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Gypsy Queen

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Among the most remarkable wrecks in Lake Union is  the Gypsy Queen, a fully-intact wooden minesweeper from World War II.  Built in 1941, measuring 136 feet in length, she was originally called YMS-105, and served in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters.

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DCS Films: Lake Union Relics

Built from wood so as not to trigger magnetic mines, these vessels played a vital role throughout the war, clearing the way for convoys.  The motto of a minesweeper’s crew was “Wherever the fleet goes, we’ve been!”

The US Navy sold the YMS 105 after the war, and she changed hands several times before being bought in 1958 by a retired Seattle couple who planned to tow her to Alaska and use her as a fish processing plant for a small fishing fleet.  She sank at her dock on Lake Union, however, before they could carry out this plan.

Inside and out, divers have found the Gypsy Queen to be a well-preserved example of this little-known but historically important class of vessel from WWII.