U.S. to Send 4 Wood Minesweeping Boats to the Persian Gulf

United Press International

The United States will increase its limited mine-hunting capability in the Persian Gulf with the dispatch of four small, wooden-hulled minesweeping boats to the region later this week, Pentagon sources said today.

The boats, among seven built between the late 1960s and early 1970s for use along Vietnamese rivers during the Vietnam War, will be ferried from Charleston, S.C., by the amphibious assault ship Raleigh, the sources said.

The 57-foot boats, equipped with sonar for mine hunting and crewed by six men, are lightly armed and are smaller than the Navy’s three active oceangoing minesweepers. The boats’ hulls are made of wood to avoid setting off magnetic mines.