From: Dictionary of American Fighting Ships


Closeness or compactness.

(AM - 218: dp. 530; l. 184'6"; b. 33'; dr. 9'9"; s. 15 k.; cpl. 104; a. 1 3"; cl. Admirable)

Density (AM-218) was launched 6 February 1944 by Tampa Shipbuilding Co., Inc., Tampa, Fla.; sponsored by Miss M. Farmwald; and commissioned 15 June 1944, Lieutenant Commander R. R. Forrester, Jr., USNR, in command. She was reclassified MSF-218, 7 February 1955.

Density arrived at San Diego 23 September 1944 to serve as a training ship for the Small Craft Training Center at Terminal Island, until 2 February 1945, when she sailed for Pearl Harbor and Ulithi.

Density sortied from Ulithi 19 March 1945 to sweep mines preparatory to the invasion of Okinawa on 1 April. Patrolling off Okinawa for its capture and occupation, Density fired on the enemy in several suicide attacks. On 6 April she splashed several of the huge kamikaze force which struck the Fleet, then assisted Rodman (DMS-21), picking up 16 of her survivors and towing her to Kerama Retto. On the 22d she splashed an enemy attacker which cleared her bridge by only 10 feet, then rescued three survivors from stricken Isherwood (DD-520) before resuming her patrol. Five days later she recovered the body of an enemy officer from a plane she had downed and thus obtained valuable intelligence material including a secret code book and photographs. While sweeping mines she sank an enemy suicide boat off Naha on 4 May.

Density sailed from Okinawa 4 July to join a group of minesweepers supporting the 3d Fleet strikes against the Japanese homeland. From 9 to 28 August she was in San Pedro Bay, Leyte, for brief overhaul, and on 8 September put out from Okinawa to sweep mines in Japanese waters. She remained in the Far East on occupation duty until 20 November when she sailed for the west coast, arriving at San Diego 19 December. On 29 January1946 she arrived at Galveston, Tex., to provide services to the reserve fleet at Orange, Tex., and was placed in commission in reserve 14 May 1946. Density was decommissioned there 3 March 1947.

Density received three battle stars for World War II service.

[Transcriber's note from Mr John S. Platt: In February 1955 Density was sold by the US Navy to be used as a Greek cargo ship and renamed Manoula. By 1964 she was impounded in Miami for non payment of harbour dues.

She was bought in September 1964 and renamed MV Galaxy. She had a 50 kilowatt RCA transmitter installed and a 212 ft mast erected behind the funnel. She set sail from Miami on 22nd October 1964 for England via Puerto Rico and Madeira. The ship arrived in the Thames Estuary on 19th November 1964. She started broadcasting as Radio London, an offshore commercial station, on 23rd December 1964. She continued to broadcast until 14th August 1966 when the British Government enacted legislation prohibiting British nationals from working for the station or supplying it.

On 19th August she sailed to Hamburg where she remained until 1970 and she was sold for scrap. She remained in Hamburg until 1975 when she was moved to the shipyard and harbour of Howaldswerke-Deutsche Werft at Kiel. In 1979 she sank and stayed on the bottom until August 1986 when a conservation lobby persuaded the authorities to raise her due to concerns about pollution. She was raised and moved to dry land where she was scrapped.]


Transcribed by Yves HUBERT (