Salem was built in 1916 as the railroad ferry Joseph R. Parrott. With the outbreak of WWII, she became one of several commercial vessels taken into naval service and converted to large minelayers, commissioning as Salem in August 1942. Early in the war she carried out two minelaying missions, off Casablana and Sicily. By mid-1944 she had transferred to the Pacific, carrying ammunition between the various islands. Late in the year she joined several other large minelayers in being converted to a cargo ship for antisubmarine nets, although she was not redesignated. Salem was renamed Shawmut at the end of the war, with her previous name going to a new cruiser (CA 139). She was quickly taken out of service, and was sold soon after. Her new owners returned to her original civilian name, Joseph R. Parrott, and she continued to operate (apparently in the Central American fruit trade) until 1970.
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