This installment picks up on 10 June 1944. My grandfather, Seaman Thomas Schreck, had joined his ship the USS Sway (AM-120) an Auk-class minesweeper, in Bizerte, Tunisia, at the end of May. Having just spent the last nine days undergoing refitting and maintenance, the ship was now about to get under way once again to resume operations off the coast of Italy. First, though, the crew stopped in Malta to prepare the ship for the dangerous job of clearing mines.
Before getting into the ship's operations during this time I want to provide some information on the Sway and the Auk class of fleet going minesweepers. Ninety-five were built and used by both the U.S. and Royal navies. Of the 95 built, 22 were used by the Royal Navy and designated Catherine-class minesweepers.
Auk Class Specifications