USS Peril (AM-272)
|Name:||USS Peril (AM-272)|
|Builder:||Gulf Shipbuilding Corporation, Chickasaw, Alabama|
|Laid down:||1 February 1943|
|Launched:||25 July 1943|
|Sponsored by:||Mrs. Morris Sorbet|
|Commissioned:||2 April 1944|
|Decommissioned:||22 May 1945|
|Fate:||Transferred to Soviet Navy, 22 May 1945|
|Reclassified:||MSF-272, 7 February 1955|
|Struck:||1 January 1983|
|Acquired:||22 May 1945|
|Commissioned:||22 May 1945|
|Guards rank and ensign, 26 August 1945, for World War II service|
|Class & type:||Admirable-class minesweeper|
|Length:||184 ft 6 in (56.24 m)|
|Beam:||33 ft (10 m)|
|Draft:||9 ft 9 in (2.97 m)|
|Speed:||14.8 knots (27.4 km/h)|
USS Peril (AM-272) was an Admirable-class minesweeper built for the United States Navy during World War II and in commission from 1944 to 1945. In 1945, she was transferred to the Soviet Union and after that served in the Soviet Navy as T-281.
Peril was laid down on 1 February 1943 at Chickasaw, Alabama, by the Gulf Shipbuilding Corporation. She was launched on 25 July 1943, sponsored by Mrs. Morris Sorbet, and commissioned on 20 April 1944 with Lieutenant Donald W. Phillips in command.
|This section requires expansion with: ship's service history from April 1944 to February 1945. (March 2013)|
Selected for transfer to the Soviet Navy in Project Hula – a secret program for the transfer of U.S. Navy ships to the Soviet Navy at Cold Bay, Territory of Alaska, in anticipation of the Soviet Union joining the war against Japan – Peril departed Philadelphia upon completion of her overhaul, transited the Panama Canal, and called at San Diego, Seattle, and Kodiak, Alaska, before arriving at Cold Bay on 28 April 1945 to train her new Soviet crew. Four Soviet Navy officers and 40 enlisted men reported aboard on 1 May 1945, and two more officers and 32 enlisted men came aboard on 6 May 1945.
Following the completion of training for her Soviet crew, Peril was decommissioned on 22 May 1945 at Cold Bay and transferred to the Soviet Union under Lend-Lease immediately. Also commissioned into the Soviet Navy immediately, she was designated as a tralshik ("minesweeper") and renamed T-281 in Soviet service. She soon departed Cold Bay bound for Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in the Soviet Union, where she entered service with the Soviet Pacific Ocean Fleet on 27 June 1945.
After the Soviet Union entered the war on 8 August 1945, T-281 participated in the Soviet offensive against Japanese forces in Northeast Asia, including the Soviet amphibious landing at Rajin-Sŏnbong, Korea, on 12 August 1945.
In February 1946, the United States began negotiations for the return of ships loaned to the Soviet Union for use during World War II, and on 8 May 1947, United States Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal informed the United States Department of State that the United States Department of the Navy wanted 480 of the 585 combatant ships it had transferred to the Soviet Union for World War II use returned. Deteriorating relations between the two countries as the Cold War broke out led to protracted negotiations over the ships, and by the mid-1950s the U.S. Navy found it too expensive to bring home ships that had become worthless to it anyway. Many ex-American ships were merely administratively "returned" to the United States and instead sold for scrap in the Soviet Union, while the U.S. Navy did not seriously pursue the return of others because it viewed them as no longer worth the cost of recovery. The Soviet Union never returned Peril to the United States, although the U.S. Navy reclassified her as a "fleet minesweeper" (MSF) and redesignated her MSF-272 on 7 February 1955.
- "Peril". Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive. NavSource Online. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
- The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships Peril article states that the U.S. Navy decommissioned Peril on 21 May 1945 and transferred her to the Soviet Navy the same day, and hazegray.org Peril repeats this, while NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive Peril (MSF 272) ex-AM-272 says that she was decommissioned on 20 May 1946 (obviously a typographical error for "20 May 1945") and transferred on 22 May 1945. However, more recent research in Russell, Richard A., Project Hula: Secret Soviet-American Cooperation in the War Against Japan, Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, 1997, ISBN 0-945274-35-1, p. 39, which includes access to Soviet-era records unavailable during the Cold War, reports that the transfer date was 22 May 1945. According to Russell, Project Hula ships were decommissioned by the U.S. Navy simultaneously with their transfer to and commissioning by the Soviet Navy – see photo captions on p. 24 regarding the transfers of various large infantry landing craft (LCI(L)s) and information on p. 27 about the transfer of USS Coronado (PF-38), which Russell says typified the transfer process – indicating that Peril's U.S. Navy decommissioning, transfer, and Soviet Navy commissioning all occurred simultaneously in a single ceremony on 22 May 1945. As sources, Russell cites Department of the Navy, Ships Data: U.S. Naval Vessels Volume II, 1 January 1949, (NAVSHIPS 250-012), Washington, DC: Bureau of Ships, 1949; and Berezhnoi, S. S., Flot SSSR: Korabli i suda lendliza: Spravochnik ("The Soviet Navy: Lend-Lease Ships and Vessels: A Reference"), St. Petersburg, Russia: Belen, 1994.
- The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships Peril article states that T-281 was reported destroyed or lost in Soviet service without providing a date, while NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive Peril (MSF 272) ex-AM-272 and hazegray.org Peril repeat this but also note that she was reported scrapped in 1956. However, more recent research in Russell, Richard A., Project Hula: Secret Soviet-American Cooperation in the War Against Japan, Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, 1997, ISBN 0-945274-35-1, p. 39, which includes access to Soviet-era records unavailable during the Cold War, finds that T-281 was scrapped in 1960.
- Russell, Richard A., Project Hula: Secret Soviet-American Cooperation in the War Against Japan, Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, 1997, ISBN 0-945274-35-1, p. 39.
- Russell, Richard A., Project Hula: Secret Soviet-American Cooperation in the War Against Japan, Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, 1997, ISBN 0-945274-35-1, pp. 37-38, 39.