The first USS AVENGER was a wooden ram originally built for the War Department (Army). She was transferred to the Navy and placed in commission on the 7th of December 1863, under the command of Acting Volunteer Lieutenant Charles A Wright. AVENGER was assigned to the Mississippi River Squadron, Third District, under the command of Admiral David Dixon Porter and was responsible for patrolling the river between Natchez and the mouth of the Red River. In early March 1864, AVENGER and her sister ship the VINDICATOR participated in the RED River Campaign to support the establishments; the shelling of Ft. DeRussy in May 1864, and the battle of Bruinsburg, MS in November 1864. Following the conclusion of the war, AVENGER was decommissioned on the 1st of August 1865, and was sold at public auction. She remained in service for a merchantman out of New Orleans until 1871.
The second USS AVENGER (SP-2646) was a wooden-hulled screw yacht built in 1917 in Camden, New Jersey. She was loaned to the Navy in May 1918 under a "free lease" from her owner Mr. Philips J. Wunderle, who was appointed a Chief Boatswain's Mate to serve as her first and only Commanding Officer. Outfitted with a deck gun, communications equipment and depth charges, she conducted four war patrols in the waters adjacent to her homeport of Cape May, NJ. She was decommissioned on the 19th of December 1918, and was re-converted to civilian use, and remained in service until 1929.
The current AVENGER is the first of the United States Navy's newest class of Mine Countermeasures ships. Built by Peterson Builders Incorporated, in Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin, she was christened by Mrs. Sybill Stockdale on 15 June 1985 and placed in active service on 12 September 1987.
Subsequent to her commissioning and a period of test and trials, AVENGER arrived in her homeport of Charleston, South Carolina, and began operating as a member of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, AVENGER deployed to the Arabian Gulf as a coalition force member in support of Operation DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM on the 16th of August 1990. AVENGER was the longest serving ship from all of the coalition forces during the SHIELD/STORM conflict as well as the first ship in the history of naval warfare to locate and neutralize bottom mines. The shapes that are painted on the port and starboard bridge wings represent actual mines neutralized during the Gulf War. AVENGER was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation and Combat Action Ribbon for her wartime accomplishments.
In 1993, AVENGER shifted homeports to the newly constructed Naval Station Ingleside, Texas. Since that time she deployed to the Eastern Atlantic in 1993 and 1995 and Mediterranean Sea in 1997 and 1999. In 2001 AVENGER deployed to the Eastern Pacific via the Panama Canal and conducted Joint, Combined, and Bilateral exercises and operations on the West Coast. Late in 2001, AVENGER conducted test operations of a revolutionary jam resistant electronic navigation system. In 2004, USS AVENGER deployed to participate in Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, where she was one of the first two MCMs to participate in this national exercise. AVENGER completed her most significant modernization in the summer of 2008 just prior to her Western Pacific (WESTPAC) Deployment.
Upon completion of her six month deployment in December 2010, AVENGER became permanently homeported in Sasebo, Japan as part of Forward Deployed Naval Forces.
KEEL LAID: MAY 2, 1983 LAUNCHED: JUNE 15, 1985 COMMISIONED: SEPTEMBER 12 1987 HULL: WOOD COVERED BY CLASS REINFORCED PLASTIC LENGTH 224 FT DRAFT(NAVIGATIONAL) 15 FT BEAM 39 FT DISPLACEMENT 1312 TONS SPEED 13.5 KNOTS ACCOMMODATIONS 8 OFFICERS/6 CPO/70 ENLISTED DRAFT (KEEL) 12.2 FT
PROPULSION: 4 WAUKESHA LN 1616 DSIN'S (TURBO CHARGED) MODIFIED DIESEL ENGINES 2 CONTROLLABLE REVERSIBLE PITCH PROPELLERS 2 RUDDERS 2 ELECTRIC LIGHT LOAD PROPULSION MOTORS
AUXILIARY SYSTEMS: 1 SOLAR GAS TURBINE GENERATOR 1 OMNITHRUSTER BOW THRUSTER SYSTEM
SENSORS/NAVIGATION SYSTEMS: 1 AN/SLQ-48 MINE NEUTRALIZATION SYSTEM TYPE 0 SIZE 1 MECHANICAL SWEEP EQUIPMENT 1 AN/SLQ-37 (V) MAGNETIC/ACOUSTIC INFLUENCE SWEEP EQUIPMENT
"DUX ET DEFENSOR SEMITAE"
The Blue & Gold Colors of the crest signify the traditional colors of the Navy. The centerpiece is divided into three quadrants seperated by an inverted "Y" which is symbolic of safe passage in a channel that has been cleared of mines.
The upper left quadrant consists of two stars over anchor honoring the two previous U.S. Navy ships to bear the name AVENGER. The upper right section contains the ship's hull number and thirteen stars, one for each of the additional ships of the class.
The lower section contains the Palmetto palm tree, symbolic of the State of South Carolina, AVENGER's first homeport. Above the center crest is the surface warfare logo superimposed over a Mark VI mine. The centurions on either side represent the willingness of AVENGER and her sister ships to stand guard over the waters where free men ply their trade. The Latin motto "Dux et Defensor Semitae" translates to Guide & Defender of the Pathway.