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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Waxbill (MHC 50)
ex-Waxbill (AMCU 50)
ex-Waxbill (AMS 39)

YMS-479 call sign:
November - Quebec - Zulu - Zulu


YMS-1 Class Auxiliary Motor Minesweeper:
  • Built by Mojean & Ericson Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma, WA
  • Laid down as PCS-1456, 28 April 1943
  • Reclassified as Auxiliary Motor Minesweeper YMS-479, 27 September 1943
  • Launched, 30 September 1943
  • Completed and commissioned YMS-479, 20 July 1943
  • Decommissioned at San Diego, CA, 06 August 1946
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, San Diego Group
  • Reclassified as Motor Minesweeper and named Waxbill (AMS 39), 18 February 1947
  • Placed in service for duty as a Naval Reserve training ship in the 13th Naval District at Seattle, 19 January 1949
  • Placed in commission, in reserve, 01 September 1950
  • Recommissioned, 25 September 1950
  • Converted to Coastal Minesweeper (Underwater Locator) AMCU-50, 01 February 1955
  • Reclassified as Coastal Minehunter MHC-50, 07 February 1955
  • Decommissioned at Stockton, CA, 30 June 1958
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 01 November 1959
  • Final disposition, fate unknown

  • Displacement 270 t.
  • Length 136'
  • Beam 24' 6"
  • Draft 8'
  • Speed 15 kts.
  • Complement 32
  • Armament: One 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount, two 20mm mounts, and two depth charge projectors
  • Propulsion: Two 880bhp General Motors 8-268A diesel engines, Snow and Knobstedt single reduction gear, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS YMS-479
    487k 24 July 1944
    Moored astern of St. George (AV 16) during her commissioning ceremony at Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp. Inc., Tacoma, WA
    U.S. Navy photo
    David Buell
    117k In San Francisco Bay, upon her return to the U.S. after the end of World War II, circa 1945-46
    U.S. Navy photo NH 79716
    Naval Historical Center
    USS Waxbill (AMS 39)

    Waxbill - A bird of the weaverbird family that has a bill with a waxy appearance; many, such as the Java sparrow, the amadavat, and the strawberry finch, are "cage" birds

    Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 11 December 2021
    117k Waxbill berthed at the Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Training Center, Seattle, Washington, c. April 1949. She had recently been attached to the Center to replace PC-786 in training Seattle-area Naval Reservists
    U.S. Navy photo NH 96981
    Naval Historical Center
    59k c. 1949/1950
    While serving as a Naval Reserve Training Ship
    Dave Wright
    91k Waxbill maneuvering and laying a smokescreen while under fire from enemy shore batteries off Wonson, North Korea, 12 December 1952
    National Archives photo 80-G-477118
    Naval Historical Center
    98k Waxbill laying a smokescreen while under fire from enemy shore batteries off Wonson, North Korea, 12 December 1952
    National Archives photo 80-G-477119
    USS Waxbill (MHC 50)
    89k Underway on West Coast, late 1950s. Dave Wright

    Commanding Officers
    01LT Richard A. Woods, USN20 July 1944
    02LT Francis Joseph Crozier, USN - USNA Class of 194625 September 1950 - December 1951
    03LT Wallace Novak, USNRDecember 1951 - June 1952
    04LTJG Thomas Richard Allen, USN - USNA Class of 1948-AJune 1952 - September 1953
    05LTJG Clinton Robert Vail, USN - USNA Class of 1949September 1953
    ??LCDR Joseph Francis Friend, USN
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    View the Waxbill (MHC 50)
    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 Auxiliary Motor Minesweeper (YMS) Photo Index Back to the Motor Minesweeper (AMS) Photo Index Back to the Minehunter (AMCU)/Coastal Minehunter (MHC) Photo Index

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    This page was created by Joseph M. Radigan (of blessed memory) and maintained by David L. Wright
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    Last Updated 15 October 2023