Class: Aggressive Class Minesweeper Ocean
Laid down: 16 March 1953 as AM-458 at Higgins Shipyard, Inc., New Orleans, LA
Launched: 14 November 1953
Redesignated: MSO-458, 7 February 1955
Commissioned: USS Lucid (MSO-458), 4 May 1955
Stricken: 15 May 1976
Original cost: $9,000,000
Displacement: 775 tons
Armament: One single 40mm mount
MSO’s served to keep sea-shipping lanes and harbor approaches clear of enemy mines. To avoid triggering mines she is intended to sweep, she is constructed primarily of wood, all metals are nonferrous. These shallow draft non-magnetic vessels were capable of effectively removing these explosive obstacles that endangered the lives of so many on the high seas and during combat landings. They served before, during and after the Korean War. They protected the coasts of Vietnam and then faded into obscurity after the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990’s.
The MSO is a little known and poorly documented, extremely interesting facet of naval history. The USS Lucid and the Minesweeper Museum is dedicated to telling the story of the mine-sweeping men and their wooden ships, the last all wooden US Naval ships to navigate the oceans.
Of the 101 MSO’s built, only a very few remain in the hands of foreign countries and all of the U.S. ships have been sold and/or scrapped. USS Lucid (MSO-458) was received as a donation from a private individual, in honor of the 50,000 men who served on MSOs. Lucid MSO-458 Foundation and the Minesweeper Museum are currently located in the Sacramento delta region on Bradford Island. Lucid is open to the public as the restoration progresses. It should be noted that Lucid is the last salvageable MSO in the U.S. She had all machinery and equipment removed during a previous scrapping operation. The hull, compartmentation and superstructure remain intact and the oak frame and southern pine and fir planking is in remarkably good condition considering her history since her naval service. Work is underway to restore and retrofit her and bring her back to her previous glory. The foundation is interested in receiving donations of equipment and minesweeper related memorabilia for museum displays.