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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Kestrel (MHC 26)
ex-Kestrel (AMCU 26)

Call sign:
November - Xray - Golf - Quebec

LCI(L)-351 Class Landing Craft, Infantry (Large)/AMCU-7 Class Coastal Minesweeper (Underwater Locator):

  • The second Kestrel was laid down 7 September 1944 as LCI(L)-874 by the New Jersey Shipbuilding Co., Barber, NJ
  • Launched 6 October 1944
  • Commissioned USS LSI(L)-874, 13 October 1944
  • Decommissioned 10 July 1946
  • Named Kestrel and reclassified a Coastal Minesweeper (Underwater Locator), AMCU-26, 7 March 1952
  • Conversion to AMCU-26 began 24 August 1953 at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, WA
  • Recommissioned 8 February 1954
  • Conversion completed 1 March 1954
  • Reclassified a Coastal Minehunter, MHC-26 in February 1955
  • Decommissioned 2 December 1957
  • Sold 28 June 1960 to Murphy Marine Service
  • Acquired in 1967 by the Greater Anchorage Development Corp. of Anchorage, AK and renamed Teddy
  • Acquired in 1988 by Inlet Salmon, Inc. of Soldotna, AK and renamed Qanirtuug Princess
  • Acquired in 2000 by Inlet Fisheries, Inc. of Kenai, AK
  • Out of documentation in 2003
  • Fate unknown.

    LCI Specifications:

  • Displacement 216 t.(light), 234 t.(landing), 389 t.(loaded)
  • Length 158' 5½"
  • Beam 23' 3"
  • Draft Light 3' 1½" mean, Landing 2' 8" forward, 4' 10" aft, Landing, 5' 4"forward, 5' 11" aft
  • Speed 16 kts. (max.), 14 kts. maximum continuous
  • Complement two officer, 21 enlisted; Troop Capacity, six Officers, 182 Enlisted
  • Cargo Capacity 75 t.
  • Armor 2" plastic splinter protection on gun turrets, conning tower and pilot house
  • Endurance 4,000 miles at 12 kts., loaded, 500 miles at 15 kts. and 110 tons of fuel
  • Armament: Four 20mm guns one forward, one amidship, two aft, later added two .50 cal. machine guns
  • Fuel Capacity 130 t., lube oil 200 gal.
  • Propulsion: Two sets of four 200bhp General Motors 6-71 diesel engines, 4 per shaft, two variable pitch propellers.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS LSI(L)-874
    Kestral 74k c. September 1945
    Palau Islands
    From the collection of Joseph C. Ritchotte, MoMM2/c
    Thomas A. Jarvis
    Kestral 121k c. September 1945
    Palau Islands
    Top row, sixth from the right is MoMM2/c Joseph C. Ritchotte
    From the collection of Joseph C. Ritchotte, MoMM2/c
    USS Kestrel (AMCU 26)
    Kestral 51k

    The name kestrel (from French: crécerelle, derivative from crécelle, i.e. ratchet) is given to several members of the falcon genus, Falco. Kestrels are most easily distinguished by their typical hunting behaviour which is to hover at a height of around 10–20 metres (35–65 ft) over open country and swoop down on prey, usually small mammals, lizards or large insects. Other falcons are more adapted to active hunting in flight. Kestrels are notable for usually having mostly brown in their plumage

    Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 9 December
    Kestral 452k National Archives photo USN 1046265 Naval History and Heritage Command

    Commanding Officers
    01LTJG Judson O. Harrison, Jr., USNR1945
    02LT Gurley P. Chatelain, USN8 February 1954
    Courtesy Joseph M. Radigan (of blessed memory)

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships: LCI(L)-874 was laid down by New Jersey Shipbuilding Corp., Barber, N.J., 7 September 1944; launched 6 October; and commissioned 13 October, Lt. (j.g.)
    J[udson] 0. Harrison, [Jr., USNR] in command.

    Following shakedown and training off the Atlantic coast, LCI(L)-874 departed Key West 25 November for the Pacific. She engaged in additional training after arriving San Diego 13 December. Departing 29 January 1945, she touched Pearl Harbor, Eniwetok, and Guam before arriving Peleliu 12 April. She performed picket and patrol duty in the Palau Islands during the remaining months of World War II.

    From September 1945 to February 1946, LCI(L)-874 operated between the Palau and Mariana Islands, providing mail and shuttle service among the Islands. Departing Eniwetok 4 February she arrived San Pedro, Calif., 1 month later. Sailing to Oregon in May LCI(L)-874 decommissioned there 10 July 1946 and joined the Pacific Reserve Fleet.

    She was reclassified and named Kestrel (AMCU-26) 7 March 1952; then recommissioned 8 February 1954, Lt. Gurley P. Chatelain, [USN] in command. After shakedown and training, she arrived San Diego 27 March for operations in the 11th Naval District. From 1954 to 1957, Kestrel operated out of San Diego on underwater mine location exercises. She was reclassified MHC-26 in February 1955. Kestrel decommissioned at San Diego 2 December 1957. She was sold to Murphy Marine Service on 28 June 1960.

    Back to the Main Photo Index Back to the Amphibious Ship Index Back to the Landing Ship Infantry (LSI) Photo Index Back to the Mine Warfare Ship Photo Index Back to the Coastal Minesweeper (Underwater Locator) - (AMCU) Photo Index Back to the Coastal Minehunter (MHC) Photo Index

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    This page created by and was maintained by Joseph M. Radigan (of blessed memory)
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