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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Willet (ARS 12)

Call sign:
Nan - Queen - Sugar - Sugar

ex-Willet (AM 54)
ex-Willet, Minesweeper No. 54

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

USSB call sign (1921):
Mike - Boy - William - George

Lapwing Class Minesweeper:

  • Laid down 26 May 1919 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Philadelphia, PA
  • Launched 11 September 1919
  • Commissioned USS Willet, Minesweeper No. 54, 29 January 1920
  • Decommissioned 29 May 1920 and loaned to the United States Shipping Board (USSB) for use as a wrecking ship and homeported at Philadelphia, PA
  • Designated AM-54, 17 July 1920
  • Reclassified as a Salvage Vessel, ARS-12, 13 September 1941
  • Declared surplus 1 December 1947
  • Struck from the Navy Register 5 December 1947
  • Transferred 2 November 1948 to the War Shipping Administration and sold for scrap to Joseph Demaso of Miami, FL.


  • Displacement 840 t.
    1927 - 715 t.
  • Length 187' 10"
    1927 - 181.6'
  • Beam 35' 5'
  • Draft 8' 10"
    1927 - 16.3'
  • Speed 14 kts.
  • Complement 85
    1927 - 26
  • Armament: Two 3"/50 gun mounts
    1941 - 20mm mount or smaller
  • Propulsion: Two Babcock and Wilcox 200psi boilers, one 1,200shp Harlan and Hollingsworth Corp. triple expansion engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    USSB Vessel Willet
    Willet 23k

    Willet - A large shore bird of central North America, whose name comes from its call, "pilly-will-willet"

    Tommy Trampp
    Willet 322k Photo from the Key West Library archives Keith Lowe
    Willet 141k
    Willet 452k c. 1930s Darryl Baker
    Photo added 19 March 2022
    USS Willet (ARS 12)
    Warbler 727k Landing Craft Infantry (Large) LCI(L)-85, LCI(L)-86 with LCI(L)-91 and LCI(L)-350 nested with others at Trumbo Point, Key West, Florida. Warbler (ARS 11) is moored outboard of Willet on the left and the Stevedoring Barge, YS-103 is in the right foreground
    Photo from the Wright Langley Collection courtesy of Florida Keys Public Libraries
    Robert Hurst

    Commanding Officers
    01LT Albion Oscar Larsen, USNRF29 January 1920 - 29 May 1920
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and R. A. Moody

    View the Willet (AM 54)
    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 Mine Sweeper (AM) Photo Index Back to the Auxiliary Ship Index Back to the Salvage Ship (ARS) Photo Index

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