War Cruise of the USS Hilarity AM 241
by Tommie Latin Burger

The USS Hilarity was commissioned on November 27, 1944, in Winslow, Washington. From there she completed her shake down cruise by sailing just off the coast of Washington, Oregon and California to San Diego. One night during the shake down cruise the ship made enemy sub contact. After several hours and numerous depth charge runs she was ordered to proceed to San Diego. The next day a dirigible sent to the scene of the contact found no oil slick--but did find a dead whale.

After several training sessions around San Diego and Catalina Island the ship departed for Pearl Harbor on February 10, 1945. After additional training and being fitted with an anti-sub hedge hog weapon and new depth charges she sailed for Eniwetok, escorting a tug towing a barge.

On April 20, 1945 the ship crossed the 180th meredian and all lizards became Golden Dragons.

The Ship arrived Eniwetok on April 27, 1945 after 17 days of escorting tug and tow.

From there she sailed to Saipan, leaving there on May 24, 1945 as part of an escort convoy for the 6th Marine Division in 30 LST's. On this trip sub contact was made and several depth charge runs were made before The Hilarity was relieved by another ship and ordered to return to the convoy.

The Hilarity arrived at Okinawa on May 29, 1945, and spent the next 78 days on picket lines, riding out one typhoon and dodging kamikazi airplanes.

After Japan surrendered, the ship left Okinawa with several other mine sweepers for Korea, sweeping her first enemy mine on September 1, 1945. Later the mine sweepers cleared the harbor and approaches of mines for the 10th Army Occupation Forces.

From Korea the mine sweepers sailed to Sasebo, Japan, where they cleared the harbor and approaches of mines for the occupation forces. Sasebo harbor was used as a base while sweeping several mine fields in the area and riding out another typhoon.

Christmas 1945 found The Hilarity in route to Wakayama, Japan, where she was to rendezvous with two other AM mine sweepers to escort six YMS sweepers back to the States.

After several stops along the way, The Hilarity arrived in San Diego on February 6th, completing 11 months and 26 days overseas.

From San Diego the ship sailed south along the Mexican coast and through the Panama Canal, then north to New Orleans, where she was overhauled. The majority of the crew was discharged from active service. She then steamed to Orange, Texas, where she was moth balled.

Scoreboard for the USS Hilarity included sweeping 78 mines, 1 island invasion and 2 enemy subs contacted.

May She Never Be Needed Again.

Last revised May 19, 1997

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