Mine Detonation Incident 9 Novemeber 1952
[Photo courtesy of Pat McGrath]

Mine DetonationHere is the official log entry (transcribed) for Sunday, 9 November 1952. Thanks to Don Harrington for making it available:

1557 - Sighted possible mine to port, c/s to 10 knots (88rpm) . Using various courses to investigate.

(Signed) J. A. WILKINSON,
LT., U.S.N.R.

1618 - Steaming as before. Contact identified as a definit (sic) mine. Mine is one third out of the water, barnacle encrusted, one horn showing, two horns missing, rusty, securing padeye showing on the bottom, access plate on top and about three (3) feet in diameter. Probably Russian made Mark 26 type mine.

1620 - Mine taken under fire with small arms and 40MM fire.

1642- Mine detonated with 40MM fire about 250 yards off starboard beam. Explosion was bright red flash followed by thick black smoke. Flume extended about 250 feet into the air. Fired 76 rounds of 40MM HEIT projectiles.

1643 - Came to course 000 (t) and pgc, 000 psc, speed 15 knots (135rpm)

(Signed) R. C. WADDEL,

The following are personal recollections of the events from those who were there. If you have an anecdote about this incident, please send it to me. Thanks, Karl

GM2 Beryl Jensen: "I was assigned to the Mansfield in April of 1951 and served aboard until my discharge in November 1954. I attained the rank of GM2, working with the 40MM, 5"38, and the 3" 50 rapid fire, after havng gone to school in DC for this new weapon. During my tour on the Mansfield, we did 3 tours to Korea; on the East coast, doing shore bombardment, and carrier escort, during flight operations.

The one thing I do remember vividly, was when we blew up a floating mine near Wonson Harbor in November of 1952. As I had the responsibility of the 2 - 40MM mounts just aft of the bridge, the captain directed us to commence firing with the mount on the starboard side. And we got it before it got us. "

LTjg Donald Harrington:"I have been thinking more about the exploding mine incident in November of 1952 (all confirmed in the log sheets that we obtained from the Bureau of Archives) and hope you (Beryl) were the gunner on the director for 40MM mount #41 - in any event, you were on board so the rest of the story is: Bob Waddell, who had just qualified as OOD underway and I (JOOD), along with Art Waldie, were on the bridge. The sea was as flat as a mirror and Art said to me 'are there any buoys in this area' ? I was immediately upset, as I knew what he had seen, and as you know, the lookouts (poor rookies) had no idea what they were looking for --- anyhow, there, dead ahead and comfortably far enough away, was a big ass floating mine - I raged at him with the typical == godam it you could have just said mine ahead without the cute stuff about buoys about 8 miles off shore ---- LT Howard Phillips (finest officer I may have ever known was a short timer and in addition to wearing the bullet proof jackets, also brought a movie camera on board for his last few months) tried to hit the mine with an M1 and I even tried it and missed like the gunners mates and then the Captain turned the job over to the 40MM and about 15 rounds later == BLAMOOOO !!! the mine was hit and detonated stbd side close enough that we all ducked."

RDSN Pat McGrath:"I recall that Keith Crow, one of the Radar Gang, was also out on the starboard side with some others -- and a piece of shrapnel parted his hair! Somebody up there liked him."

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