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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Courtesy of Mike Smolinski

Woodpecker (MSC 209)

Woodpecker served the Navies of the United States and the Republic of Fiji.

Redwing Class Motor Minesweeper:

  • Laid down 23 June 1954 as AMS-209 at Bellingham Shipyards, Inc., Bellingham, WA
  • Launched 7 January 1955
  • Reclassified as a Coastal Minesweeper, MSC-209, 7 February 1955
  • Commissioned USS Woodpecker (MSC 209), 3 February 1956
  • Decommissioned 15 December 1970 at Seattle, WA and placed in service as a Naval Reserve training ship
  • Struck from the Navy Register 1 July 1976, sold to the Republic of Fiji and renamed HMFS Kikau (MSC 204)
  • Sunk as an artificial reef in 1990.


  • Displacement 320 t.
  • Length 144'
  • Beam 28'
  • Draft 9'
  • Speed 13 kts.
  • Complement 50
    1960's - 36
  • Armament: One 40mm gun mount
    Replaced by one 20mm mount and two .50 cal. machine guns, replaced 20mm with one 81mm mortar
  • Propulsion: Two 880bhp General Motors diesel engines, Snow and Knobstedt single reduction gear, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS Woodpecker (MSC 209)
    Woodpecker 103k Ships plaque Tommy Trampp
    Woodpecker 89k Drydocked at Yokosuka, Japan
    Photo by ENS Max E. Harksen
    USS Woodpecker (MSC 209) Website
    Woodpecker 79k
    Woodpecker 61k Sweeping
    Photo by CAPT Frederick Reeg
    Warbler 60k C. 1962
    The ships of Mine Division 32. Warbler (MSC 206), Widgeon (MSC 208), Gannet (MSC 290), Whippoorwill (MSC 207) and Woodpecker
    Richard Miller, BMCS, USNR, Ret.
    Woodpecker 69k Alongside starboard quarter of Jason (AR 8) off the coast of Vietnam.
    U.S. Navy photo by PH3 R. L. Yager from the January 1969 edition of All Hands magazine
    Joseph M. Radigan (of blessed memory)
    Woodpecker 144k 11 August 1969
    Associated Press Wirephoto
    Ron Reeves
    HMFS Kikua (MSC 204)
    Warbler 91k 23 January 1986
    Right to left, the Fijian navy ships HMFS's Kiro[MSC 206], ex-Warbler (MSC 206); Kikau and
    Kula [MSC 205], ex-Vireo (MSC 205) at Suva Navy Base, on a very foggy morning.
    Ray Smith

    Commanding Officers
    01LT Roy Wilson Malone, USN - USNA Class of 1951
    Awarded the Bronze Star with Combat V, the Meritorious Service Medal and Navy Commendation Medal - Retired as Captain
    3 February 1956 - 10 July 1958
    02LCDR Frederick John Reeg, USN10 July 1958 - 1960
    03LT Richard Oscar Greene, USN1960 - 25 August 1962
    04LT Grant Welk Hibbard, USN25 August 1962 - 1963
    05LT Peter Smith, USN1963 - 1964
    06LT John Davis Rohrbough, USN - USNA Class of 19581964 - 1966
    07LT John Wellington Skillman, USN1966 - 29 February 1968
    08LT Victor George Reisling, Jr., USN - USNA Class of 196229 February 1968 - 3 September 1969
    09LT William Harry Wright, IV, USN - USNA Class of 1964
    Awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, three Legions of Merit, two Meritorious Service Medals, the Navy Commendation Medal and the Combat Action Ribbon - Retired as Rear Admiral
    3 September 1969 - 15 December 1970
    10LT Charles Marion Tuck, USN15 December 1970
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Joseph M. Radigan (of blessed memory)

    View the Woodpecker (MSC 209) DANFS History
    Back To The Main Photo Index Back To the Mine Warfare Ship Photo Index Back To The Motor Minesweeper (AMS) Photo Index Back to the Coastal Minesweeper (MSC) Photo Index

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

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