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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive


AMS-233 was built in France.

AMS-218 Class Motor Minesweeper: Laid down as Motor Minesweeper, AMS-233 by Felix Amyot, Cherbourg, France under the off-shore procurement plan of the Military Defense Assistance Pact; Reclassified by U.S. Navy as a Coastal Minesweeper, MSC-233, 7 February 1955; Launched 6 October 1955; Completed 16 October 1955; Commissioned 1 May 1956 as Capella (M 755); Laid up in reserve until March 1962; Collided with a Guatamalan merchant 28 February 1987 off the port of Zeebrugge, Belgium. Such was the force of the collision, that the minesweeper’s hull was completely severed aft of the engine room bulkhead. The crippled vessel was assisted into Zeebrugge by her sister ship Capricorne (M 737), which was secured to her port side, the assistance effort being taken over by the tug Fighter once within the harbour. Although she was over thirty years old at the time of the collision, she had only been in active service for about half of that period. Nevertheless, due to the severe structural damage inflicted on her in the collision, Capella was considered beyond economical repair and was scrapped in April 1987.

Specifications: Displacement 375 t.; Length 144'; Beam 27'; Draft 8' 3"; Speed 14 kts; Complement 39; Armament one 20mm; Propulsion 880 shp General Motors diesel engines, two shafts.

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Size Image Description Source
MS-233 114k Capricorne (M 737) alongside Capella at Zeebrugge, Belgium
Photo by Leo van Ginderen
Malcolm Maclean
MS-233 137k The tug Fighter alongside Capella at Zeebrugge, Belgium
Photo by Leo van Ginderen
Malcolm Maclean

There is no DANFS History currently available for MSC-233.
Crew Contact And Reunion Information
U.S.Navy Memorial Foundation
Fleet Reserve Association
Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
Naval Minewarfare Association
Association of Minemen
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