DANGER AFLOAT! ABOVE, BELOW AND ACROSS THE SEAS...WITH THE HEROIC MEN OF THE COAST GUARD! On hearing of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a hobo decides to join the Coast Guard under an assumed name -- because he deserted the Navy years before due to gambling debts. What follows is a combination of melodrama and suspense, as he gets tangled up in the lives of another military family, succumbs once again to his gambling addiction, and risks his life defusing Japanese-laid mines off the California coast. Low-budget but somewhat satisfying (and dark) tale of fear and redemption.

Minesweeper is a 1943 American film directed by William A. Berke, a fictional account of a former navy deserter who returns to duty under an assumed name as a sailor aboard a Minesweeper (ship), after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The minesweeper used during filming was List of mine warfare vessels of the United States Navy#Yard Minesweepers (YMS).


Richard Houston (Richard Arlen) is an officer in the U.S. Navy who Desertion during peacetime service to escape gambling debts, and took up like as a hobo. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor spurs him to rejoin the Navy under the assumed name of Jim "Tennessee" Smith. Houston is assigned to serve aboard a minesweeper, where he successfully carries out numerous successful efforts to defuse mines in the San Diego harbor while struggling to keep his identity secret.
Complicating matters, Houston falls into a love triangle, competing with Seaman Elliot Nash (Russel Hayden) for the affections of Mary Smith (Jean Parker), niece of Chief Petty Officer "Fixit" Smith (Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams), who has taken a liking to Houston. Later, Houston overstays his shore leave while gambling, and Smith, having taken over his position, is killed by a mine. Houston nearly deserts again, but instead returns to his ship to take on one last heroic mission.


  • Richard Arlen as Richard Houston - posing as Jim "Tennessee" Smith
  • Jean Parker as Mary Smith
  • Russell Hayden as Seaman Elliot Nash
  • Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams as CPO Ichabod Ferdinand "Fixit" Smith
  • Emma Dunn as Mom Smith
  • Charles D. Brown as Commander Lane
  • Frank Fenton (actor) as Lt. Ralph Gilpin
  • Chick Chandler as Seaman "Corny" Welch
  • Douglas Fowley as Cutter Lieutenant Wells
  • Ralph Sanford as Seaman Cox
  • Billy Nelson (actor) as Bos'un "Freshwater" Heims
  • Grant Withers as CPO Gregg, In Charge of Diving Crew

Category:1943 films
Category:American films
Category:Black-and-white films
Category:English-language films
Category:Films directed by William A. Berke
Category:Paramount Pictures films
Category:War drama films
Category:World War II films made in wartime
Category:World War II navy films

William H. Pine, William C. Thomas
This film is in the public domain.

More Public Domain Movies