Hopkins (DMS 13) at Empress Augusta Bay, 1 November 1943.


USS Dorsey (DMS 1, ex-DD 117).
USS Lamberton (DMS 2, ex-DD 119, later AG 21).
USS Boggs (DMS 3, ex-DD 136, later AG 19).
USS Elliot (DMS 4, ex-DD 146, later AG 104).
USS Palmer (DMS 5, ex-DD 161).
USS Hogan (DMS 6, ex-DD 178, later AG 105).
USS Howard (DMS 7, ex-DD 179, later AG 106).
USS Stansbury (DMS 8, ex-DD 180, later AG 107).
USS Chandler (DMS 9, ex-DD 206, later AG 108).
USS Southard (DMS 10, ex-DD 207).
USS Hovey, DMS 11, ex-DD 208).
USS Long (DMS 12, ex-DD 209).
USS Hopkins (DMS 13, ex-DD 249).
USS Zane, DMS 14, ex-DD 337, later AG 109).
USS Wasmuth (DMS 15, ex-DD 338).
USS Trever (DMS 16, ex-DD 339, later AG 110).
USS Perry (DMS 17, ex-DD 340).
USS Hamilton (DMS 18, ex-DD 141, later AG 111).
The German invasion of Poland in 1939 convinced the United States Navy that it needed a fast minesweeper, capable of operating in coastal waters and hoping to escape if taken under fire. Accordingly, it undertook conversion of seventeen Wickes and Clemson hulls: the four ships of Destroyer Division 52 (DMSs 1–4) and four recommissioned ships (DMSs 5–8), followed by an additional nine by 1940. The program added an eighteenth ship on 1941.

Conversion involved removing the number 4 boiler and stack plus all torpedo tubes, and modifying the stern to support sweeping davits, winch, paravanes, and kites. Depth charge racks were repositioned forward and angled outboard to allow clearance for the depth charges to drop free of the hull. Later two 60kw turbo-generators replaced the ships’ three 25kw units to provide a capability for sweeping magnetic and acoustic mines.


Seven flush-deck DMSs were lost during or immediately after World War II:
  • Wasmuth foundered in storm off the Aleutians and was destroyed when her own depth charges exploded, 29 December 1942.
  • Perry struck a mine and sank off Palau, 13 September 1944.
  • Hovey and Long were sunk by Japanese aircraft at Lingayen Gulf, 6 January 1945.
  • Palmer was also sunk by Japanese aircraft at Lingayen Gulf, 7 January 1945.
  • Dorsey was lightly damaged by a kamikaze off Okinawa, 27 March 1945; then was driven aground by a typhoon off Okinawa, 9 October, was decommissioned 8 December and was broken up in January 1946.
  • Southard also was driven aground on Tsugen Jima 9 October 1945. Decommissioned 15 December, she was stricken 8 January 1946 and her wreck was destroyed 14 January.


Seven flush-deck DMSs received nine Navy Unit CommendationsSouthard, Trever and Zane for action in the Southwest Pacific; Hopkins for action in the Solomon Islands and a second for action at Lingayen Gulf in 1945; Hovey for action in the Solomon Islands and a second for Palau; and Long and Hamilton for action at Palau.


Twenty-four Benson- and Gleaves-class destroyers were also converted as high-speed minesweepers in 1944–5.