Minemen Around the World
Charleston, South Carolina
On 1 April 1914 Capt. R.F. Olds, USN was appointed the first Commander of Mine Force Atlantic Fleet, temporary headquarters was located in Norfolk, VA. and on 1 June 1946, was moved to Charleston, SC. and established at the U.S. Naval Section Base. In Sept, 1946, the base was officially designated the U.S. Naval Mine Craft Base."
There was a mine shop at what was called the "Old Rice Mill" in support of the mine countermeasures units. If they had other assigned responsibilities I am not aware of what they were. There should still be some old timers around that could probably fill you in on their responsibilities. [US Naval Mines and Minemen-A History, pp75]
In the 1958/1959, time frame the Naval Schools Mine Warfare, Yorktown, VA. was relocated to the Naval Station, Charleston, SC.
On 1 July 1971, MINELANT and MINEPAC, were consolidated under one two-star type commander, as Commander Mine Warfare Force (COMINEWARFOR), based at Charleston. COMINEWARFOR reported administratively to the CNO through the fleet commanders and operationally acted as a task fore commander assigned to fleets as needed. Responsible for the readiness of all MCM units, COMINEWARFOR operated and maintained all SMCM units and AMCM sweeping systems. He also held sole responsibility for readiness and minefield planning.
In early 1964, MOMAT (Mobile Mine Assembly Team) was established at the Naval Station Charleston, SC.
Before 1975, mine shops around the world were divisions of various naval activities, magazines or ordnance facilities. This arrangement frequently put the magazine's priorities above those of the mine shop's resulting in Minemen often being assigned to divisions outside their rating. On 1 July 1975 the reorganization of the mine force resulted in the establishment of the Commander, Mine Warfare Command (COMINEWARCOM), the Commander Mine Warfare Inspection Group (COMINEWARINSGRU) and the Commander Mobile Mine Assembly Group (COMOMAG). This reorganization established MOMAG detachments and units located around the world.
Surprisingly, I don't have many photos of the activities at Charleston.
If anyone has anything to share, please contact me.
19 Nov 1976, Change of Command, Commander Mine
Force, Charleston, SC, , RADM Monger, for RADM Hoffman.
Nos # 1. Captain Buck Rabun, CO INSGRU. 2. MCBM Cook, 3. LCDR William A. Roberts,
4. LCDR Dave Belton, 5. MCMN John Keen, 6. SCMN, Wilson, 7. MCMN Otto Smith, 8. YN1, Vola.
The last MOMAU 11 Chief's Mess, circa September 2009, when MOMAU 11 disestablished and merged with the
Navy Munitions Command Detachment Charleston, SC to form the new Navy Munitions Command Unit Charleston.
L-R: MNC(SW/AW) John Davis, MNC(SW) Rob Allard, MNC(SW) Benny Juarez, MNC(SW) Paul Snyder, MNCS(SW)
Mike Szostkiewicz, Command Senior Chief, MNCS(SW) Shawn Barker, MNC(SW) Jerry Gerhardt, MNC(SW) Brad Vonnahme
"Going Away" from NMC UNIT CHARLESTON, SC circa June 2012
MK 6 display clock/emblem created by MNCM(SW) (RET) Jerry Williams,
presented by MNCM(SW/AW) Tim Hickman to MNCS(SW) Mike Szostkiewicz
Send Photos and help us share your memories with your fellow shipmates.
Derick S. Hartshorn -