Military Wiki
USS Tanager (AM-385)
Name: USS Tanager
Builder: American Ship Building Company, Lorain, Ohio
Laid down: 29 March 1944
Launched: 9 December 1944
Commissioned: 28 July 1945
Decommissioned: 10 December 1954
Reclassified: MSF-385, 7 February 1955
Struck: 1 November 1963
Fate: Transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard, 16 July 1964
Name: USCGS Tanager (WTR-885)
Acquired: 16 July 1964
Decommissioned: 1 February 1972
Fate: Sold for scrap, 15 November 1972
General characteristics
Class & type: Auk-class minesweeper
Displacement: 890 long tons (904 t)
Length: 221 ft 3 in (67.44 m)
Beam: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Draft: 10 ft 9 in (3.28 m)
Speed: 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Complement: 100 officers and enlisted
Armament: • 1 × 3"/50 caliber gun
• 2 × 40 mm guns
• 2 × 20 mm guns
• 2 × depth charge tracks

USS Tanager (AM-385) was an Auk-class minesweeper acquired by the United States Navy for the dangerous task of removing mines from minefields laid in the water to prevent ships from passing.

Tanager was named after the tanager, any of the numerous American, passerine birds. The brightly colored males are unmusical and inhabit woodlands.

Tanager, a minesweeper and the second United States Navy warship with that name, was laid down at Lorain, Ohio, on 29 March 1944 by the American Ship Building Company; launched on 9 December 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Thomas Slingluff; and commissioned on 28 July 1945, Lt. Comdr. Oscar B. Lundgren, USNR, in command.

Operations with the 2nd Fleet

Tanager steamed via the St. Lawrence River to Boston, Massachusetts, in late July and early August. In October, she moved south to the Naval Amphibious Base at Little Creek, Virginia, for shakedown training and mine-sweeping exercises in the Chesapeake Bay area. For almost six years, Tanager operated with the U.S. 2nd Fleet along the eastern seaboard and in the Caribbean area. She conducted minesweeping exercises and supported the training efforts of the Mine Warfare School at Yorktown, Virginia. On three occasions — once each in 1948, 1950, and 1951 — she did tours of duty with the Naval Mine Countermeasures Station, located at Panama City, Florida.

Operations with the 6th Fleet

On 2 September 1951, she departed Charleston, South Carolina, for the Mediterranean Sea. While she was deployed with the U.S. 6th Fleet, she conducted more minesweeping exercises and visited many of the famous ports in the area. Among those were Mers-el-Kebir, Gibraltar, Naples, Monaco, Cannes, Venice, Malta, and Genoa.

Second Mediterranean tour of duty

In February 1952, Tanager returned to Charleston and resumed operations with the 2nd Fleet. After repairs at Charleston and a voyage to Norfolk, Virginia, and back, the minesweeper began her second Mediterranean deployment in April 1953. During that cruise, she added some new ports-of-call to her itinerary, notably Tangier, Palermo, Marseille, Livorno, Thessaloniki and Seville. She also participated in a number of minesweeping exercises with other units of the 6th Fleet. Tanager re-entered Charleston on 26 October 1953.

First decommissioning

Following minesweeping exercises along the southeastern coast of the United States and in the Caribbean, she entered the yard at Savannah Machine & Foundry Co. on 29 June 1954 for repairs. On 23 September, the minesweeper departed Savannah, Georgia, and headed for Beaumont, Texas. She arrived on the 28th and entered the drydock the same day. She was refloated on 8 October and towed to the naval station at Orange, Texas. Two months later, on 10 December 1954, Tanager was decommissioned and berthed there with the Atlantic Reserve Fleet. On 7 February 1955, the minesweeper was redesignated MSF-385.

Transfer to the U.S. Coast Guard

On 4 October 1963, Tanager was transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard for use as a training cutter. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 November 1963, and she was commissioned in the Coast Guard as Tanager (WTR-885) on 16 July 1964.

Decommissioning, sale and demise

She was decommissioned once more on 1 February 1972; and, on 15 November, she was sold to Mr. William A. Hardesty of Seattle, Washington. She served several decades more as the yacht Eagle.[1] An effort to convert it into a latter day Calypso-style research ship failed and she ended her days, like the recently scrapped S S Catalina, in Ensenda, Mexico.[2]

Film productions

The Tanager was used in the filming of the motion pictures The Usual Suspects and Hitman's Run in 2001, as well as the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer [3]


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).