Russia: Pacific Fleet Lays Wreaths to Corvette Musson Sank 25 Years Ago
Pacific Fleet (PF) servicemen on Apr 17 commemorated corvette (small-size missile ship) Musson by laying wreaths. Project 1234 corvette Musson serving at PF 165-th Missile Boat Brigade sank 25 years ago in the Sea of Japan 33 nautical miles off Ascold Island at the depth of 2,900 meters being hit by a target missile. As a result of the accident, 39 men died and 37 were rescued. PF servicemen paid honors to the Musson’s crew today.
Corvettes Musson and Vihr were performing joint antiaircraft missile firing drill on Apr 16, 1987 along with an antisubmarine ship. They engaged two target missiles launched by missile boats.
Musson was accidentally damaged by training target missile RM-15M Termit-R launched by a missile boat 21 km away from the corvette. Musson launched two surface-to-air missiles and made several shots by gun mount.
One view holds that the missile was damaged, went out of control and changed flight trajectory redirecting to the corvette. Having hit the ship’s portside, the missile destroyed conning room, chartroom, radio room, main control room, and other premises; as a result, CO and some other officers died. The target missile had much fuel and oxidants which spread over the ship, instantly ignited and caused a large fire. Damage control operations lasted about six hours, but rescuers failed to extinguish flames. When the fire reached ammo magazines, missiles and artillery shells detonated. Having burned out and lost buoyancy, Musson finally sank (42 deg 11 min of northern latitude, 132 deg 27 min of eastern longitude).
Memorial stone with a list of died crewmembers was founded in the basing site of corvette Musson (Bolshoi Uliss Bay). When the brigade was transferred to Malyi Uliss Bay, the monument was moved as well.
Source: Russian Navy, April 18, 2012; Image: radikal