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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Grebe (AT 134)

Call sign (1939):
Negat - Int - King - Xray

ex-Minesweeper No. 43

Call sign (1919):
George - Boy - Cast - Vice

Grounded and lost 6 December 1942

Lapwing Class Minesweeper:

  • Laid down 25 May 1918 by the Staten Island Steam Boat Co., Staten Island, NY
  • Launched 17 December 1918
  • Commissioned USS Grebe, Minesweeper No. 43, 1 May 1919 at Brooklyn Navy Yard
  • Designated AM-43, 17 July 1920
  • Decommissioned 12 May 1922
  • Recommissioned 15 November 1922
  • Reclassified as a Fleet Tug, AT-134, 1 June 1942
  • Lost due to grounding 6 December 1942 at Vuanta Vatoa, Fiji and hurricane damage 1 - 2 January 1943
  • Decommissioned and struck from the Navy Register 28 July 1943.


  • Displacement 950 t.
  • Length 187' 10"
  • Beam 35' 6"
  • Draft 8' 10"
  • Speed 14 kts.
  • Complement 78
  • Armament: Two 3" mounts
  • 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 Grebe (Minesweeper No. 43)
    Grebe 23k

    Grebe - A swimming bird closely related to the loon but with lobate rather than webbed toes

    Tommy Trampp
    Grebe 128k Original photo: Jon Burdett
    Replacement photo: David Wright
    Grebe 112k 10 June 1919
    Test of Marine Railway, Grebe, forward of USS Acushnet (AT-63). View to southwest at the Charlestown Navy Yard. The Marine Railway is located between Piers 2 and 3, on the Charlestown waterfront at west end of Navy Yard, Boston, Suffolk County, MA
    Library of Congress photo HAER MA-90-69-18
    Mike Green
    Grebe 263k Photo from "Sweeping the North Sea Mine Barrage" by the U.S. Navy North Sea Minesweeping Detachment Joe Radigan
    USS Grebe (AM 43)
    Grebe 112k c. 1920
    New York harbor
    Photo by P. L. Speer
    Darryl Baker
    Grebe 17k c. 1921/22
    Panama Canal
    Dave Spence
    Grebe 110k c. 1930s David Wright
    Photo added 17 March 2021
    Grebe 23k 1931 postcard Tommy Trampp
    Grebe 176k Moored across the pier from the USS Constitution (IX-21) at the Boston Navy Yard in May 1934
    Photo from Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection
    Mike Green
    Grebe 83k Post card dated 25 March 1935 Wolfgang Hechler
    Grebe 92k Post card dated 7 February 1936, USS Grebe
    Grebe Crew 83k c. 1938/1940
    Crew photo. Signalman August Billig is 10th from the left, back row
    Bruce Billig
    USS Grebe (AT 134)
    Grebe 147k U.S. Navy photo from "Our Fighting Ships" by Mitchell D. Katz, Jr., Herbert C. Lee and Edwil L. Levy, Jr., Harper and Brothers, 1942 Derick S. Hartshorn

    Commanding Officers
    01LT Niels Drunstrup, USN - Awarded the Medal of Honor (1914 - Awarded in 1924) and the Navy Cross (1919)
    Retired as Lieutenant Commander
    1 May 1919
    02LTJG William Leo Hickey, USN6 June 1919
    03Chief Boatswain Laffayette Purnell Guy, USN7 November 1921
    04Chief Boatswain Albert C. Franzel, USN15 November 1922
    05LT Chester Claude Farmer, USN19 August 1925
    06LT Emil Herbert Petri, USN15 February 1929
    07LT Andrew Simmons, USN2 June 1930
    08LT Harry Saint John Butler, USN1 July 1931 - 19 March 1934
    09LTJG Knowlton Williams, USN19 March 1934 - 25 March 1935
    10LT Chris Halverson, USN25 March 1935 - 10 April 1936
    11LT Clarence Lemoine Waters, USN10 April 1936 - 27 June 1936
    12LT Herbert Augustus Anderson, USN27 June 1936
    13LT Marion Clermont Thompson, USN19 June 1938 - 16 June 1939
    14LCDR Ellsworth Dudley McEathron, USN - USNA Class of 1920
    Awarded the Silver Star (1945) and two Legions of Merit with Combat V (1944/1945) - Retired as Rear Admiral
    16 June 1939 - 1 May 1942
    15LT Harold Stanley Bogan, USN1 May 1942 - 1 September 1942
    16ENS William Lewis Sloan, USN1 September 1942 - 1 October 1942
    17LT Charles McMaster Lewis, USN1 October 1942 - 6 December 1942
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Joe Radigan

    View the Grebe (AM-43)
    DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway website
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors
    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 Photo Index Back to the Fleet Tug (AT) Photo Index

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