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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Swallow (AM 4)

Call sign (1924):
Nan - Easy - Fox - Love

Call sign (1919):
George - Tare - Vice - King

ex-Minesweeper No. 4

Lapwing Class Minesweeper:

  • The first Swallow was laid down 18 March 1918 by the Todd Shipyard Corp., New York, NY
  • Launched 4 July 1918
  • Commissioned USS Swallow (Minesweeper No. 4), 8 October 1918
  • Designated AM-4 in 1920
  • Ran aground 19 February 1938 at Kanaga Island, Aleutian Islands, AK and was stranded
  • Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register 5 May 1938.


  • Displacement 950 t.
  • Length 187' 10"
  • Beam 35' 6"
  • Draft 9' 9"
  • Speed 14 kts.
  • Complement 78
  • Armament: Two 3" guns
  • Propulsion: Two Babcock and Wilcox boilers, one triple expansion reciprocating steam engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS Swallow (Minesweeper No. 4)
    Swallow 24k Namesake: Swallow - Any of numerous small, long-winged birds noted for their graceful flight and regular migrations Tommy Trampp
    Swallow 286k Photo from "Sweeping the North Sea Mine Barrage" by the U.S. Navy North Sea Minesweeping Detachment Joe Radigan
    Swallow/Woodcock/Eider/Teal 256k Celebrating the return of the Atlantic Fleet Mine-Sweeping Detachment return to U.S. on 24 November 1919, and being reviewed by Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels. Ships identifiable here include: USS Woodcock (AM-14), USS SC-164, USS Eider (AM-17), USS SC-40, USS Swallow (AM-4), USS Teal (AM-23)
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 45238
    Mike Green
    USS Swallow (AM 4)
    Swallow 102k Photo by Mickey Hawkins Marshall Hawkins
    Swallow 186k U.S. Navy Martin T3M-1 (No. 1T9) taking off from unidentified harbor. In the background the Swallow is anchored, with three more biplanes parked near the shore line
    U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum photo 2011.003.205.012
    Mike Green
    Swallow 223k 9 March 1921
    Serving as an Alaska radio station tender
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 632
    Swallow 68k 1 September 1923
    Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington
    Joe Radigan
    Photo added 3 March 2020
    PE-32 281k Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Washington
    View of part of the Yard's waterfront, 8 March 1926. Ships alongside the pier in the foreground are (from left to right): USS Eagle 32 (PE-32); USS Swallow (AM-4); and USS Thompson (DD-305). USS Idaho (BB-42) is in the drydock in the right center background, and Coal Barge No. 132 is tied up in front of the drydock entrance
    U.S. Navy photo NH 45227
    Naval History and Heritage Command

    Commanding Officers
    01LT Bennie Clark Phillips, USN - Awarded the Navy Cross (1919)8 October 1918 - 8 January 1919
    02LT Frederick Benjamin Webber, USN8 January 1919
    03LTJG Harold Levi Arnold, USN28 July 1920
    04LT Stephen Andrew Loftus, USN12 January 1921
    05LT Roy Melvin Cottrell, USN10 March 1922
    06LT Peter John Gundlach, USN10 November 1922
    07LT Charles William Van Horn, USN16 November 1924
    08LT Omar Brown Earle, USN6 September 1926
    09LT Orio Hugh Small, USN1 December 1927 - 4 August 1931
    10LT John Ford Warris, USN4 August 1931 - 1934
    11LCDR Bern Anderson, USN30 April 1934
    12LT Artyn Little Maia, USN10 June 1935 - 19 February 1938
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Joe Radigan

    View the Swallow (AM 4)
    DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway website
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