Adroit (SP-248)—a steam yacht built in 1907 at City Island, New York, by Robert Jacobs—was acquired by the Navy sometime late in 1917 from Mr. F. H. McAdoo of New York City. After she had begun fitting out under the direction of Lt. H. B. Peschau, NNV, Adroit was found to be highly unseaworthy and of extremely short cruising range. Consequently, she was never commissioned and was returned to her owner on 30 April 1918. Presumably, her name—which had appeared on the Navy list— was stricken from that list soon thereafter.
Adroit (second incarnation)
The second Adroit (MSO-509) was laid down on 18 November 1954 at Boothbay Harbor, Maine, by Frank L. Sample, Jr., Inc., as AM-509; redesignated MSO-509 on 7 February 1955; named Adroit on 17 May 1955; launched on 20 August 1955; sponsored by Mrs. Alice G. Olsen, the wife of Capt. Eliot Olsen; and commissioned on 4 March 1957, Lt. Comdr. J. G. Nemetz in command.
Following commissioning, Adroit completed fitting out and then moved south to Charleston, S.C. From that port, she conducted shakedown training in the West Indies and in the local operating area. The minesweeper then began a period of almost 17 years of service with the Atlantic Fleet Mine Force. During that time, she provided services for several Navy organizations— most notably the Naval Mine Defense Laboratory (after 1971, the Naval Coastal Systems Laboratory) at Panama City Fla., the Naval Ordnance Laboratory Test Facility at Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and the Mine Warfare School at Charleston, S.C. In addition, Adroit participated in Gordon Cooper's Project "Mercury" space shot in May 1963 and helped the Naval Oceanographic Office to conduct a test in March 1970. The minesweeper also made occasional deployments to both the Mediterranean Sea and the West Indies. During her tour of duty with the 6th Fleet in the summer of 1958, she earned the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal as a result of service off the coast of strife-torn Lebanon. For the most part, however, normal operations such as exercises and goodwill port visits occupied her time overseas. While serving in home waters, she concentrated on type training, independent ship's exercises, regular overhauls, and repair periods.
The character of Adroit's Navy career changed significantly midway through 1973. That summer, she received word of her reassignment to naval reserve training duty and of a change of home ports from Charleston to Newport, R.I. She departed Charleston on 24 September and arrived in Newport on the 28th. The minesweeper spent the remainder of her Navy career training naval reservists. She operated along the east coast participating in a number of exercises—most frequently independent ship's exercises and amphibious assault training. In August 1977, her base was changed to Portsmouth, N.H., whence she operated for more than four years. Early in October 1981, Adroit changed home ports once again—from Portsmouth, N.H., to Little Creek, Va. As of December 1987, she was still operating from the Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek, Va.