USS Oracle (AM-103)

USS Oracle (AM-103)

USS "Oracle" (AM-103) was an "Auk"-class minesweeper acquired by the U.S. Navy for the dangerous task of removing mines from minefields laid in the water to prevent ships from passing.

"Oracle" was named after the word "oracle," meaning "a thing or person supposed to give divine or authoritative decisions." "Oracle" was laid down by General Engineering & Dry Dock Co., Alameda, California, 7 May 1942; launched 30 September 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Sadie L. Jones; and commissioned 14 May 1943, Lt. Comdr. William H. Putnam, USNR, in command.

World War II North Pacific operations

Getting underway from Alameda, California 27 June, "Oracle" steamed to Adak, Alaska, to spend the next 5 months in towing, escort, patrol, salvage, and survey operations in the Aleutians area. She furnished minesweeping and antisubmarine screening support for the occupation of Kiska 15 to 22 August.

World War II Central Pacific operations

Departing Adak 1 December, "Oracle" arrived at Pearl Harbor the 10th. On her first operation in the central Pacific Ocean, the invasion of Majuro Atoll, Marshalls, 31 January to 3 February 1944, she swept landing channels and took soundings for chart preparation. Oracle then proceeded to Kwajalein, arriving the next day for antisubmarine patrol until the 14th. On 15 February "Oracle" got underway in convoy for Eniwetok, arriving 2 days later to mark the channel for the landing craft assault that same day. She again patrolled against enemy submarines until she departed Eniwetok 12 April for Pearl Harbor. Following training from 20 April until 29 May for the invasion of Saipan, "Oracle" returned to the Marshalls to join a task group off Eniwetok 14 June. The minesweeper arrived off Tanapag Harbor, Saipan, the next day for minesweeping and screening before moving on to Magicienne Bay. On 10 July "Oracle" rescued two Japanese survivors on a makeshift raft off Saipan. By the 24th the ship was off Tinian for the landings and mop-up operations to 4 August. She spent most of September patrolling off the southern Marianas before escorting "Giraffe" (IX-118) to Guam, arriving the 20th. From 1 to 10 October "Oracle" was on emergency chemical smoke watch off Apra Harbor, Guam, to protect shipping from Japanese air attack. She continued service off Guam and in operations to Ulithi until proceeding to Okinawa. Patrolling there on 6 May she assisted in splashing three Japanese planes. On 14 May "Oracle" departed Guam for the U.S. West Coast, via Pearl Harbor, arriving Seattle, Washington, 6 July.

Post-World War II operations

Fighting stopped during overhaul. "Oracle" got underway for Pearl Harbor 29 August, arriving 5 September. Reporting to Sasebo, Japan, 5 November, she participated in the mine clearance of the Formosa Straits area, until 23 December when she reached Shanghai, China. On 3 January 1946 "Oracle" departed Shanghai for Pearl Harbor, via Sasebo, arriving the 31st.


The minesweeper "Oracle" steamed for home in the spring of 1946, arriving San Diego, California, to be decommissioned 29 May and enter the Pacific Reserve Fleet there. On 7 February 1955 Oracle was redesignated MSF–103. On 1 December 1966 the "Oracle" was struck from the Navy List. The fleet minesweeper was stripped and used as a target for the Pacific Fleet in the winter of 1967.


See also

* List of United States Navy ships
* Minesweeping

External links

* [ Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]
* [ Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1940-1945 AM-103 USS Oracle]
* [ NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive Oracle (MSF 103) ex-AM-103]
* [ The perfect manager The perfect manager (May 18, 2005)]
* [ World War II: 7 December 1941 - 14 August 1945]
* [ The Silent Defenders]

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