From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships
A crested red finch widely known in the eastern United States.
(AM-6: dp. 950; 1. 187'10"; b. 35'6"; dr. 9'9"; s. 14 k.; cpl. 78; a. 2 3"; cl. Lapwing)
Cardinal (AM-6) was launched 29 March 1918 by Staten Island Shipbuilding Co., New York; sponsored by Miss I. Nelson; and commissioned 23 August 1918, Lieutenant (junior grade) N. Drake in command.
Cardinal served in the 3d Naval District, sweeping waters off New York; and serving as a temporary lightship, until 3 August 1919, when she sailed to join the Pacific Fleet. For the next 3 years, she sailed out of San Diego and San Pedro, carrying supplies, provisions and passengers along the California coast, and towing lighters, targets, and disabled ships.
From 8 February 1923 to 16 April, Cardinal sailed to the Panama Canal to provide tug services during fleet battle practice. She returned to San Pedro to prepare for duty in Alaskan waters, and on 23 May sailed for Port Angeles, Washington, where she called from 30 May to 1 June. While bound for Dutch Harbor on 6 June she grounded on a reef off the east coast of Chirikof Island, and heavy flooding began immediately. Some of her men were landed on the island, where they were later taken off by a Coast and Geodetic Survey ship. The rest were rescued from the battered Cardinal 7 June by Cuyama (AO-3), who also took off salvageable material and stores.