Current USS Gladiator
USS Gladiator (MCM-11) is the eleventh mine countermeasures (MCM) ship of the Avenger class. Gladiator was laid down 7 May 1990 by Peterson Builders, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin and commissioned 18 September 1993 with LCDR Christopher David Noble as the commanding officer.
In 1994 USS Gladiator completed sea trials and workups. Upon completions she made preparations to get underway for a six month deployment (MCM EURO 95) and the major exercise "Blue Harrier."
In 1995 USS Gladiator participated in NATO exercises "Blue Harrier '95", "Tridente '95" and went on her scheduled MCM EURO 95 deployment. During Blue Harrier, Gladiator was diverted to participate in the first port visit to St. Petersburg, Russia for over 20 years. In November 1995, During Operation "Drumstick '95", USS Gladiator became the first MCM since the Persian Gulf War, to participate in airborne MCM operations.
In 1996 USS Gladiator participated in participate in many tests and exercises including Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFX) 97-1.
In November 1999 USS Gladiator was directed to assist the USS Shrike (MHC 63) which had experienced engine difficulties and was adrift approximately 150 miles northeast of Ingleside, Texas. With sixty-five percent of the crew onboard, Gladiator sailed out of Naval Station Ingleside into the Gulf of Mexico and brought the Shrike back to safety.
In 2003 Gladiator deployed and participated in exercises such as GOMEX 03. In 2004 Gladiator was selected as the test platform for a new design in magnetic influence sweeping gear, the CL-1454 coaxial magnetic tail.
In 2007 Gladiator was transited in the submerged cargo hold of Military Sealift Command-chartered float-on/float-off ship MV Condock V from Ingleside, Texas, to Bahrain to avoid excess wear and tear on Gladiator’s engines. Since that time Gladiator operated in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
1st USS Gladiator
The first USS Gladiator was a tug built in 1876 at St. Mary's, Ga.; chartered from the Wilmington Towing Co., Wilmington, N.C.; commissioned 19 April 1918; and assigned to the 5th Naval District. On 20 August 1918 tug Emily B. owned by the same company, was substituted for Gladiator, and on 20 December 1918 Gladiator decommissioned and was returned to her owners.
2nd USS Gladiator
The second USS Gladiator (AM-319) was originally built as BAM-6, and was launched 7 May 1943 as AM-319 by the General Engineering & Drydock Co., Alameda, California and commissioned 25 February 1944 with Lt. Comdr. Robert W. Costello as the commanding officer.
USS Gladiator sailed from San Francisco in May 1944 with a convoy for Pearl Harbor and subsequently made four round trip escort voyages from Hawaii from 22 May-11 September 1944. Gladiator reached Ulithi on 12 November for patrol and escort duty. Gladiator sailed from Ulithi 19 March 1945 for combat at Okinawa.
While Vice Admiral Lee's battle ships bombarded Okinawa, Gladiator performed minesweeping operations and screening duties. On April 6 Gladiator was attacked by a Japanese bomber but with the help of four American fighters shot it down. Six days later another Japanese plane was splashed when Gladiator's automatic weapons brought it down. A third Japanese plane was shot down 22 April; but one Gladiator sailor was killed and five wounded by the plane's strafing. Gladiator operated off Okinawa until May when she took up convoy duty through June. In July 1945 Gladiator conducted minesweeping operations in the East China Sea, destroying six mines.
Gladiator reached San Francisco in December 1945 and was decommissioned in San Diego 4 October 1946 .
Recommissioned in February 1952 at Long Beach, Calif., Gladiator reached Wonsan, Korea, 27 October. She swept mines in those dangerous waters until returning to Sasebo in November. She divided her time between mine-sweeping operations at Wonsan, Inchon, and Hungnam until the spring of 1953.
Gladiator departed Sasebo 19 March 1953 and put in at Long Beach 10 April. She was decommissioned at Long Beach 15 March 1955. Redesignated MSF-319, Gladiator entered the reserve fleet berthed at Green Cove Springs, Fla. She was later transferred to the Pacific Reserve Fleet at San Diego, Calif. She remained in "mothballs" until 1973, when she was sold to Mexico and renamed Santos Delgollado.
Gladiator received two battle stars for World War II service.
For more detailed history on the second USS Gladiator visit the Navy Archive page at http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/g5/gladiator-ii.htm.