Killdeer (AMC-21) was originally built as a purse seiner in 1930 by Al Larson, in Los Angeles, with the name of Vindicator; rebuilt in 1940 by Harbor Boat Works, San Pedro, Calif.; acquired by the Navy from her owner, Mr. Martin Trutanich, 8 November 1940; and placed in service the same day as USS Killdeer.
From 9 November 1940 to 17 April 1941 she underwent conversion to a Coastal Minesweeper, AMC-21, and on 8 May 1941 she began service with the 12th Naval District. Operating out of San Francisco, Killdeer transferred to the Western Sea Frontier 1 August for further service as a channel minesweeping ship. She continued sweeping shipping lanes in the approaches to San Francisco Bay until 12 September 1944 when she was placed out of service. Reclassified as a Miscellaneous Unclassified IX-194 on 25 September, Killdeer was used by the 12th Naval District as a general utility vessel. Her name was struck from the Naval Register 2 June 1945, and she was turned over to the Maritime Commission for disposal 9 January 1946. Fate unknown.
Acording to my father these converted fishing boats still had fish scales in the hull when he went aboard.
During the Battle of Midway the Kildeer was ordered out 500 mile off the coast of San Francisco to signal if the Japanese fleet broke through. With the dismal state of the war so far, and armed with only one machine gun, this must have been a very harrowing duty.
AMc-21 Killdeer Picture...
Built as Sea Breeze in 1936, she was acquired by the Navy and placed in service as the Coastal Minesweeper USS Chatterer (AMc 16) on 20 November 1940. Following conversion she was assigned to the Western Sea Frontier Force and later to the 12th Naval District. Placed out of service, 12 September 1944; Struck from the Naval Register, 14 October 1944. Fate unknown.
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I have an ashtray of my fathers, made from the base of a 3"/50 brass cartridge. I believe it was made by his shipmates in the Mine Warfare School prior to his transfer to Mine Division 21. It is inscribed as follows:
|U.S.S Kildeer||U.S.S YP 384|
|U.S.S Chatterer||Mine Division 21|
Published details on individual yard and district craft are virtually nonexistent. But I think it may have been a ship used by my father when he was an instructor in the Mine Warfare School in Yorktown, due to the ship names on the brass ashtray and the chronology of ships he served on.
YP -- District Patrol Vessels, Yard Patrol, "Yippies".