9/14/99 Have asked your question (The Fate of the Venture) to a friend of mmine in the US who came with the following answer to me:
Piet: I'm not going to be able to provide anything authoritative on the fate of the MSO 496 after her sale to C.B.Herter; once the ships are sold by the Defense Surplus Sales agency, they're gone unless they turn up in the press for some reason like going aground under tow. Given that Hopewell, Virginia, is a heavily industrialized town on the James River just south of Richmond. The James is navigable all the way to Richmond, and I'd guess Mr. Herter bought the ship for scrapping. There's a lot of useful metal even in a wooden MSO, as they were all screwed together with bronze screws (a man bought an old WW II YMS that was derelict at Washington, D.C., when I first moved here; he towed it to a beach on the Potomac and, in those long-gone days when environmental concerns were ignorable, he burned her out and collected the screws from the beach! Anyway, since there's no commercial use for an MSO and since she could not have been used for a military purpose, MSO 496 was PROBABLY scrapped by Mr. Herter. Sorry not be able to provide further data. Best/Dave
But I will keep my eyes open.