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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Chief (MSF 315)
ex-USS Chief (AM 315)

Call sign:
November - Charlie - Delta - Romeo

ex-HMS Alice (BAM 2)

Chief served the Navies of the United States and Mexico.

Auk Class Minesweeper:

  • Laid down 25 July 1942 as HMS Alice (BAM 2) by the General Engineering and Dry Dock Co., Alameda, CA
  • Launched, 5 January 1943
  • Renamed and reclassified Chief (AM 315), 23 January 1943
  • Commissioned USS Chief (AM-315), 9 October 1943
  • Damaged by grounding 1 February 1944 off the northwestern end of Kwajalein, Marshall Islands
  • Placed out of commission, in reserve, 17 March 1947 at San Francisco, CA and laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, San Pedro Group
    Naval Vessel Register of 1 January 1949 lists plan for decommissioning and placing in reserve as August 1946
  • Recommissioned, 28 February 1952 at Long Beach, CA
  • Placed out of commission, in reserve, 1 November 1954 and laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet
  • Reclassified as a Fleet Minesweeper (Steel Hull), MSF-315, 7 February 1955
  • Struck from the Naval Register 1 July 1972
  • Sold to Mexico 16 February 1973 and renamed ARM Jesus Gonzalez Ortega (C-83)
  • Reclassified G-15
  • Currently Ortega (PO-114)


  • Displacement 890 t.
  • Length 221' 2"
  • Beam 32' 2"
  • Draft 10' 9"
  • Speed 18.1 kts.
  • Complement 105
  • Armament: One 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount, two twin 40mm gun mounts, two single 20mm gun mounts, two depth charge tracks and five depth charge projectors
  • Propulsion: Two 2,976shp Baldwin VO8 diesel electric drive engines, Westinghouse single reduction gear, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    1.38k The Chief (AM 315) was built at General Engineering and Dry Dock Co., Alameda, CA. Photo courtesy of
    Chief 180k Wearing camouflage 32/1M on an unidentified date and location. The colors are dull black, ocean gray and light gray
    National Archives photo 19-LCM-AM315-1
    Ships of the U.S. Navy in WWII “Dazzle” Camouflage
    Chief 112k Robert Hurst
    Chief 140k Underway, soon after recommissioning in 1952. Note that she still wears small hull numbers at her bow. An accoustic "hammer box" is stowed on her main deck, amidships
    U.S. Navy photo NH 96996
    Naval Historical Center
    AMS-5 Condor/LST-735 Dukes County 88k Dukes County (LST 735) serving as mother ship for seven minesweepers, probably in a Japanese port, c. 1952-54. Ships nested alongside are: Gull (AMS-16); Firecrest (AMS-10); Condor (AMS-5); Merganser (AMS-26); Osprey (AMS-28); Competent (AM-316); and Chief AM-315).
    Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Institute, James C. Fahey Collection.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 68589
    Chief 144k The enlisted complement of Chief (AM-315) poses alongside their ship, circa 1952-54.
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 96997
    Russ Padden
    Chief 245k 27 January 1953 newspaper article from the Evening Bulliten/Hawaiian Star Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii. Robert Hurst
    ARM Ortega (PO-114)
    678k Still photo from a video of the ARM ship Ortega (PO-114), former Chief (AM 315), 16 October 2020, in the port of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz. Photo courtesy of Jesus Diaz.

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR John McKay Wyckoff, USNR9 October 1943 - 28 August 1944
    02LCDR Arthur Winslow, II, USNR28 August 1944 - 30 August 1945
    03LT John Sidney Nichols, USNR30 August 1945 - 30 October 1945
    04LT William Baker Morgan, USNR30 October 1945 - 18 November 1945
    05LCDR J. C. Harris, USNR18 November 1945 - 12 June 1946
    06LT James Edwin Brown, USN - USNA Class of 194412 June 1946 - 11 December 1946
    07ENS R. E. West, USNR11 December 1946 - 17 March 1947
    08CDR James Henry Howard, Jr., USN17 March 1947
    09LCDR Vincent Louis Cassani, Jr., USNAugust 1952 - September 1952
    Courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and R. A. Moody

    View the Chief (MSF 315)
    DANFS History entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Website
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