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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Shelter (MSF 301)

Call sign:
November - Quebec - Tango - Quebec

Shelter served the Navies of the United States, South Vietnam and the Philippines.

Admirable Class Minesweeper:

  • Laid down 16 August 1943 by the Winslow Marine Railway and Shipbuilding Co., Winslow, WA
  • Launched 14 November 1943
  • Commissioned USS Shelter (AM 301), 9 July 1944
    Naval Vessel Register of 1 January 1949 lists plan for decommissioning and placing in reserve as December 1945
  • Decommissioned 7 June 1946 at Orange, TX
  • Reclassified as a Fleet Minesweeper (Steel Hull), MSF-301, 7 February 1955
  • Struck from the Naval Register 1 August 1963
  • Transferred to South Vietnam 24 January 1964 and renamed RVN Chi Linh (HQ 11)
  • Escaped to the Philippines in the spring of 1975 after the fall of South Vietnam
  • Renamed RPS Datu Tupas (PS 18)
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 945 t.(fl)
  • Length 184' 6"
  • Beam 33'
  • Draft 9' 9"
  • Speed 14.8 kts.
  • Complement 104
  • Armament: One 3"/50 dual purpose mount, one twin 40mm gun mount, six 20mm gun mounts, one depth charge projector (hedgehog), four depth charge projectors (K-guns) and two depth charge tracks
  • Propulsion: Two 1,710shp Cooper Bessemer GSB-8 diesel engines, National Supply Co. single reduction gear, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Shelter (AM 301)
    Shelter 127k Probably in Puget Sound, WA wearing camouflage 32/21D on an unidentified date. The vertical colors are dull black and light gray
    National Archives photo 19-LCM-AM301-1
    Original photo: Paul Pixley
    Replacement photo: Ships of the U.S. Navy in WWII “Dazzle” Camouflage
    Shelter 285k 1 January 1944
    On one of her shakedown cruises near Winslow, Washington. It was part of a collection of photographs given to the crew and officers
    Hull number blanked out by censors
    Original photo: Paul Pixley
    Replacement photo: Robert Hurst
    Shelter 453k 9 July 1944
    Winslow, WA
    Crew at commissioning ceremony
    Handwritten by LTJG S. F. Melcher, Jr., USNR on reverse: "A non-military looking gang. They have first fallen in on the fantail and have not yet been called to attention. The officers are putting on their gloves. I assume a very reverent pose seeing as how it's Sunday. In the background is one of our sister ships in a very incomplete state. It wasn't long ago that ours looked like that. When she gets all her gear aboard she will sit much lower in the water and look a lot trimmer. "Commissioning of the USS Shelter Winslow, Washington
    July 9, 1944"
    Robert Hurst
    USS Shelter (AM 301)
    Strategy 427k Moored outboard of Strategy (AM 308) with Signet (AM 302) moored astern. Other minesweepers are in the background
    From the collection of Thomas Jordan Cook, crewmember 1945 - 1946
    Kurt Cook
    Shelter 528k Shelter's Track from commissioning 9 July 1944 at Winslow, WA to decommissioning 7 June 1946 at Orange, TX. Paul Pixley
    RVN Chi Linh (HQ 11)
    Gayety 218k 31 May 1975
    Subic Bay, Philippines
    Former South Vietnamese and Cambodian Navy ships tied up at buoy No. 1, after bringing in refugees. They are (l-r): Vietnamese ships: HQ-471, ex-YOG-33;
    Dong Da II (HQ 07)
    , ex-Crestview (PCE 895); Chi Lang II (HQ 08), ex-Gayety (MSF 239); Chi Linh; Cambodian Ships: P-112, E-312, ex-PC-1171
    National Archives photo K-109092
    Naval History and Heritage Command

    Commanding Officers
    01LT Douglas Robert Giddings, USNR9 July 1944 - 10 February 1945
    02LT Samuel Donald LeTourneau, USNR10 February 1945 - 9 July 1945
    03LT James Wilson Lancaster, USNR9 July 1945 - 28 August 1945
    04LT Douglas Robert Giddings, USNR25 November 1945
    05LTJG Samuel Frederick Melcher, Jr., USNR17 March 1946
    06LTJG John Redmond, USNR1 May 1946 - 7 June 1946
    Courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and R. A. Moody

    View the Shelter (MSF 301)
    DANFS History entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Website
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