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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Wheatear (MSF 390)

Call sign:
November - India - Hotel - Echo

Auk Class Minesweeper:

  • Laid down 29 May 1944 by the American Shipbuilding Co., Cleveland, OH
  • Launched 21 April 1945
  • Commissioned USS Wheatear (AM 390), 3 October 1945
  • Decommissioned 17 November 1954 at Orange, TX
  • Reclassified as a Fleet Minesweeper (Steel Hull), MSF-390, 7 February 1955
  • Struck from the Naval Register 1 July 1972
  • Sold for scrap 20 December 1973 to the Southern Scrap Material Co., Ltd. of New Orleans, LA.


  • Displacement 890 t.
  • Length 221' 1"
  • Beam 32' 2"
  • Draft 10' 9"
  • Speed 18.1 kts.
  • Complement 117
  • Armament: One 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount, two 40mm gun mounts, six 20mm gun mounts, one depth charge thrower (hedgehogs), four depth charge projectors (K-guns) and two depth charge tracks
  • Propulsion: Two 1,766shp General Motors 12-278A diesel electric drive engines, Westinghouse single reduction gear, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Wheatear 40k A small northern bird related to the stonechat and whinchat Tommy Trampp
    USS Wheatear (AM-390)
    58k Commissioning booklet for Wheatear (AM-390).
    Dave Wright
    Wheatear 184k Off Newport Rhode Island in August 1947
    Courtesy of Ted Stone, 1979
    U.S. Navy photo NH 89442
    Naval History and Heritage Command

    Commanding Officers
    01CDR George Madison Estep, USNR3 October 1945 - April 1946
    02LT Cecil Owens Williamson, USNApril 1946 - August 1947
    03LT Lefteris Lavrakas, USN - USNA Class of 1943
    Retired as Captain
    August 1947 - 1949
    04LCDR Rodney Wallace Wilson, USN - USNA Class of 19441950
    05LCDR Ernest Calhoun Hipp, Jr., USN1952
    06LT Martin "M" Zenni, USN - USNA Class of 1946
    Retired as Captain
    1954 - 17 November 1954
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves, R. A. Moody and Joseph M. Radigan (of blessed memory)

    View the Wheatear (MSF 390)
    DANFS History entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Website
    Back to the Main Photo Index Back to the Mine Warfare Ship Photo Index Back to the Fleet Minesweeper (MSF) Photo Index

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    This page was created by Gary P. Priolo & maintained by Joseph M. Radigan (of blessed memory) & David L. Wright
    All Pages 1996 - 2024, NavSource History, All rights reserved.
    Last Updated 17 March 2024 </