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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Catbird (IX 183)
ex-AM 68

Call sign:
Nan - Easy - Dog - Oboe

Catbird Class Minesweeper:

  • Built in 1938 as the steel hull trawler Bittern by the Charleston Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Charleston, SC for the Atlantic Fisheries Co. of Charleston
  • Acquired by the Navy 6 August 1940
  • Renamed Catbird 14 August 1940
  • Conversion to a Minesweeper began 3 September 1940 at the Quincy Dry Dock and Yacht Corp., Quincy, MA
  • Commissioned USS Catbird (AM 68), 27 November 1940
  • Conversion completed 10 May 1941
  • Reclassified as a Miscellaneous Unclassified Auxiliary, IX-183, 15 August 1944 and used for salvage work
  • Placed out of commission, in service 17 August 1944
  • Placed out of service and laid up, 7 November 1945
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal 24 January 1947
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 570 t.
  • Length 147' 10"
  • Beam 28' 8"
  • Draft 12'
  • Speed 12 kts.
  • Armament: One 3"/23 gun mount
  • Propulsion: One 575shp Fairbanks Morse diesel engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Bittern 104k Namesake: Bittern is a bird of the heron family Tommy Trampp
    Catbird 27k Namesake: Catbird - An American songbird, dark gray with black cap and reddish undertail coverts
    Catbird 168k c. 1941
    Courtesy of D. M. McPherson, 1974
    U.S. Navy photo NH 81359
    Naval History and Heritage Command

    Commanding Officers
    01LT Edgar Johnson, USNR27 November 1940 - September 1942
    02LT Edwin Boardman Dexter, USNR - USNA Class of 1929
    Awarded two Silver Stars (1944/1945), Legion of Merit with Combat V (1945) and the Bronze Star with Combat V (1945) - Retired as Rear Admiral
    September 1942 -March 1943
    03LT Michael A. Donohue, USNRMarch 1943 - June 1943
    04LTJG Phillip M. Irvine, USNRJune 1943 - June 1944
    Courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Joe Radigan

    View the Catbird (AM 68)
    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 Unclassified Miscellaneous Auxiliary Ship (IX) Photo Index

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    This page is created and maintained by Joseph M. Radigan (of blessed memory) & Michael Mohl
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