From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships


A large bulky bird, noted for the enormous size of the bill. Their flight is slow and heavy, and their plumage is chiefly black and white.

(AMc-13: 1. 85'; dph. 10'5'')

Hornbill (AMc-13), formerly J. A. Martinolich, was launched in 1938 by Martinolich Repair Basin, Tacoma, Wash. She was taken over by the Navy and commissioned December 1940.

Hornbill was assigned to the mine force in the 12th Naval District. She engaged in coastal sweeping of the main ship channel for magnetic and acoustic type mines. After Pearl Harbor her service became more valuable with the Japanese threat to our West Coast sea traffic. On the morning of 30 June 1942, a lumber schooner, Esther Johnson, on passage from Coos Bay, Oreg. collided with Hornbill in San Francisco Bay. Approximately one half hour after the collision the minesweeper sank. The crew was saved and a small amount of equipment was safely removed to the lumber schooner. She was stricken from the Navy Register 24 July 1942.