I did some research into the early days of the Partridge. As a Lapwing minesweeper or “Bird Boat”, the Partridge was built as a special class of minesweeper to clear mines laid in the North Sea by the U.S. Navy. This was a massive mine field of over 80,000 mines. Most of the Lapwing minesweeper built (47 in all) took part in this sweep, but I’m still confirming if the Partridge took part. In any case, it seems that the Navy wanted to built a class of ship that could do the job and then be used for other types of service — which is exactly what they got.
There is a book on clearing the mine field written in 1920. It’s out of print now, but Google has digitized it and it’s available online. There are photos and charts and it’s a pretty good read.
You can view the google book here: Link