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  USS Scuffle (AM-298/MSF-298) ARM DM-05 / ARM General Felipe Xicoténcatl C53
USN
Admirable-class minesweeper

650 Tons
184' 6" x 33' x 9' 9"
1 x 3"/50 cal gun
2x2 40mm AA guns
1 x Hedgehog mortar
2 x Depth Charge tracks

Ship History
Built by Winslow Marine Railway & Shipbuilding Company in Seattle. Laid down May 4, 1943 as Admirable-class minesweeper. Launched August 8, 1943 as USS Scuffle (AM-298) sponsored by Miss Marianne Baron. Commissioned May 2, 1944 in the U. S. Navy (USN) with Lt. Comdr. Erik A. Johnson in command and conducted a shake down cruise off the west coast.

Wartime History
On July 11, 1944 departed San Francisco bound for Pearl Harbor. On August 6, 1944 tasked with clearing an old U. S. mine field in the French Frigate Shoals and completed the task nine days later. Afterwards, escorted a convoy to Eniwetok then conducted tests and training exercises. Afterwards, crossed the Pacific arriving at San Pedro Bay off Leyte on December 31, 1944.

Assigned to Mine Division 34, Scuffle departed northward with the U. S. invasion force bound for Luzon and on January 6, 1945 participated in mine sweeping of Lingayen Gulf then anti-submarine and anti-aircraft defense. On January 29, 1945 mine sweeping off Zambales. On January 31, 1945 mine sweeping in Subic Bay.

On February 13, 1945 began pre-invasion mine sweeping of Manila Bay before landings at Mariveles and Corregidor. On February 14, 1945 while operating roughly 5,000 yards off Corregidor,repeatedly straddled by a Japanese gun battery on the island before other warships silenced the gun position. Afterwards, continued mine sweeping operations in Manila Bay until February 18, 1945. For their actions, Mine Division 34 earned a Navy Unit Commendation.

On February 24, 1945 returned to Manila Bay with USS Cable (ARS-19) plus fifteen Auxiliary Motor Minesweeper (YMS) to clear the anchorage, mines and shipwrecks. By April 10, 1945, the force had swept 615 square miles of Manila Bay. On April 22, 1945 returned to Mine Division 34 and performed an eight day sweep of the Sulu Sea off Palawan then departed for Morotai arriving on May 9, 1945.

On June 2, 1945 departed Morotai for a pre-invasion sweep of Brunei Bay. On June 6, 1945 ran aground on a reef that caused damaged to the propeller but completed the operation. On June 12, 1945 departed for Subic Bay for two weeks of repairs. On June 26, 1945 provided for the pre-invasion sweep by Auxiliary Motor Minesweepers of Balikpapan Harbor. For her role in this operation, the her Task Group earned a  Presidential Unit Citation.

On July 8, 1945 departed and returned to Subic Bay for an overhaul for a month until the end of the Pacific War. On August 24, 1945 assigned to Lt. Gerald Pope. On September 6, 1945 departs Subic Bay northward bound for r Japan but during the voyage encountered three typhoons. On October 18, 1945 assigned to Lt. James C. Freedman. On October 20, 1945 arrives Sasebo and performed mine sweeping of Japanese minefields in Tsushima Strait and Ryukyu Islands. On November 5, 1945 assigned to Lt. Charles E. Little. On December 9, 1945 departs Sasebo across the Pacific back to the United States. For her World War II service, earned five battle stars.

Postwar
On February 17, 1946 assigned to Lt(jg) Searcy Francis Griffin. On April 2, 1946 arrived at Orange, Texas and on June 19, 1946 decommissioned and placed into reserve status. On February 7, 1955 reclassified as MSF-298. On May 1, 1962 officially struck from the Navy list.

Mexican Navy
On October 1, 1962 transferred to Mexico for use by the Armada de México (Mexican Navy). Commissioned as ARM DM-05. Later renamed ARM General Felipe Xicoténcatl C53. Officially stricken during 2000.

Fate
During June 2000, sunk by then Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo off the west coast of Cozumel Island in as part of the Parque Marino Arrecifes de Cozumel (Cozumel Marine Park) as an artificial reef and SCUBA dive site.

Shipwreck
The vessel is upright on a sandy bottom at 77' rising up to 45' below the surface. The code C-53 is visible amidships. A bow mooring buoy and stern mooring buoy were added to the ship to facilitate diving.

References
NARA War Diary USS Scuffle (AM-298) November 1944
NARA Action Report USS Scuffle Balikapan Operation 22 June to 8 July 1945 pages 1-6
NARA Action Report USS Scuffle Brunei Operation 6 June to 18 June 1945 pages 1-4
NavSource - USS Scuffle AM-298 / MSF-298

Eco Divers Blog Cozumel’s Wreck – The Felipe Xicotencatl
California Diver - Diving the Felipe Xicoténcatl C-53 Wreck: WWII History in Cozumel February 29, 2016
Vimeo "Diving the Felipe Xicoténcatl C-53 Wreck in Cozumel" by Chris Constantine February  2016
Yachts Riviera - C-53 Felipe Xicotencatl (photos)

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Last Updated
October 19, 2020

 

SCUBA
45'-77'
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