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USS Pelican (AM-27)
USS Pelican (AVP 6)
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Name: USS Pelican
Builder: Gas Engine and Power Co., Morris Heights, New York
Laid down: 10 November 1917
Launched: 12 June 1918
Commissioned: 10 October 1918, as Minesweeper No.27
Decommissioned: 30 November 1945
Reclassified: AM-27, 17 July 1920
AVP-6, 22 January 1936
Struck: 19 December 1945
Fate: Sold for scrap, November 1946
General characteristics
Class & type: Lapwing-class minesweeper
Displacement: 840 long tons (853 t)
Length: 187 ft 10 in (57.25 m)
Beam: 35 ft 5 in (10.80 m)
Draft: 8 ft 10 in (2.69 m)
Speed: 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph)
Complement: 85
Armament: 2 × 3 in (76 mm) guns

USS Pelican (AM-27/AVP-6) was an Lapwing-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.

Pelican was laid down 10 November 1917 at Gas Engine and Power Co., Morris Heights, New York; launched 12 June 1918; sponsored by Miss E. B. Patterson; and commissioned 10 October 1918, Lt. (j.g.) G. E. McHugh, USNR, in command.

World War I mine clearance operationsEdit

Upon completion of fitting out, she sailed for Scotland on 6 April 1919, to assist in the sweeping of the North Sea Mine Barrage. Arriving 20 April, she and other minesweepers immediately went to work in sweeping mines.

During this service Pelican's naval career almost ended when it had hardly begun. While sweeping several mines, one of them exploded underneath her hull causing her to take on a great amount of water and slowly settle by the head. Despite heavy seas, and threat of imminent sinking, Pelican's crew, with the assistance of two of her sister ships, and after 19 hours of effort, managed to bring the badly damaged vessel into port at Scapa Flow for temporary repairs. According to the logbook of Gordon Gate Easterly who was aboard the USS Teal, this incident occurred on 9 July 1919. "Started to sweeping. Many explosions. Pelican hit by two countermines (around 10 am) on starboard side a little forward of beam, damaging her much. We took her to tow and also gave her lines alongside and put her wrecking pump over to Pelican. Pelican leaking badly. USS Eider on starboard side of Pelican and ?? on port. She (Pelican) settling deeper in water all the time. . . . 12:07 PM - feeling Pelican to go down any moment. July 11 - Was over on Pelican, she sure was in bad condition. July 12 - came near to losing Pelican again as seas very rough. Arrived Scapa about 3 pm."

Fully repaired at Newcastle-on-Tyne, Pelican departed for home, arriving at New York on 6 December.

Pelican next transferred to the Pacific Fleet and operated out of Pearl Harbor, until decommissioned there 3 May 1922.

Recommissioning for World War IIEdit

Recommissioned 17 August, she performed miscellaneous tasks, such as survey work and photography missions, while attached to Naval Air Station, Pearl Harbor. Reclassified AVP-6 on 22 January 1936, Pelican was assigned to Commander, Aircraft, Scouting Force for further duty. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor found Pelican on the West Coast.

With the beginning of war, the sturdy little vessel commenced tending aircraft and serving as convoy escort, until May 1943, when she joined the Atlantic Fleet.

Transfer to the Atlantic FleetEdit

She alternated tending seaplanes and serving as convoy escort, performing an un-glamorous but vital part of the war effort. Reporting to the Fleet Sound School in March 1945, Pelican assisted in experiments with new ASW gear until October, when she arrived at Charleston Navy Yard.


Decommissioned 30 November, she was struck from the Naval Vessel Register 19 December. She was sold for scrap in November 1946.


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here. Gordon Gate Easterly, Sr. Logbook. Property of Kristine Quart (granddaughter)

External linksEdit

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