USS Swerve (AM-121)
first Swerve (AM-121) was laid down on 27th of May 1942 by the Shipyard
John H. Mathis Co., Camden, N.J.; launched on 25th of February 1943, sponsored
by Miss E C. Draemel, and commissioned on 23rd of January 1944, Lt A.
Northland, USNR, in command.
On 29 March, while operating with the Mine Division 18, she sailed to
Charleston, S.C. Swerve stood out of Charleston on 7th of April as an
escort for CK-2 en route to Bermuda. The convoy arrived there on the 18th
and, on the 8th of May, she sailed to the Azores. Swerve called in at
Gibraltar and proceeded to Naples.
The minesweeper sailed for Palermo, Sicily, on 20th of May and arrived
there the next day. She made a voyage to Bizerte and returned to Naples.
The ship sailed for Anzio on 4th of June and arrived off the beach the
next day. Swerve remained off Anzio from 5th to 18th June. The ship was
under enemy air attacks on the 5th and 9th but was not damaged. On the
19th, she sailed to Malta, for degaussing. Training exercises were held
off Salerno from 22nd June to 4th July. The next day, the minesweeper
sailed for Anzio again.
On the 9th of July the USS Swerve (AM 121) and the USS Seer received the
order to clear mines from an area normally used by cargo ships, along
the Laziale coast. At 07:00 they left the port of Naples and at 11:30
began the clearing operation in off Anzio. USS Swerve was directing the
operations; at 12:59 the captain gave the order to recover gear and head
back to port.
After few minutes she struck a mine and she sunk.
Swerve had 7 injured and 3 killed, one of those is still aboard the ship,
the other 2 men were seen to be blown apart at the time of the explosion.
The injured were taken to the hospital in Naples and they were given dry
Army clothes and shoes and put on an Landing Craft Infantry and taken
to Oran (North Africa), then back to the States. USS Swerve received one
battle star during her WW2 service.