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Former Name(s)

USS Density (AM-218) (1944)

Manoula (1960)


Ex US Navy training ship and minesweeper

Cargo vessel


185’ (56.3m)


780 tons


1944 by Tampa Shipbuilding Co Inc, Tampa, Florida.

Launched 6th February 1944

Commissioned 15th June 1944

De-commissioned 3rd March 1947

Flag state(s)

Panama, Honduras

Stations Housed

Radio London

(5th December 1964 - 14th August 1967)

Ultimate fate

Lay derelict for many years in Germany.

Sank at the quayside in Keil. Scrapped in 1986


Galaxy USS Density under construction USS Density at sea

Top: the USS Density  under construction in Tampa, Florida.

Bottom: the Density at sea in US Navy camouflage colours

Galaxy in Hamburg Galaxy in Keil Galaxy beginning to sink in Keil

Above: Galaxy in Hamburg 1968

Far left: Galaxy shortly after arriving in Keil, 1978

Left: Galaxy beginning to sink in Keil, 1979

Galaxy being raised Galaxy being raised Galaxy being raised Galaxy being scrapped

Above: three views of Galaxy being raised in 1986

Left: the hull of Galaxy during scrapping of the vessel, 1986

After Radio London closed in August 1967 the Galaxy remained at anchor off the British coast for a few days, then on 19th August 1967 she sailed for Hamburg where she was to be refitted and put up for sale as a fully equipped radio ship. However her condition was so bad that a huge investment would have been required to make her fully seaworthy.

The Galaxy was planned to be the base for a proposed German/Swiss offshore station - Radio Noordsee - in 1968, but this project was abandoned early in 1969.

The Galaxy remained in Hamburg while many court cases were heard to establish ownership of the vessel, but in 1970 she was sold for scrap and moved to Kiel. She lay abandoned for many years, and at one point was used as a training vessel for divers practising underwater repair skills. The ship finally sank at her moorings in April 1979.

After laying in a partially sunken state for many years harbour authorities became concerned about possible pollution from fuel leaks so the wreck of the Galaxy was raised in 1986 and the vessel scrapped.


The Density arrived at San Diego on 23rd September 1944 to serve as a training ship for the Small Craft Training Centre at Terminal Island - a role she fulfilled until 2nd February 1945, when she sailed for Pearl Harbour and Ulithi.

From 19th March 1945 the Density operated from Ulithi  to sweep mines in preparation for the invasion of Okinawa on 1st April. Patrolling off Okinawa after its capture and occupation, the Density fired on the enemy in several suicide attacks.

On 6th April she shot down several of the huge kamikaze force which struck the Fleet, then assisted Rodman (DMS-21), picking up 16 of her survivors and towing her to Kerama Retto.

On the 22nd April 1945 she shot an enemy attacker which cleared her bridge by only 10 feet, then rescued three survivors from stricken Isherwood (DD-520) before resuming her patrol. Five days later she recovered the body of an enemy officer from a plane she had downed and thus obtained valuable intelligence material including a secret code book and photographs. While sweeping mines she sank an enemy suicide boat off Naha on 4th May.

The Density sailed from Okinawa on 4th July 1945 to join a group of minesweepers supporting the 3rd Fleet strikes against Japan. From 9th to 28th August she was in San Pedro Bay, Leyte, for a brief overhaul, and on 8th September put out from Okinawa to sweep mines in Japanese waters.

She remained in the Far East on occupation duty until 20th November 1945 when she sailed for the west coast, arriving at San Diego 19th December. On 29th January1946 she arrived at Galveston, Texas to provide services to the reserve fleet at Orange, Texas and was placed in reserve commission on 14th May 1946.

The Density was decommissioned there on 3rd March 1947. The ship received three battle stars for her World War II service.

Two Greek brothers bought the Density from the US Navy in 1960. They renamed the vessel Manoula and used her as a small cargo ship until 1963. The Company was not profitable and the ship was moored in America whilst a buyer was found. None appeared and debts built up, mostly mooring fees. Then  two American businessmen, Don Pierson and Tom Danaher, bought the ship  in 1964 and she was converted into an offshore radio station in Miami.


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Thanks to Martin van der Ven for allowing us to use some additional information from the Broadcasting Fleet section of the Offshore Radio Guide  in this Gallery

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