Most of the information in this brief history of the USS Inaugural is from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.  I have added some commentary & additional information in colored text.  Some colored & underlined words are links that have supplemental information.


USS Inaugural  AM-242

Inaugural - Pertaining to an inauguration.

(AM-242; Class: Admirable; Displacement: 530; Length: 184'6"; Beam: 33'; Draft: 9'9"; Speed: 15 k.; Complement: 104; Armament: 1 3", 4 40mm)  [The gun configuration is disputed.  Click here --> Guns ]

Inaugural (AM-242) was laid down 22 May 1944 by Winslow Marine Railway & Shipbuilding Co., Winslow, Wash. [the last of the 17 all-steel, all-welded minesweepers built by Winslow Marine Railway]; launched 1 October 1944; sponsored by Miss Jacqueline Gage  [17 year old daughter of J.A. Gage, Winslow Marine purchasing agent]; and commissioned 30 December 1944, Lt. J. H. Pace in command.

"AM-242, the U.S.S. Inaugural, is completed.  She had been trialed and she's ready for sea.  The sincere wishes for continued success from Winslow shipbuilders who assembled her and gave her the breath of life follow in her graceful wake.  Good luck always, INAUGURAL!" -- "The Minesweeper" (Winslow Marine) Friday, January 5, 1945.

Following shakedown off the California coast, Inaugural sailed 14 March 1945 for Pearl Harbor, where she arrived 8 days later. For the next 2 months the minesweeper performed patrol and escort duties between Hawaii and the islands of the western Pacific. She was at Saipan 22 May and departed that day with a convoy bound for Okinawa, site of the last and largest amphibious operation of the tough Pacific war. After a voyage enlivened by several attacks on suspected submarines, the convoy reached Okinawa 30 May 1945.

During the desperate struggle for Okinawa, Inaugural patrolled the seas around the island group, often firing at enemy planes as Japanese aircraft made a suicidal effort to stop American ground forces by destroying their support from the sea. Except for the period 19-24 July, when the ship put to sea to ride out the great typhoon, Inaugural remained in the dangerous waters around Okinawa until 30 August 1945.

With the war then over, she steamed to the waters around Japan and Korea for vital minesweeping operations that were a necessary prelude to occupation. She swept the approaches to Jinsen, Korea, in September, and later cleared mines in waters off Nagasaki and Sasebo, Japan. Inaugural proceeded to Okinawa for needed equipment 14-24 October and then resumed to the important minesweeping operations around the Japanese home islands.

The veteran minesweeper sailed 24 December for the United States, via Saipan and Pearl Harbor, and arrived San Pedro, Calif. 7 February 1946. Sailing again 11 March, she proceeded to Galveston, Tex., and decommissioned there 9 September 1946.  Inaugural entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Texas Group, where she remained until struck from the Navy List 1 March 1967 and sold. [This is incorrect:  She was decommissioned at the Naval Reserve Base, Orange, Texas, where she remained until sold] She was reclassified MSF-242 on 7 February 1955. [Transcriber's Note; It is believed that Inaugural became a museum hulk at St. Louis, Mo., in 1968.][The Inaugural indeed became a museum in 1968.  It was located on the Mississippi under the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, until she broke loose from her moorings and subsequently sunk in the Flood of 1993]

Inaugural received two battle stars for World War II service.

From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


USS Inaugural AM242  Copyright 2001 Jared Johnson  All rights reserved.

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