Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.

NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Rail (AT[O]-139)

Call sign:
Nan - Queen - Fox - Able


Call sign (1939):
Negat - Afirm - Queen - Jig

ex-Minesweeper No. 26

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

Lapwing Class Minesweeper:

  • The first Rail was laid down 15 December 1917 at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, WA
  • Launched 25 April 1918
  • Commissioned USS Rail, Minesweeper No.26, 5 June 1918
  • Designated AM-26, 17 July 1920
  • Reclassified as a Fleet Tug AT-139, 1 June 1942
  • Reclassified as a Fleet Tug (Old), AT(O)-139, 15 May 1944
  • Decommissioned and struck from the Navy Register 29 April 1946 at San Francisco, CA
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal 17 January 1947
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 950 t.
    1944 - 1,350 t.
  • Length 187' 10"
  • Beam 35' 6"
  • Draft 10' 3"
    1944 - 13' 1"
  • Speed 14 kts.
    1944 - 13 kts.
  • Complement 62
    1944 - 75
  • Armament: Two 3" gun mounts and two 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 Harlan and Hollingsworth vertical triple expansion reciprocating steam engine. one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS Rail (Minesweeper No. 26)
    Rail 166k Namesake: Rail - A small wading bird, related to the cranes Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 28 February 2020
    Rail 281k Photo from "Sweeping the North Sea Mine Barrage" by the U.S. Navy North Sea Minesweeping Detachment Joe Radigan
    USS Rail (AM 26)
    Rail 49k Courtesy of Pearl Harbor survivor Leland James Jon Burdett
    Rail 109k Mike Green
    Rail 92k Lieutenant Colonel Culver [U.S. Army Air Corps], being picked up by the minesweeper Rail between Cape Henry and Cape Charles Light Vessel during the bombing experiments, 1921
    Photo from Department of the Navy study of Naval Bombing Experiments Off the Virginia Capes - June and July 1921
    Naval History and Heritage Command
    Rail 248k c. March 1922
    With a Wyoming (BB 32)-class battleship off the bow
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 805
    Original photo: Dictionary of American Naval
    Fighting Ships
    Replacement photo: Mike Green
    Vireo/Rail 112k c. March 1922
    In Boston harbor astern of Vireo (AM 52)
    U.S. Navy photo NH 50207
    Naval Historical Center
    Rail 182k Rail (AM-26) at Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, 1941
    Courtesy of Mr. Joseph Sekot
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 81002
    Mike Green

    Commanding Officers
    01ENS R. E. Allen, USNRF5 June 1918
    02LT Edwin Ray Wroughton, USN - Awarded the Navy Cross (1920)1919
    03LT Joseph Hed, USNRF3 August 1920 - 23 December 1921
    04LT Edwin Newcombe Fisher, USN23 December 1921 - 2 January 1923
    05Chief Boatswain's Mate George B. Martinson, USN1925
    06LT Joseph Edmund Jackson, USN1932 - April 1935
    07LT Robert Lord Campbell, Jr., USN - Retired as Rear AdmiralApril 1935 - June 1936
    08LT Joseph Alphonse Ouellet, USNJune 1936 - June 1939
    09LCDR Francis Willis Beard, USNJune 1939 - 31 January 1943
    10LTJG Leslie Charles Oaks, USN31 January 1943 - 5 November 1943
    11LTJG Herbert Kincaid Smith, USN5 November 1943 - September 1944
    12LTJG Theodore Paul Pierce, USNSeptember 1944 - 1 March 1945
    13LTJG Edward Douglas White, USN1 March 1945 - 1 July 1945
    14LT Orval Frank Allen, USN1 July 1945 - 29 April 1946
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Joe Radigan

    View the Rail (AM 26) DANFS History

    Back to the Main Photo Index Back to the Mine Warfare Ship Photo Index Back to the Minesweeper (AM) Photo Index Back to the Auxiliary Ship Index Back to the Fleet Ocean Tug (AT) Photo Index

    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail Webmaster

    This page created and maintained by Joseph M. Radigan (of blessed memory) & Michael Mohl
    All Pages 1996 - 2023, NavSource History, All rights reserved.