USS Launcher

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Launcher LSM-446

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Launcher
(LSM-446: dp. 520, 1. 203'6"; b. 34'6"; dr. 8'4"; s. 12.5
k.; cpl. 106; a. 2 40mm., 8 20mm.; cl. LSJf-1 )

LSM-446 was laid down by Dravo Corp., Wilmington, Del., 16 March 1945; launched 28 April 1945 sponsored by Mrs. Maryann Abucewicz; and commissioned 26 May 1945, Lt. Comdr. Harry E:. Harman III in command.

After shakedown in Chesapeake Bay, LSM-446 joined the Landing Craft Training Flotilla in July for duty with the Atlantic Fleet Operational Development Force. Based at Norfolk, Va., she operated in Chesapeake Bay and along the Virginia coast during the remainder of the year. In January 1947 she transferred to Little Creek, Va., and during June and July underwent conversion to a radar test and evaluation ship.

During the next 4 years she served as E-LSMl-~446 out of the Norfolk area and took part in numerous research and development operations for the Naval Research Laboratory. She cruised regularly to the Atlantic off Virginia and ranged the east coast from Quonset Point, R.I., to Mayport, Fla., while engaged in evaluation projects and training operations. In addition she cruised the Gulf of Mexico w hile operating off the Texas coast during January and February 1949. On 26 October 1951 she arrived Green Cove Springs, Fla., decommissioned there 20 December 1951, and entered the Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

Reclassified as a drone aircraft catapult control craft in August 1954, YV-' recommissioned 20 October, 1954 at Norfolk, Va., Lt. Richard Weidemeyer in command. During shakedown 2 days later, she launched her first drone aircraft, and for the remainder of the year she trained out of Little Creek.

Assigned to Commander, Air Force, U.S Atlantic Fleet, YV-3 departed Little Creek 20 January 1955 for duty in the Caribbean. She reached San Juan, P.R., 25 January and for the next 2 months launched drones during antiaircraft gunnery exercises by ships of the fleet. She returned to Little Creek 26 March and operated along the Atlantic coast during the rest of the year.

From 1956 to 1960 YV-2 made five more deployments to the Caribbean and cruised to waters oft Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Cuba while supporting air defense training exercises. While operating out of Little Creek, she maintained a pattern of training operations along the Atlantic coast from the Virginia Capes to Narragansett Bay. She was named Launcher 1 June 1957. After returning to Little Creek from the Caribbean 24 February 1960, she decommissioned at Norfolk 3 May 1960 and was sold at Norfolk to Portsmouth Salvage Co.. Inc., 4 November 1960.