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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Chaffinch (AM 81)

Call sign:
Nan - Uncle - Baker - Charlie

Goldcrest Class Minesweeper:

  • Laid down in 1928 as the steel hull fishing trawler M/V Trimount by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Quincy, MA for the Massachusetts Trawling Co., Boston, MA
  • Acquired by the Navy 27 November 1940
  • Began conversion to a minesweeper 29 November 1940 at the Bethlehem Steel Co., East Boston, MA
  • Renamed Chaffinch 17 December 1940
  • Commissioned USS Chaffinch (AM 81), 16 July 1941
  • On 19 September 1942, Chaffinch collided with and sank the British Minesweeper HMS Pentland Firth (FY 108) between Ambrose Lightship and Sandy Hook, NJ. HMS Pentland Firth was one of 24
    converted British fishing trawlers that was sent over to the U. S. early in the war to help protect the U.S. shores
  • Decommissioned 12 December 1945 at Charleston, SC
  • Struck from the Naval Register 3 January 1946
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission 23 September 1946
  • Transferred to The Netherlands in 1947
  • Returned to the United States, sold to the Silver Sea Co. of Boston and renamed Medan
  • Sold in 1965 to the Medan Fishing Corp. of Gloucester, MA
  • Sometime after 1969 she disappeared from the vessel registry
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 400 t.
  • Length 122' 6"
  • Beam 23' 1"
  • Draft 10' 11"
  • Speed 10 kts.
  • Complement 36
  • Armament: One 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount
  • Propulsion: One 600shp Atlas 6H M3358 diesel engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Chaffinch 42k Namesake: Chaffinch - A European bird of the finch family Tommy Trampp
    Chaffinch 104k Wintry World War II Photograph
    Courtesy of D.M. McPherson, 1976
    U.S. Navy photo NH 84616
    Naval History and Heritage Command

    Commanding Officers
    01LT Edward Fluhr, USNR16 July 1941
    02LT Paul James Williams, USNR - (Executive Officer in temporary command)3 July 1942
    03LT Edward Fluhr, USNR6 August 1942
    04LT Paul James Williams, USNR5 September 1942
    05LT Walter Thomas Henrickson, USNR15 September 1945 - 11 December 1945
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler

    View the Chaffinch (AM 81)
    DANFS History entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Website
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