The second Direct (AM-430) was launched 27 May 1953 by Hiltebrant Dry Dock Co., Kingston, N.Y.; sponsored by Mrs. D. C. Hiltebrant; and commissioned 9 July 1954, Lieutenant Commander B. H. Dean in command. She was reclassified MSO-430 on 7 February 1955. Based at Charleston, S.C., Direct operated on minesweeping exercises and training with other ships. She also provided services to the Fleet Sonar School at Key West, Naval Mine Defense Laboratory at Panama City, and Mine Warfare School at Yorktown. From 1 May to 2 October 1957 she cruised to the Mediterranean for duty with the 6th Fleet. On 14 April 1958 her home port was changed to Yorktown, Va., and on 15 January 1959 to Little Creek, Va. Between 27 April and 27 August 1959 she served again in the Mediterranean, then served in amphibious exercises and other operations through 1962
We were four days out of Charleston S.C. and it had been a rough ride.. Smiley, that was what the crew called me, was enjoying it and the sea was giving him a spectacular scene that he had never experienced before. We had just completed about 500 miles from Charleston and were on the way to the Med. with our division, the USS Dash,Dominant,and Detector. It was later reported as the worst storm in history for that area and that time of the year. We had emerged from the bad weather and even though the sea was still rather heavy, We rendevoued with The USS Canisteo, an oiler for refueling at sea. As we came alongside the Tanker, We were rocking and rolling a lot ,but managed to get hooked up ok. My station was on the Port side on the fwd highline , as I was only a fireman apprentice and had to help with the line handling. We were hooked up to the portside and had started recieving fuel and supplies when all of a sudden the ship seemed to swing towards the Tanker and it became apparent we were about to hit the tanker. I decided out of reflex and fear to head aft. About that time the ship caught a swell and it lifted us up and we came down on to the well deck of the tanker with our bow.. There was a loud cracking sound and the stem post was cracked as we backed away. The crew on the fueling station were trying to disconnect the fuel hose and I observed one of th boatswain mates swing a fireax at it and it just bounced off. I was heading aft about amidships and I almost laughed out loud because the ax was made of brass and would have bent before it would have cut it. As I passed the whaleboat I saw the stewards mate,Mackey, yelling lower away, lower away, even though there was no one there but him. The fuel lines finally broke loose and took down all the lifelines and stanchions on the portside and port foc'sle. After the collision as we lay too ,the diver went down to inspect the ruder for damage because the helm had went out of control going hard to port which caused the collision. There wa no physical damage but the helm would not answer in the pilot house. I was determined that we should return to Charleston independently due to the damage to the bow. We would have to steer from the aft steering compartment. Turning back that night we ran back into the storm we had emerged from the day before and it had strengthed in intensity. I stood watches in the pilot house as lee helm . and the helsman was just standing by as the electrical steering was not working. The ride back was something else and well, thats another story.. Catch you later ... Bob Cantrell EMC RET USN,alias "Smiley"
My initial experience with MSOs was when I assumed command of MINDIV 43 (DASH, DETECTOR, DIRECT and DOMINANT, with hull numbers 428,429,430 and 431), on 12 April 1962.