Cowie (DMS 39), flagship of MinRon 21 in 1945.
The second of two squadrons of fast minesweepers
Mine Squadron 21
Mine Division 62
, DMS 39,
, DMS 40
, DMS 41
, DMS 42
Mine Division 63
, DMS 33, flag
, DMS 34
, DMS 35
, DMS 36
formed at the end of World War II was Mine Squadron 21. As in the case of Mine Squadron 20
in late 1944, twelve Gleaves-class 1,630-tonners
were taken in hand for modification in 1945—DesRon 15’s Mervine
and DesDiv 30 ( Cowie
) plus DesRon 18’s Thompson
and DesDiv 35 (Carmick
, the first ship converted, became squadron flagship on rejoining the fleet in June 1945. The others began joining the squadron in San Diego during the summer.
Had the war continued past August, MinRon 21 would’ve seen action and likely played a leading role—possibly sustaining heavy losses—in the invasion of Japan, which was scheduled to begin in November. Instead, they conducted post-war minesweeping operations in Japanese and other western Pacific waters.
After returning home, although the squadron was disbanded, the ships remained in commission and thus were available to serve in the Korean War, where Carmick and Thompson each earned the Navy Unit Commendation.