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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Vireo (AT[O[ 144)



Call sign:
Nan - Fox - Tare - Nan

ex-AT-144
ex-AM-52



Call sign (1939):
Negat - Int - King - Love

ex-Minesweeper No. 52



Call sign (1919):
George - Boy - Fox - Mike

Lapwing Class Minesweeper:

  • Laid down 20 November 1918 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA
  • Launched 26 May 1919
  • Commissioned USS Vireo, Minesweeper No. 52, 16 October 1919
  • Designated AM-52, 17 July 1920
  • Reclassified as a Fleet Tug, AT-144, 1 June 1942
  • Reclassified as a Fleet Tug (Old), AT(O)-144, 15 May 1944
  • Decommissioned 18 April 1946
  • Struck from the Navy Register 8 May 1946
  • Transferred 4 February 1947 to the Maritime Commission for disposal
  • Fate unknown.

    Specifications:

  • Displacement 840 t.
    1942 - 1,350 t.
  • Length 187' 10"
  • Beam 35' 5"
  • Draft 8' 10"
    1942 - 13' 1"
  • Speed 14 kts.
    1942 - 12.4 kts.
  • Complement 78
    1942 - 75
  • Armament: Two 3"/50 mounts
    1942 - Two 3"/50 dual purpose mounts
  • Propulsion: Two Babcock and Wilcox boilers, triple expansion reciprocating steam engine, one shaft
    1942 - Two Babcock and Wilcox header boilers, one 1,400shp Chester Shipbuilding 200psi saturated steam vertical triple expansion reciprocating engine.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS Vireo (AM 52)
    Vireo 88k Anchored in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, January 1920.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 43603
    Naval Historical Center
    Vireo/Rail 112k In harbor, March 1922. USS Rail (AM-26) is in the left background.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 50207
    Vireo 161k In port, 1932.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 50320
    Vireo 119k Ship's Officers and Crew, 1934. Note stockless anchor in the port bow hausepipe, fancy hull number, and ship's dog held by the Sailor at left.
    Photographed by Vernon M. Haden, San Pedro California.
    Donation of Ted Stone, 1977.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 85837
    Crew Photo 109k c. 1936
    Signalman August Billig, fourth from left, second row
    Bruce Billig
    Bobolink 131k Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941. View of USS California (BB 44), taken a day or two after the Japanese raid. Bobolink (AM 20), at left, Vireo and YW-10 are off the battleship's stern, assisting with efforts to keep her afloat.
    From the collection of Vice Admiral Homer N. Wallin, USN, Ret.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 95569
    Naval Historical Center
    USS Vireo (AT 144)
    Vireo 175k Battle of Midway, June 1942. Diorama by Norman Bel Geddes, depicting the explosion of depth charges from USS Hammann (DD-412) as she sank alongside USS Yorktown (CV-5) during the afternoon of 6 June 1942. Both ships were torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-168 while Hammann was assisting with the salvage of Yorktown. Vireo is shown at left, coming back to pick up survivors, as destroyers head off to search for the submarine.
    National Archives photo 80-G-701902
    Naval Historical Center
    Vireo 60k Vireo at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, following repairs and overhaul, 20 August 1942.
    National Archives photo 19-N-34748
    Vireo 105k 13 July 1943. USS Honolulu (CL-48) in Tulagi Harbor, Solomon Islands, for temporary repair of damage received when she was torpedoed in the bow during the Battle of Kolombangara. Vireo is assisting the damaged cruiser.
    National Archives photo 80-G-259446

    Commanding Officers
    01LT Ernest Robert Piercey, USN - Awarded the Navy Cross (1918)16 October 1919 - 1 July 1920
    02LTJG Merritt Philips Higgins, USN1 July 1920 - 25 November 1921
    03LT William Hartenstein, USN25 November 1921 - 6 June 1924
    04LT Nels Drake, USN6 June 1924
    05LT William Hartenstein, USN3 September 1926
    06LT William Newton Crofford, Jr., USN26 July 1928 - 18 June 1932
    07LT Clarence Lemoine Waters, USN18 June 1932 - 14 June 1933
    08LTJG Thomas Joseph Kimes, USN14 June 1933 - 6 July 1934
    09LT Owen Rees, USN6 July 1934 - 1 July 1937
    10LT Paul George Wrenn, USN1 July 1937 - 1 May 1938
    11Chief Boatswain Ralph Bruce Wallace, USN1 May 1938 - 1 April 1939
    12LT Philip David Butler, USN1 April 1939 - 30 November 1939
    13CWO Richard Kent Margetts, USN30 November 1939 - 31 December 1939
    14CWO Clyde Mack Pugh, USN31 December 1939 - 31 January 1940
    15LCDR Frederick Joseph Ilsemann, USN31 January 1940 - 18 March 1942
    16LT James Claude Legg, USN18 March 1942 - 1 January 1943
    17LTJG Charles Henry Stedman, USN1 January 1943 - 1 August 1943
    18LTJG Robert Wilson Ekberg, USN1 August 1943 - 1944
    19LTJG Melvin Edward Seymour, USN1944 - 1945
    20LT Broughton James Barber, USN1945 - 18 April 1946
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Joe Radigan
    View the Vireo (AM 52)
    DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command website
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors
    Naval Minewarfare Association
    Association of Minemen
    Back To The Main Photo Index Back to the Mine Warfare Ship Photo Index Back to the Minesweeper (AM) Photo Index Back to the Auxiliary Ship Index Back to the Fleet Tug (AT) Photo Index

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