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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Tanager (AM 5)

Call sign (1939):
Negat - Afirm - Baker - Sail

ex-Minesweeper No. 5

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

Tanager sank 4 May 1942

Lapwing Class Minesweeper:

  • Laid down 28 September 1917 by the Staten Island Shipbuilding Co., New York, NY
  • Launched 2 March 1918
  • Commissioned USS Tanager, Minesweeper No. 5, 28 June 1918
  • Designated AM-5, 17 July 1920
  • Struck by Japanese shore batteries on Bataan 4 May 1942 and sank off Corregidor
  • Struck from the Naval Register 8 May 1942.


  • Displacement 840 t.
  • Length 187' 10"
  • Beam 28' 8"
  • Draft 10' 3"
  • Speed 14 kts.
  • Complement 85
  • Armament: Two 3" guns
  • Propulsion: One Harlan and Hollingsworth vertical triple expansion steam engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS Tanager (Minesweeper No. 5)
    Tanager 60k Namesake: Tanager - Any of the numerous American, passerine birds. The brightly colored males are unmusical and inhabit woodlands Jim Kurrasch, Battleship Iowa, Pacific Battleship Center
    Tanager 109k Conducting sweep operations in the North Sea, July 1919
    U.S. Navy photo NH 471943
    Naval Historical Center
    Tanager 188k In port during North Sea Mine Barrage clearance operations, circa mid-1919. She wears "X" as an identification mark on her bow and smokestack. Another vessel, part of a group of ships partially visible in the right distance, also has an "X" painted on her bow
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2010
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 107315
    Robert Hurst
    Tanager 459k Ship's Officers and Crew, photographed on board in a North Sea port, during the 1919 North Sea mine barrage clearance operation
    Tanager 139k In dry dock at Lisbon, Portugal in October 1919, while en route to the U.S. following North Sea Mine Barrage clearance operations
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2010
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 107314
    Tanager 196k Photo from "Sweeping the North Sea Mine Barrage" by the U.S. Navy North Sea Minesweeping Detachment
    1.18k Passing a sweep line between Tanager (Minesweeper No. 5) and a sister minesweeper, circa 1918-1919 Naval History & Heritage Command photo # S-590.01 via
    USS Tanager (AM 5)
    Tanager 157k Jim Kurrasch, Battleship Iowa, Pacific Battleship Center
    Tanager 250k In port, during a scientific expedition from Honolulu to Wake Island and other Pacific Ocean islands, circa 1923 Robert Hurst

    Commanding Officers
    01LTJG Michael Higgins, USN - Awarded the Navy Cross (1919)28 June 1918 - 15 July 1919
    02Machinist(T) Roy C. Littlefield, USN1918 (Temporary)
    03LT Michael Joseph Wilkinson, USN - Awarded the Navy Cross (1919)15 July 1919
    04LT Stephen Ingham, USN18 March 1920 - 7 June 1924
    05LT Donald Brown McClary, USN7 June 1924
    06LT Laurence Bennett, USN12 November 1927 - 24 September 1930
    07LT Clyde Morrison, USN24 September 1930
    08LT Thomas Butler Birtley, Jr., USN30 November 1931
    09LT William Atherton Kanakanui, USN30 December 1933
    10LT Paul Cyril Wirtz, USN9 October 1936
    11LT Edward Raymond Joseph Griffin, USN - Awarded the Navy Cross (1941)10 February 1938
    12LCDR Egbert Adolph Roth, USN - USNA Class of 1929
    Awarded the Navy Cross (Posthumously)-(1942)
    14 June 1939 - 4 May 1942
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Joe Radigan

    View the Tanager (AM 5)
    DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway website
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