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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Ortolan (ASR 5)

Call sign:
Nan - Item - King - Charlie

ex-Minesweeper No. 45

Call sign (1919):
George - Boy - Dog - Rush

Lapwing Class Minesweeper:

  • Laid down 9 July 1918 by the Staten Island Shipbuilding Co., Staten Island, NY
  • Launched 30 January 1919
  • Commissioned USS Ortolan, Minesweeper No. 45, 17 September 1919
  • Designated AM-45, 17 July 1920
  • Decommissioned, 3 May 1922 at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA
  • Recommissioned, 11 July 1922
  • Reclassified as a Submarine Rescue Ship, ASR-5, 12 September 1929
  • Decommissioned 18 March 1947 at San Francisco, CA
  • Struck from the Navy Register 10 June 1947
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal and sold 20 August 1947 into mercantile service to Bay Cities Transportation Co. of San Francisco, CA
    Naval Vessel Register of 1 January 1949 lists plan for transfer to the War Shipping Administration as September 1947
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 1,400 t.
  • Length 188' 7"
  • Beam 36' 8"
  • Draft 13' 2"
  • Speed 14 kts.
  • Complement 91
  • Armament: Two 3"/50 dual purpose mounts
  • Propulsion: Two 200psi Babcock and Wilcox saturated steam boilers, Harlan and Hollingsworth Corp. 1,400shp triple expansion vertical engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS Ortolan (AM 45)
    Ortolan 27k Namesake: Ortolan - A European bunting Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 11 March 2020
    Ortolan 119 Original photo: Robert Hurst
    Replacement photo: David Wright
    Second replacement photo: Jim Kurrasch, Battleship Iowa, Pacific Battleship Center
    Photo added 28 July 2019
    Ortolan 211k Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 666 Mike Green
    Ortolan 112k c. 1925
    Ortolan possibly at Mare Island. The sub is believed to be the S-35 (SS-140), or S-36 (SS-141)
    Ric Hedman TN(SS)
    USS Ortolan (ASR 5)
    Ortolan 118k Undated postcard Tommy Trampp
    Ortolan 90k Original photo: U.S. Navy photo
    Replacement photo caption: NAVY'S SUBMARINE RESCUE VESSEL

    Here is the USS Ortolan, the Navy's submarine rescue vessel, as it conducted rescue exercises 22 miles off San Diego, California recently. A rescue chamber can be seen being lowered from the stern of the vessel during the exercise
    Associated Press photo 11 January 1940

    Replacement photo: David Wright
    Ortolan 299k 17 July 1943
    Solomon Islands
    The crew of the Ortolan standing on hull of a raised Japanese midget sub
    Library of Congress photo
    Bill Gonyo
    Ortolan 242k An unidentified Japanese Type "A" midget submarine alongside
    Photo from United States Submarine Operations in World War II by Theodore Roscoe
    Robert Hurst
    Ortolan 223k Crewman from Ortolan (ASR-5) in the conning tower hatch of the unidentified Japanese Type "A" midget submarine
    Photo from United States Submarine Operations in World War II by Theodore Roscoe

    Commanding Officers
    01LT William Alexander James, USN17 September 1919
    02LTJG Mauritz Martin Nelson, USN1 July 1923
    03LT William Elbert McClendon, USN18 December 1926
    04LT Fleet Wood Corwin, USN29 March 1929 - 1932
    05LT Frederick John Eckhoff, USN18 June 1932 - 1933
    06LT Orville Kenneth O'Daniel, USN11 July 1933
    07LCDR Robert Lee Dennison, USN - USNA Class of 1923
    Awarded the Distinguished Service Medal (1963) and two Legion of Merits (1944)
    Served as Naval Aide to President Harry S. Truman (1948) - Retired as Admiral
    1935 - 1937
    08LT Lowell Thornton Stone, USN - USNA Class of 1929
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1944), and two Silver Stars (1944) - Retired as Rear Admiral
    28 April 1938 - July 1941
    09LT Frank DeVere Latta, USN - USNA Class of 1932
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1944), the Silver Star (1942) and the Legion of Merit with Combat V (Posthumously/1945)
    July 1941 - 8 April 1942
    10LCDR Ashley L. Holland, USN - Awarded the Legion of Merit (1943)8 April 1942 - December 1943
    11LT Ernest Maltby, USNDecember 1943 - 1946
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Joe Radigan

    View the Ortolan (AM-45)
    DANFS History entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Website
    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 Submarine Rescue Ship (ASR) Photo Index

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