USS Targeteer (YV-3)

USS "Targeteer" was an sclass|LSM(R)-501|landing ship medium (rocket)|1 originally projected as "LSM-508". The landing craft was reclassified as "LSM(R)-508" in February 1945 and laid down on 31 March 1945 at Houston, TX, by the Brown Shipbuilding Corporation. Launched on 28 April 1945, "LSM(R)-508" was commissioned at Houston on 25 June 1945, Lieutenant Harry E. Montgomery, USNR, in command.

"LSM(R)-508" departed Houston on 30 June and arrived at Galveston, TX, the same day to begin fitting out. She got underway again on 5 July and arrived at Charleston, SC, five days later, to receive her rocket launchers and undergo alterations. The landing ship shifted to Little Creek, VA, on 31 July. During her shakedown, conducted from 1 to 15 August 1945, Japan capitulated, ending the war in the Pacific.

"LSM(R)-508" operated out of Little Creek, off the Virginia Capes, and in the Caribbean, conducting training there out of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, into 1946. Returning to Little Creek on 24 March, the landing ship participated in further local training operations into the summer.

After shifting to Baltimore, MD, in July, for repairs, "LSM(R)-508" sailed for Houston in October, transited the Panama Canal on 30 November, and arrived at San Diego, CA, soon thereafter, to prepare for inactivation. Decommissioned on 5 February 1947, "LSM(R)-508" was placed in reserve at San Diego. She remained inactive for the next 22 years. During this time, she was named "Gunnison River" on 1 October 1955.

Apparently slated for disposal in late 1959, "Gunnison River" was reinstated on the Navy list early in 1960 and selected for conversion to a drone aircraft catapult control ship. Accordingly reclassified to (YV-3) on 26 May 1960, "Gunnison River" was renamed "Targeteer" on 26 June 1960, with Lt. D. S. Chambers the first officer-in-charge. Placed "in service" in March 1961, "Targeteer" was commissioned on 7 April 1961, Lt. J. L. White in command.

Homeported at San Diego, from 1961 to 1968, "Targeteer" operated under the operational control of Commander, Fleet Training Group, San Diego - receiving the necessary upkeep and repairs from Service Group 1. Her primary mission included the launch and recovery of [radio controlled] drone aircraft and surface drone unit targets, maintained by Utility Unit 3, furnishing simulated "enemy" aircraft and high-speed surface craft exercises. The surface craft ("Firefish", were based on the supposed PT boat attacks on USS|Maddox|DD-731 and USS|Turner Joy|DD-951 in the Tonkin Gulf. These surface craft were very fast radio-controlled boats. Dubbed "the world's smallest aircraft carrier," "Targeteer" provided these support services for the United States Pacific Fleet into 1968. Her morse-code callsign was "N-T-Q-O" and her communication guard was held by COMTRAPAC Communications (Commander Training Command, US Pacific Fleet), on the Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare School (now CENTER), San Diego, (while in port) where "Targeteer" tied up.

Decommissioned on 31 December 1968, "Targeteer" was struck from the Navy list on 1 January 1969. The former drone aircraft catapult control craft was subsequently sold to the American Ship Dismantling Co., of Portland, OR, on 10 December 1969 and scrapped soon thereafter.


The USS "Targeteer" received:
*American Campaign Medal
*Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
*World War II Victory Medal
*National Defense Service Medal


External links

* [ USS "Targeteer"] "(Note: Non-Public domain images of the USS Targeteer are available here.)"
* [ USS "Targeteer"]

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