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, after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The minesweeper used during filming was YMS 121.
Richard Houston (Richard Arlen) is an officer in the U.S. Navy who deserted during peacetime service to escape gambling debts, and took up life 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.