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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Courtesy of Al Grazevich

Courtesy of Mike Smolinski

Warbler (MSC 206)

Call sign:
November - Golf - Golf - Bravo

Warbler served the Navies of the United States and the Republic of Fiji.

Redwing Class Motor Minesweeper:

  • Laid down 15 October 1953 as AMS-206 by the Bellingham Shipyards, Inc., Bellingham, WA
  • Launched 18 June 1954
  • Reclassified as a Coastal Minesweeper, MSC-206, 7 February 1955
  • Commissioned USS Warbler (MSC 206), 26 July 1955;
  • Decommissioned 1 October 1970 and placed in service as a Naval Reserve Training Ship at Seattle, WA
  • Placed out of service and struck from the Navy Register 1 July 1975
  • Sold 14 October 1975 to the Republic of Fiji and renamed HMFS Kiro (MSC 206)
  • Decommissioned 10 October 1995 and deleted from the Fijian Navy list in 1996
  • Disposed of by being set on fire at position Lat. 18 09.6' S, Long. 178 21.58' E. The designated position for disposal was 19 30' S, 177 00' E, however, the unfavorable weather and the very poor
    material condition of Kiro was such that the mast broke and fell into the sea just as she was being towed out of Suva harbor. Later on the towing pad eye on Kiro was ripped off the deck due to the decks rotten state. Kiro was left to drift onto the reef at the above position and broke in two as she hit the reef. She was doused with fuel and set on fire and burned for some 19 hours. The only pieces left are the ships engines and the very lower part of the hull that is covered at high tide.


  • 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 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 Warbler (MSC 206)
    Warbler 22k Namesake: Warbler - A small, brightly colored songbird Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 22 March 2020
    Warbler 37k Paul Wamsley
    Warbler 169k Moored between Widgeon (MSC 208) and an unidentified MSC Anthony Mongi
    Vireo 62k Moored inboard of Vireo (MSC 205) Richard Miller, BMCS, USNR, Ret.
    Warbler 88k
    Warbler 60k C. 1962
    The ships of Mine Division 32. Warbler, Widgeon (MSC 208), Gannet (MSC 290), Whippoorwill (MSC 207) and Woodpecker (MSC 209)
    Warbler 68k 24 May 1968
    National Archives photo USN 1131997
    Paul Wamsley
    HMFS Kiro (MSC 206)
    Warbler 91k 23 January 1986
    Right to left, the Fijian navy ships Kiro, HMFS Kikau [MSC 204], ex-Woodpecker (MSC 209) and HMFS Kula [MSC 205],
    ex-Vireo (MSC 205) at Suva Navy Base, on a very foggy morning.
    Ray Smith

    Commanding Officers
    01LT James Sidle Elfelt, USN - Retired as Rear Admiral26 July 1955 - 6 October 1956
    02LT Harry Wayne Morgan, Jr., USN - USNA Class of 19496 October 1956 - 20 December 1958
    03LT Charles Edward Rogers, Jr., USN20 December 1958 - 1 November 1960
    04LT Richard Ray Tarbuck, USN1 November 1960 - 11 January 1963
    05LT Ray Marvin Hawkins, USN11 January 1963 - 27 January 1965
    06LT John Virgil Dirksen, USN27 January 1965 - 21 October 1966
    07LT Stephen Kent Chadwick, USN - Retired as Rear Admiral21 October 1966 - 23 April 1968
    08LT Vernon Bennett Paul, USN23 April 1968 - 5 February 1970
    09LT Jerrold Jay Negin, USN - USNA Class of 19645 February 1970 - 1 October 1970
    10LT Jay Rutledge Mason, Jr., USN1 October 1970 - 1971
    11LT John Mohr McIntosh, Jr., USN(Officer-in-Charge)1971 - 22 March 1973
    12LT Charles Joseph Yash, USN - USNA Class of 197022 March 1973 - 30 June 1975
    01LCDR George Dennis Vaughan, USNR - U.S. Naval Reserve CO
    Retired as Rear Admiral
    1972 - 1 October 1973
    02LCDR Richard Earl Parks, USN/USNR - USNA Class of 1954
    U.S. Naval Reserve CO
    1 October 1973 - 30 June 1975
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Joseph M. Radigan (of blessed memory)

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships: The second Warbler (AMS 206) was laid down on 15 October 1953 at Bellingham, Wash., by the Bellingham Shipyards Co.; launched 18 June 1954, sponsored by Mrs. S. A. Blythe; redesignated to MSC-206 on 7 February 1955; commissioned 26 July 1955, at the Naval Station, Tacoma, Wash., LTJG James S. Efelt in command. USS Warbler (MSC 206), coastal minesweeper, nonmagnetic construction, wooden hull and stainless steel, aluminum, and bronze engine and hull fittings.

    Following shakedown Warbler reported to Commander, Mine Force, Pacific Fleet, and operated locally out of Long Beach for the next year. In August 1956, in company with Whippoorwill, the minesweeper set sail for the Far East, to assume duties as flagship for Mine Division 32. Home porting out of Sasebo, Japan, Warbler would remain in the Far East over the next 14 years, participating in numerous mine exercises with the navies of other friendly far eastern nations such as South Korea, Nationalist China, the Philippines, and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force. Warbler conducted numerous tours of duty on "Market Time Patrol" from 1964-1970.

    Departing Sasebo 17 August 1970, Warbler reached the west coast of the United States on 17 September, in company with Catskill (MCS 1), Vireo (MSC 205) and Widgeon (MSC 208). On 1 October 1970, Warbler was decommissioned. Simultaneously placed in service as a Naval Reserve Training (NRT) ship, homeported at Seattle, Wash., Warbler commenced her new duties soon thereafter. She trained reservists out of Seattle into the mid-1970's, and was placed on the sale list in July 1975. On 14 October 1975, she was transferred, via cash sale, to the government of Fiji, until decommissioned in 1991, and deleted in 1996.

    Warbler (MSC 206) was awarded seven engagement stars for important services on "Market Time Patrol."

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