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NORFOLK NAVAL SHIPYARD, Portsmouth, Va. - Among the five classes of ships NNSY built or modernized to support the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, the shipyard constructed three minesweepers that cleared the way for Allied ships. These included USS Raven (AM-55) and USS Osprey (AM-56), which had a simultaneous launching in August 1940. As the only two ships of the Raven-class minesweeper, they faced the treacherous task of neutralizing underwater minefields. While Raven survived D-Day to support other invasions, Osprey sunk June 5, 1944 on the way to Normandy after striking a mine in the English Channel. Six men perished, marking the first casualties of the D-Day invasion. Launched a year after Raven and Osprey, USS Auk (AM-57) was one of 95 minesweepers built for the Auk-class that served both the U.S. and Royal Navies.


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