From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


A small migratory bird of the flycatcher family native to North America.

(MSC-199: dp. 320; 1. 144'; b. 28'; dr. 9'; s. 13 k.; cpl. 39; a. 2 .30 cal. mg.)

The second Phoebe (AMS-199) was laid down by the Harbor Boat Building Co., Terminal Island, Calif. 26 February 1953, launched 21 August 1954, sponsored by Mrs. Anne Elizabeth Gotch; reclassified MSC-l99 on 7 February 1955; and commissioned 29 April 1955, Lt. George D. Ferguson in command.

After training out of Long Beach and San Diego, Phoebe served as a schoolship for the prospective crew of Whippoorwill (MSC-207) in early summer and in September, of Widgeon (MSC-208).

Phoebe became flagship of Mine Division 31, Mine Squadron 3, on 6 January 1956. She departed Long Beach 4 March for the Far East, touched the Hawaiian Islands, and arrived Yokosuka, Japan, 4 April. Six days later she shifted to Sasebo, her permanent base of operations. A unit of Mine Squadron 3, Phoebe spent the next eight years in a rigorous schedule of minehunting and warfare tactics with the 7th Fleet. Much of her time was taken for maneuvers with minesweeping units of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, the Chinese Nationalist Navy, the Republic of Korea Navy, and the Republic of the Philippines Navy. This duty took her to the principal ports of Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Okinawa, and the Philippines.

Early 1964 was spent operating out of Japan and Okinawa In July Phoebe sailed for Subic Bay, the South China Sea, and Vietnam, returning to Subic Bay in August. A U.S. - Korean mine exercise was held in October, and a U.S. - Japanese mine exercise in December.

Phoebe spent five months of 1965 on "Market Time" operations in Vietnam. She spent the beginning, middle, and end of the year in Japan. During the year she steamed 24,000 miles, reaching as far from her homeport as Bangkok.

In March 1967 Phoebe resumed "Market Time" operations in Vietnam waters. Most of the rest of the year she operated out of Sasebo, with a combined U.S.- Republic of China mine exercise in September, and more "Market Time" service in November.

In February 1968 Phoebe took part in a combined U.S.- Japanese mine exercise. Most of the rest of the year she operated out of Sasebo, with a "Market Time" patrol in September and October, during which she boarded 201 junks and a U.S.- Korean mine exercise in November. As of late 1969 Phoebe was still operating out of Sasebo, Japan.