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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Sandpiper (AVP 9)

Call sign:
Nan - Item - King - King

ex-Minesweeper No. 51

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

Lapwing Class Minesweeper:

  • Laid down 15 November 1918 by Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA
  • Launched 28 April 1919
  • Commissioned USS Sandpiper, Minesweeper No.51, 9 October 1919
  • Designated AM-51, 17 February 1920
  • Reclassified as a Small Seaplane Tender, AVP-9, 22 January 1936
  • Decommissioned 10 December 1945 at Boston, MA
  • Struck from the Naval Register 17 April 1946
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission 12 October 1946 for disposal
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 950 t.
    1936 - 1,350 t.
  • Length 187' 10"
  • Beam 35' 6"
  • Draft 9' 9"
    1936 - 13' 1"
  • Speed 14 kts.
    1936 - 12 kts.
  • Complement 78
    1936 - 75
  • Armament: One 11 pounder and two machine guns
    1936 - One 3"/50 dual purpose mount
  • Propulsion: Two Babcock and Wilcox boilers, triple expansion reciprocating steam engine, one shaft
    1936 - Two 200psi saturated steam Babcock and Wilcox header boilers, one 1,400shp Harlan and Hollingsworth vertical triple expansion reciprocating steam engine.

    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS Sandpiper (AM 51)
    Sandpiper 39k Namesake: Sandpiper - A shore bird related to the plovers and snipes Tommy Trampp
    Sandpiper 204k Collection of Gustave Maurer
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 1434
    Mike Green
    Shawmut 75k c. April 1921
    Shawmut (CM 4), Sandpiper (AM 51), and flying boats en route to Hampton Roads to participate in bombing experiments off Virginia Capes, April 1921
    U.S. Navy photo
    Naval History and Heritage Command
    Photo added 13 February 2021
    Sandpiper 143k USS Wright (AZ-1) with Sandpiper alongside at the time of Fleet Problem I in the Panama area circa February 1923. The photo was probably taken from one of Wright's F5L seaplanes and shows another F5L anchored in the distance. Wright no longer operated kite balloons but was still classified AZ-1 and retained her balloon platform and well aft. Sandpiper was one of three minesweepers assigned in 1919 to duty supporting aviation; she and eight sisters were reclassified to small seaplane tenders (AVP-1 class, q.v.) in 1936
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 100449
    Mike Green
    Teal 81k View of the Philadelphia Navy Yard's Delaware River waterfront, with the hammerhead crane in center, 31 May 1923. Among the ships visible are: USS Lamson (DD-328), in left center; Sandpiper and Teal (AM 23), at right, with the crane ship Kearsarge beyond; Destroyers Preston (DD-327), Coghlan (DD-326) and Sharkey (DD-281), partially visible at left. USS Dobbin (AD-3) is fitting out on the opposite side of the pier, at left
    U.S. Navy photo NH 43453
    Naval Historical Center
    Sandpiper 44k Seen here as a minesweeper for duty with aircraft, c. 9 October 1919 to 21 January 1936
    U.S. Navy photo
    Hazegray & Underway Website
    Sandpiper 194k 13 November 1920
    With a storm damaged Curtiss F5-L flying boat on her stern
    U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum photo 1999.342.004
    Mike Green
    Sandpiper 118k Sandpiper tending a Martin T3M-2 of Scouting One (VS-1) at Guantanamo Bay on 29 March 1926
    Photographed by USS Wright (AV-1)
    National Archives photo 80-G-1017218
    Mike Green
    USS Sandpiper (AVP 9)
    Sandpiper 94k Still wearing her minesweeper hull number Richard Miller, BMCS, USNR, Ret.
    Sandpiper 86k Naval cover postmarked USS Sandpiper 6 February 1942 Tommy Trampp
    Sandpiper 63k c. 1943
    U.S. Navy photos
    Joe Radigan
    Sandpiper 71k
    Sandpiper 44k
    Sandpiper 60k
    Sandpiper 142k Sandpiper near the Boston Navy Yard on 25 March 1943. Her main gun armament was reduced, probably at this time, to a single 3"/50 gun in a smaller tub forward
    National Archives photo 19-N-42088
    Mike Green

    Commanding Officers
    01LT Edwin Murphy, USN9 October 1919 - 31 January 1920
    02LT Ciryl Kennin Wildman, USN - USNA Class of 1919
    Awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal (1945) - Retired as Captain
    31 January 1920 - 15 September 1920
    03LT William Johnson, USN15 September 1920
    04Chief Boatswain Eugene John Frieh, USN4 December 1920
    05LT John Augustus Clough, USN26 April 1923
    06LT Warren Kingsbury Bigger, USNRF2 April 1924 - 28 April 1925
    07LT Arthur Bales Dorsey, USN11 June 1927 - 7 June 1930
    08LT Charles Doyle Leffler, Jr., USN - USNA Class of 1918
    Awarded the Legion of Merit (1944) - Retired as Rear Admiral
    7 June 1930 - 1932
    09LT William Hine Gallbraith, USN10 May 1932
    10LT Thomas Hinckley Robbins, Jr., USN - USNA Class of 1920
    Awarded two Legions of Merit (1945/1962) - Retired as Rear Admiral
    30 October 1933
    11LT Robert Edwin Blick, Jr., USN - USNA Class of 1922
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1944) and three Legions of Merit with Combat V (1944/1945/1953) - Retired as
    Vice Admiral
    1 July 1935
    12LCDR Albert Kellogg Morehouse, USN - USNA Class of 1922
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1944) and two Legions of Merit with Combat V (1945/1951) - Retired as Rear Admiral
    1 June 1937
    13LT Paul Lee Dudley, USN - Awarded the Legion of Merit (1961)
    Retired as Rear Admiral
    25 April 1939
    14LT Travis Robert Leverett, USN21 June 1941 - 27 July 1942
    15LCDR Howard Thomas Ewing Anderson, USN27 July 1942 - 8 March 1943
    16LCDR Lyle Charles Bradley, USNR8 March 1943 - 16 November 1944
    17LT George Robert Moorman, USNR16 November 1944 - 9 June 1945
    18LT Howard George Dean, USNR9 June 1945 - 10 December 1945
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Joe Radigan

    View the Sandpiper (AM-51)
    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 Small Seaplane Tender (AVP) Photo Index

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    This page was created by Gary P. Priolo & maintained by Joseph M. Radigan (of blessed memory) & Michael Mohl
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