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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Turkey (AT[O] 143)

Call sign:
Nan - Fox - Peter - Fox


Call sign (1939):
Negat - Int - Jig - Fox

ex-Minesweeper No. 13

Call sign (1919):
George - Rush - Quack - Vice

Lapwing Class Minesweeper:

  • The first Turkey was laid down 19 August 1917 at Chester Shipbuilding Co., Chester, PA
  • Launched 30 April 1918
  • Commissioned USS Turkey, Minesweeper No. 13, 13 December 1918
  • Designated AM-13, 17 February 1920
  • Decommissioned 12 April 1922 at Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii and laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet at Pearl Harbor
  • Recommissioned 15 August 1938 at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA
  • Reclassified as an Ocean Tug, AT-143, 1 June 1942
  • Reclassified as an Ocean Tug (Old), AT(O)-143, 15 May 1944
  • Decommissioned 6 November 1945 at San Francisco, CA
  • Struck from the Navy Register 28 November 1945
  • Sold for scrap and delivered to the Hawley Forge and Manufacturing Co. of San Francisco on 30 December 1946.


  • Displacement 950 t.
    1944 - 1,350 t.
  • Length 187' 10"
  • Beam 35' 6'
  • Draft 9' 10"
    1944 - 13' 1"
  • Speed 14 kts.
    1944 - 12 kts.
  • Complement 78
    1944 - 75
  • Armament: Two 3" gun mounts and machine guns
    1944 - Two 3"/50 dual purpose mounts
  • Propulsion: Two Babcock and Wilcox boilers, triple expansion reciprocating steam engine, one shaft
    1944 - Two 200psi saturated steam Babcock and Wilcox header boilers, one 1,400shp Chester Shipbuilding Co. vertical triple expansion reciprocating steam engine.

    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Turkey (Minesweeper No. 13)
    Turkey 104k Namesake: Turkey - A large game and poultry bird, allied to the pheasant and native to North America. Benjamin Franklin suggested that the abundant wild turkey, which had provided food for the early settlers in the New World, should be chosen as the national bird Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 13 February 2020
    Turkey 136k Fitting out at the Chester Shipbuilding Company shipyard, Chester, Pennsylvania, 20 October 1918. The incomplete ship in the left distance is SS Auburn, which briefly served as USS Auburn
    (ID 3842)
    in 1919
    Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1974
    U.S. Navy photo NH 79068
    Naval Historical Center
    USS Turkey (Minesweeper No. 13)
    Turkey 76k Turkey moored alongside a support ship astern of Widgeon, Minesweeper No. 22
    Photo from "Sweeping the North Sea Mine Barrage" by the U.S. Navy North Sea Minesweeping Detachment
    Joe Radigan
    Turkey 280k Photo from "Sweeping the North Sea Mine Barrage" by the U.S. Navy North Sea Minesweeping Detachment
    Lapwing 118k Review of the Atlantic Fleet Minesweeping Squadron, November 1919. Ships of the squadron anchored in the Hudson River, off New York City, while being reviewed by Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels on 24 November 1919, following their return to the United States after taking part in clearing the North Sea mine barrage. Identifiable ships present include (left column, from front to rear): Turkey; USS Quail (Minesweeper No. 15) with SC-354 alongside; USS Lark (Minesweeper No. 21) with SC-208 alongside; Swan (Minesweeper No. 34) with SC-356 alongside; and USS Flamingo (Minesweeper No. 32) with an unidentified submarine chaser alongside. (right column, from front to rear): USS Thrush (Minesweeper No. 18); Two unidentified minesweepers, one of which is probably Lapwing (Minesweeper No. 1); USS Kingfisher (Minesweeper No. 25); and, in no particular order, tugs Patapsco and Patuxent. USS SC-245 is at the far right, passing between the two
    anchored columns
    U.S. Navy photo NH 44904
    Naval Historical Center
    USS Turkey (AT 143)
    Turkey 40k In drydock National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors

    Commanding Officers
    01LT John Hugh McDonald, USNRF13 December 1918 - 4 August 1920
    02LT Peter Edward Radcliffe, USN4 August 1920 - 12 April 1922
    03LT Ove Peter Octavius Hansen, USN15 August 1938 - 5 March 1939
    04Chief Boatswain Harry Joseph Kupbens, USN5 March 1939 - 20 September 1939
    05LCDR Harry Roberts Carson, Jr., USN - Retired as RADM20 September 1939 - 30 June 1941
    06LCDR Thompson Fletcher Fowler, USN - USNA Class of 192530 June 1941 - 21 April 1943
    07LT Samuel Burl Neff, USN21 April 1943 - 1 September 1943
    08LT Richard Johnston Melchor, USNR1 September 1943 - 26 October 1944
    09LTJG Robert Albert Botsford, USNR26 October 1944 - 6 June 1945
    10LT James Michael Charles Tighe, USNR6 June 1945 - 6 November 1945
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Joe Radigan

    View the Turkey (AM 13)
    DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command website
    Additional Resources and Websites of Interest
    National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors

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