In November of 1918, as the Armistice was signed and U.S. officers and crews looked forward to celebrating a post-war Thanksgiving, the ships engaged in minelaying were repurposed to minesweeping operations. Those on the chasers may have assumed that Thanksgiving 1919 would see them back in the U.S. with family and friends. But for many, this would not happen. Instead, as noted in the last issue, a number of U.S. submarine chasers were assigned to the North Sea Minesweeping Division to travel behind the sweepers and shoot and sink mines that floated to the surface.*
* See pages 154 and 155 of my book for a list of U.S. subchasers and minesweepers that took part in clearing the North Sea of mines, and Chapter 8 for an account of their service in the minesweeping division and the tools and methods employed.
Crewmen on submarine chaser SC-354 shooting mines in the North Sea, 1919. G.S. Dole Collection.
Continuing with the collection of images of U.S. minesweepers that the chasers served with, this month several more photos are added to the minesweeper page. Not until November of 1919 did these vessels see New York harbor.
Best wishes to all, as we approach the holidays this year.
—Todd Woofenden, editor