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USS Waxsaw (AN-91)
Career (USA) Union Navy Jack
Name: USS Waxsaw
Namesake: A Native American tribe that lived during the 17th century in an area which now constitutes Lancaster County, South Carolina, and Union County and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.
Ordered: as Waxsaw (YN-120)
Builder: Zenith Dredge Company, Duluth, Minnesota
Laid down: 1 May 1944
Launched: 15 September 1944
Sponsored by: Mrs. J. L. Conlon, wife of the general manager of the Zenith Dredge Co. shipyard
Commissioned: 6 May 1945 as USS Waxsaw (AN-91)
Decommissioned: 23 March 1960
Reclassified: AN-91, date unknown
Struck: 3 January 1976
Homeport: Melville, Rhode Island and Tiburon, California
Fate: transferred to Venezuela in October 1963, renamed ARBV Puerto Miranda (H-80)
Notes: sold outright to Venezuela, 1 December 1977
General characteristics
Type: Cohoes-class net laying ship
Displacement: 775 tons
Length: 168' 6"
Beam: 33' 10"
Draft: 10' 9"
Propulsion: Diesel direct drive, 2,500hp, single propeller
Speed: 12 knots
Complement: 46 officers and enlisted
Armament: one single 3"/50 gun mount

USS Waxsaw (YN-120/AN-91) was a Cohoes-class net laying ship which was assigned to protect United States Navy ships and harbors during World War II with her anti-submarine nets. Her World War II career was cut short due to the war coming to an end, but, post-war, she was reactivated and served the Navy until she was put into reserve and eventually transferred to Venezuela.

Constructed in Minnesota

The second ship to be so named by the Navy, Waxsaw (AN-91) -- originally classified as YN-120—was laid down on 31 May 1944 at Duluth, Minnesota, by the Zenith Dredge Co.; launched on 15 September 1944; sponsored by Mrs. J. L. Conlon, wife of the general manager of the Zenith Dredge Co. shipyard; and commissioned on 6 May 1945, Lt. Kearny R. Garrison, USNR, in command.

World War II related service

The new netlaying ship sailed for Boston, Massachusetts, on 11 May, and arrived there on the 29th, after steaming via Cleveland, Ohio; Ogdensburg, New York; the St. Lawrence Seaway; Cornwall, Ontario; Montreal and Quebec, Quebec Province; and Halifax, Nova Scotia. Following shakedown out of Melville, Rhode Island, from 13 to 30 June, the netlayer put into Boston for post-shakedown availability.

Waxsaw headed for the Panama Canal on 10 July, expecting her ultimate destination to be Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands. However, upon her arrival at the Small Craft Training Center, San Pedro, California, she was ordered to the Naval Net Depot and Training School, Tiburon Bay, California, for 18 days of refresher training.

Arriving there on 10 August, the ship remained in the San Francisco, California, region on temporary duty in connection with the removal of the net line protecting San Francisco after the Japanese surrender in mid-August. Completing that duty on 24 September, Waxsaw underwent an availability at Alameda, California, before she was assigned to the U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

Post-war service

On 12 October 1945, the netlayer headed for the U.S. East Coast in company with sister ship Tunxis (AN-90). Attached to Service Force, Atlantic Fleet, on 3 November, Waxsaw operated at Green Cove Springs, Florida, establishing moorings at the St. Johns River area for the Reserve Fleet units until late in 1949, when she was shifted to her new home port of Norfolk, Virginia.

Based there at the time of the outbreak of the Korean War in the summer of 1950, Waxsaw not only took part in extensive netlaying operations in Hampton Roads, Virginia, but also towed targets and participated in various training exercises in ensuing months.

For the next nine years, Waxsaw operated with the Atlantic Fleet off the eastern seaboard of the United States, ranging from Nova Scotia to Key West, Florida. Her home ports during this time included Norfolk, Virginia; Key West, Florida; and Charleston, South Carolina.

During those years, Waxsaw performed a variety of service functions; participated in mine-hunting exercises; laid nets and buoys during U.S. Atlantic Fleet amphibious exercises including amphibious maneuvers off Onslow Beach, North Carolina; cleared objects from the channel entrance at Hampton Roads; and even briefly operated at Charleston as a salvage vessel equipped with compressors, a recompression chamber, and other deep-sea diving gear. She also took part in NATO exercises off Nova Scotia and served at the Mine Defense Laboratory at Panama City, Florida.

Final inactivation

Decommissioned on 23 March 1960, Waxsaw was ultimately transferred under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program to Venezuela in October 1963. Renamed Puerto Miranda (H-30), the netlayer served with the Venezuelan Navy as a survey ship into the late 1970s. Struck from the Navy List in December 1977, the ship was deleted from the Venezuelan Navy List apparently soon thereafter.


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