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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Courtesy of Al Grazevich

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Vireo (MSC-205)

Vireo served the Navies of the United States and the Republic of Fiji

Redwing Class Motor Minesweeper:

  • The second Vireo was laid down 14 September 1953 as Motor Minesweeper, AMS-205 by Bellingham Shipyards, Bellingham, WA
  • Launched, 30 April 1954
  • Reclassified as a Coastal Minesweeper, MSC-205, 7 February 1955
  • Commissioned USS Vireo (MSC 205), 7 June 1955 at Tacoma, WA
  • Decommissioned, 1 October 1970 at Long Beach, CA and placed in service as a Naval Reserve Training Ship at Seattle, WA
  • Placed out of service 1 April 1975
  • Struck from the Naval Register 1 July 1975
  • Transferred 1 October 1975 to the Republic of Fiji and renamed HMFS Kula (MSC 205)
  • Discarded in 1985.


  • Displacement 412 t.
  • Length 145'
  • Beam 28'
  • Draft 12'
  • Speed 12.8 kts.
  • Complement 40
  • Armament: One 20mm gun mount, two .50 cal. machine guns and one 81mm mortar
  • Propulsion: Two General Motors diesel engines, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS Vireo (MSC 205)
    Vireo 139k Russ Padden
    Vireo 62k Moored outboard of Warbler (MSC 206) Richard Miller, BMCS, USNR, Ret.
    Vireo 270k National Archives photo USN 1131998 Mike Green
    Vireo 35k c. June 1966
    Photos taken from the USS Vance (DER 387)
    George Blust
    Vireo 49k
    Vireo 137k c. 1967
    Sasebo, Japan
    Richard Miller, BMCS, USNR, Ret.
    HMFS Kula (MSC 205)
    Kula 59k Kula (MSC 205) .
    Warbler 91k 23 January 1986
    Right to left, the Fijian navy ships HMFS's Kiro [MSC 206], ex-Warbler (MSC 206); Kikau [MSC 204], ex-Woodpecker (MSC 209) and Kula at Suva navy base, on a very foggy morning.
    Ray Smith

    Commanding Officers
    01LTJG Leland Eisan Mench, USN7 June 1955 - August 1956
    02LT Charles Moulton Plumly, USN - USNA Class of 1955
    Awarded the Legion of Merit w/Combat V, two Bronze Stars w/Combat V, the Joint Service Commendation Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon - Retired as Captain
    March 1960 - January 1962
    03LT Francis Willard English, Jr., USNJanuary 1962 - August 1963
    04LT Peter Julian Mermagen, USN1965 - 1968
    05LT Thomas Joseph Colavito, USN1968
    06LT Peter Julian Mermagen, USN1969
    07LT Bruce Albert Gescheider, USNSeptember 1970 - March 1972
    08LT William Clayton Sparrow, Jr., USNMarch 1972
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves, Alan Jenkins and Joe Radigan

    View the Vireo (MSC 205) DANFS History
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Naval Minewarfare Association
    Association of Minemen
    Back To The Main Photo Index Back To the Mine Warfare Ship Photo Index Back To The Motor Minesweeper (AMS) Photo Index Back to the Coastal Minesweeper (MSC) Photo Index

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