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RALPH CLYDE SHAFER
1/1943 - 6/1945
AM-294 USS Salute
Admirable Class Minesweeper:
Displacement: 625 tons
Speed: 15 knots
Armament: 1 3"/50
twin screws, 1,800 h.p.
Built at Puget Sound Bridge and commissioned 1943
Sunk by mine, S. of Borneo on 8 Jun 45
The first Salute (AM-294) was laid down on 11 November 1942 by Winslow Marine Railway and Shipbuilding Co., Seattle,
Wash., launched on 6 February 1943 sponsored by Miss Patricia Lindgren; and commissioned on 4 December 1943, Lt. R. H. Nelson
After shakedown, Salute sailed from San Francisco on 21 March 1944 for Hawaii. Between April and September
1944 she escorted convoys between Pearl Harbor, Majuro, Kwajalein, Eniwetok, Guam, and Saipan, before reporting to the 7th
Fleet at Manus on 8 October for the Leyte invasion. On 20 October, she joined her division, Mine Division 34, off the Leyte
beaches for a four-day sweep of the main transport channel, and then anchored with the transports to provide antiaircraft
support. Between 27 and 31 October, she helped search for survivors at the scene of the Battle off Samar, where a group of
escort carriers, destroyers, and destroyer escorts, had repulsed the attack of a more powerful Japanese fleet. For the next
month, she carried out local patrols and sweeps in the vicinity of Leyte.
Salute participated with her division in
most of the subsequent landings in the Philippines. She carried out pre-invasion sweeps at Ormoc Bay on 6 December, Mindoro
Island on 14 December, Lingayen Gulf on 6 January 1945, and Zambales and Subic Bay on 29 and 31 January. During and after
the initial troop landings, she helped extend the mineswept areas and provided antisubmarine and antiaircraft protection for
the transports anchored off the beaches. Few mines were encountered, but kamikaze resistance was intense, and the ships saw
much antiaircraft action.
On 13 February, Salute and her division began preinvasion sweeps in Manila Bay in preparation
for the landings at Mariveles and Corrigedor. While sweeping off Corrigedor on the 14th, the minesweepers came within 5,000
yards of the island and were repeatedly straddled by Japanese fire before supporting ships silenced the island's guns. Salute
continued sweeping in Manila Bay through 18 February, and her division earned a Navy Unit Commendation for the operation.
During the next two and one-half months, Salute carried out several local sweeps in support of ground operations
in the Philippines, the most notable being a pre-assault sweep for the landings at Legaspi, Luzon on 1 April, and an 8-day
sweep in the Sulu Sea off Palawan beginning on 22 April. On 9 May, the ship arrived at Morotai to prepare for operations in
the Netherlands East Indies.
With Mine Division 34, Salute began the pre-invasion sweep for the landings in Brunei
Bay, Borneo, on 7 June 1945. The next day, she struck a mine, buckled amidships, and both bow and stern began to sink. Two
landing craft attempted to salvage the minesweeper, but they were unable to control her flooding, and the ship sank. Salute
was struck from the Navy list on 11 July 1945.
Salute received 5 battle stars for her World War II service.
Hello my name is Wayne Shafer. The picture above is when I served aboard the USS WASP
CVA-18 in 1956.When I was almost 7 years old My oldest brother Ralph, was killed in World War II. When the Salute struck a
mine. I'm always looking for Ralph's shipmates. I have found enough crew members, that we have been having ship reunions.
The next reunion will be held June 2004, in Seattle, Washington. If you have any questions or if you served aboard the
Salute. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This website was designed by my son, Scott Shafer. I don't know how many
that Scott is extremely ill. He has been given 5 years to live unless he recieves a heart and lung transplant. Look below
to the link section. His page is under, This website was designed by......
The wreck of the USS Salute AM 294 still rests where she went down. This
is an artists rendering of the Salute. As part of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Labuan, I dove down to the Salute
and placed a wreath beside Her. The dive was over seen by professional divers from the Bornio Divers. And the sketch of the
Salute as she looks today .