USS Dextrous (MCM 13) is the 13th Avenger class Mine Countermeasures Ship and the second ship in the Navy to bear the name. She was built by Peterson Shipbuilders, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin and commissioned on 9 July, 1994.
USS Dextrous is stationed in Manama, Bahrain and regularly patrols the Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf. Part of the forward deployed forces belonging to COMCMRON THREE, Dextrous ensures the sea in her assigned area is clear of anti-ship mines. She also participates in regular exercises and operations and performs many roles.
1st USS Dextrous
The first USS Dexterous (AM-341) was launched 17 June 1943 by Gulf Shipbuilding Corp., Chickasaw, Ala. and commissioned 8 September 1943 with Lieutenant Commander S. S. Trotman as the commanding officer.
Dextrous sailed from Norfolk 14 November 1943 as a convoy escort, arriving at Bizerte, Tunisia, 3 January 1944. Once in the Mediterranean she sailed for Naples, Italy, to sweep mines in the Gulf of Salerno, then for the Anzio-Nettuno beachhead where she swept mines prior to the major assault there. During the landing Dextrous patrolled and provided antiaircraft fire during the bitter fighting ashore. Dextrous served off Anzio until August 1944 when she sailed for pre-invasion minesweeping off the southern coast of France. She swept and patrolled there until 1 October when she put in to Bizerte to escort a convoy of LSTs to Norfolk.
Dextrous sailed from Norfolk in February 1945 for Pearl Harbor in the Pacific. She aided in the training of submarines in the Hawaiian Islands until May, when she sailed to Guam to remove some experimental gear. In July 1945 Dextrous arrived at Okinawa to join the minesweeping operations coordinated with the 3d Fleet's final raids on Japan. After the war Dextrous remained in the Far East, clearing minefields in Japanese waters until January 1946 when she sailed from Sasebo for the west coast. She arrived at San Pedro in February and was placed out of commission in reserve 5 June 1946.
Recommissioned 1 December 1950 for service in the Korean War, Dextrous made her first Far Eastern cruise in March 1951. She patrolled and swept on both coasts of Korea, often under fire from shore batteries which hit her three times. Dextrous captured two sampans and five prisoners-of-war. She stayed in Korean waters through July 1953. Following the cease fire in Korea, Dextrous made cruises to the western Pacific in 1954 and 1955-56 during which she patrolled off Korea, and participated in various exercises with the Fleet. Dextrous was again placed out of commission in reserve 31 October 1956.
Dextrous received five battle stars for World War II service and five for Korean War service.
For more details of the history of the USS Dextrous (AM 341) see the Navy History site http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/d4/dextrous.htm.