USS Tracy (DM-19)

Figure 1
The unplanned, hasty departure of the seaplane tender USS Mackinac (AVP-13) from Maramasike Passage in Southern Malaita on Sunday August 9, 1942, abolished the seaplane base there and demonstrated the precarious nature of the military situation in the Solomons just after the landings. To prevent the Japanese from making similar usage of the passage, the U.S. Navy rushed in the old converted light minelayer USS Tracy (DM-19) to lay a full load of 84 mines. It is likely archaeological evidence of this minefield still remains today on the seafloor in the passage, either as mine anchors or as whole mines themselves. If this evidence is discovered, should it be destroyed as ‘dangerous’? Or, using modern technology, can some of it be rendered safe and conserved as historic and archaeological  material?. The USS Tracy was originally a WWI destroyer, DD-214, launch in 1918 prior to being converted into a light, fast minelayer. The photo depicts her as a WWI destroyer. [U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command, NH 60241].

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