven class

Auk class

Admirable class

Inshore minesweepers (MSI)

Minesweepers, ocean (MSO)

All MSO vessels were originally classed as Minesweepers (AM) prior to 7 February 1955. Hull numbers were not changed.

Agile or Aggressive class

Ships of this class are variously called Agile or Aggressive class depending on source. Some four ships are also sometimes named as a part of a distinct Dash subclass.

Acme class

Ability class

Minesweepers (Special device) (MSS)

Note that the official classification of these as devices rather than ships accounts for these ships absence of listings among the Navy's ships while designated MSS-1 and MSS-2.

Submarine minelayers (SM)

Main article: List of submarines of the United States Navy

District auxiliary, miscellaneous (YAG)

Main article: List of yard and district craft of the United States Navy § District auxiliary, miscellaneous (YAG)

Three Liberty ships were converted into experimental minesweepers.

Another Liberty ship, the SS R. Ney McNeely, was also converted into an experimental minesweeper, but was returned to the reserve fleet without having a YAG number assigned.[21]

Degaussing craft (YDG)

Further information: Degaussing

Motor mineplanters (YMP)

Further information: Mine planter

Mineplanters were used to plant and maintain controlled mines for harbor defense; since the US Army had the primary responsibility for these minefields it is likely that the YMP hull designation was seldom used.

Auxiliary motor mine sweepers (YMS)

YMS-1 class

All Auxiliary Motor Mine Sweeper (YMS) ships to date are YMS-1 class, which itself has multiple subclasses.

YMS-1 subclass

YMS-135 subclass

YMS-446 subclass

Littoral combat ships (LCS)

Main article: Littoral combat ship § List of littoral combat ships

The Littoral Combat Ships can carry mine warfare modules which operate unmanned vehicles of various types for mine clearance operations.

Unclassified civilian minesweepers

After the end of World War II three war-damaged civilian ships with skeleton Navy crews and automated engineering spaces were used as minesweepers to trigger still-active US pressure mines in Japanese waters. There ships were not Navy ships and were to be disposed and therefore were not assigned Navy hull classifications. Reportedly no active mines were found.[54][55]

See also



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Notable U.S. Navy Ships Lost Since World War II". US Naval Institute. Retrieved 13 August 2022.
  2. ^ "Barcelo (IX-199)"
  3. ^ Friedman, Small Combatants, pp. 91-93
  4. ^ Friedman, 2002, pp 148, 581-614
  5. ^ a b c d e Belknap, Reginald Rowan The Yankee mining squadron; or, Laying the North Sea mining barrage (1920) United States Naval Institute p.110
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Silverstone, Paul H. U.S. Warships of World War II (1968) Doubleday pp. 205–209
  7. ^ a b c d e f Silverstone, Paul H. U.S. Warships of World War II (1968) Doubleday p.212
  8. ^ Martin, Edwin J; Rowland, Richard H (April 1, 1982). Castle Series, 1954 (PDF). Washington DC: Defense Nuclear Agency. OCLC 831905820. DNA 6035F – via Defense Technical Information Center.
  9. ^ "USS Dorsey (DMS-1)". Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  10. ^ "USS Southard (DMS-10)". Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  11. ^ Ian Johnston (17 January 2013). "US Navy ship stuck on reef nearly a day after running aground off Philippines". NBC News. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
  12. ^ Friedman, 2002, pp 521-541
  13. ^ "MMD : MINELAYER, FAST".
  14. ^ a b c d e f Operation Dominic I (PDF) (DNA6040F), Washington, DC: Defense Nuclear Agency, 1983, archived from the original (PDF) on 23 August 2012, retrieved 12 January 2014
  15. ^ NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive - AM / MSO-493 Stalwart
  16. ^ " - photogallery". Retrieved 2021-03-27.
  17. ^ "MSO-523". Retrieved 2021-03-27.
  18. ^ YAG-36
  19. ^ YAG-37
  20. ^ YAG-38
  21. ^ Maritime Administration. "R. Ney McNeely". Ship History Database Vessel Status Card. U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  22. ^ "Casualties Navy and Coast Guard Ships - Continued".
  23. ^ "USS YMS-14". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  24. ^ 32 YMS-1 class vessels were lost in US Naval service, 2 in Korea with the AMS classification. (See: "YMS class Minesweepers". Retrieved 2007-12-20.)
  25. ^ "USS YMS-19". Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  26. ^ "USS YMS-21". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  27. ^ "USS YMS-24". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  28. ^ "USS YMS-30". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  29. ^ "USS YMS-39". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  30. ^ "USS YMS-48". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  31. ^ "USS YMS-50". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  32. ^ "USS YMS-70". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  33. ^ "USS YMS-71". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  34. ^ "USS YMS-84". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  35. ^ "USS YMS-98". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  36. ^ "USS YMS-103". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  37. ^ "USS YMS-133". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  38. ^ "USS YMS-146". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  39. ^ "USS YMS-275". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  40. ^ "USS YMS-304". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  41. ^ "USS YMS-341". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  42. ^ "USS YMS-350". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  43. ^ "USS YMS-365" (PDF). NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  44. ^ "USS YMS-378". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  45. ^ "USS YMS-383". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  46. ^ "USS YMS-385". Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  47. ^ "USS YMS-409". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  48. ^ "USS YMS-421". Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  49. ^ "USS YMS-424". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  50. ^ "USS YMS-481". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  51. ^ "USS YMS-454". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  52. ^ "USS YMS-472". NavSource Online. Retrieved 2022-08-12.)
  53. ^ "DD736". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History and Heritage Command. Retrieved 1 May 2012.
  54. ^ Looking for trouble, the Guinea Pig Squadron
  55. ^ Pratt Victory photo, mine Hunter


Museum ships