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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Harkness (MHC 12)

AMCU-12 call sign:
November - Charlie - Whiskey - Bravo


Coastal Minehunter:

  • Laid down 1 June 1942 by the Tacoma Boat Building Co., Tacoma, WA
  • Launched 10 October 1942
  • Completed and commissioned USS YMS-242, 27 March 1943
  • Converted to a Survey Ship, AGS-12, 20 March 1945 at South Coast Shipbuilding Co., Newport Beach, CA
  • Named Harkness 24 March 1945
  • Reclassified as a Coastal Survey Ship, AGSC-12, 29 July 1946
  • Decommissioned 22 September 1950 at New York
  • Converted to a Coastal Minesweeper (Underwater Locator), AMCU-12, 18 August 1951 at New York Naval Shipyard, Brooklyn, NY
  • Recommissioned 5 September 1951
  • Reclassified as a Coastal Minehunter, MHC-12, 1 February 1955
  • Decommissioned 2 April 1958 at Green Cove Springs, FL
  • Struck from the Naval Register 1 November 1959
  • Sold at public auction in 1960
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 340 t.
  • Length 136'
  • Beam 23' 4"
  • Draft 8' 7"
  • Speed 14 kts.
  • Complement 60 (AMCU-12 complement 34)
  • Armament: One 3"/50 dual purpose gun mount, two 20mm mounts, two depth charge tracks and two depth charge projectors - (AMCU-12 armament one 40 mm mount)
  • Propulsion: Two 1,000bhp General Motors 8-268A diesel engines, Snow and Knobstedt single reduction gear, two shafts.
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    USS Harkness (AGS 12)
    Harkness 38k William Harkness (December 17, 1837 February 28, 1903) was an astronomer, born at Ecclefechan, Scotland on December 17, 1837, a son of James Harkness (180378). He was educated at Lafayette College (185456), graduated from the University of Rochester (1858), and studied medicine in New York City. He served as a surgeon in the Union armies during part of the American Civil War. From 1862 to 1865 he was an aid in the United States Naval Observatory and then, after service on the monitor Monadnock {1}(186566), was employed in the Hydrographic Office. During the eclipse of August, 1869, Harkness discovered the coronal line K 1474. Three years later he was made a member of the Transit of Venus Commission, had charge of the party at Hobart, Tasmania, in 1879, and at Washington in 1882, when he became the executive officer. His most memorable accomplishments are related to the construction of telescopes, his theory of the focal curve of achromatic telescopes, and on his invention of the spherometer caliper, and other astronomical instruments. He was astronomical director of the Naval Observatory (189499) and director of the Nautical Almanac (189799). He retired two days after attaining the relative rank of rear admiral (December, 1899). He was president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1893). Of his works, The Solar Parallax and its Related Constants (1891) is the most important. Harkness died in Jersey City on February 28, 1903 at the age of 66
    Photo from the May 1903 edition of Popular Science magazine
    Bill Gonyo
    Harkness 128k c. 1946
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 84646 from
    Original photo: Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy
    Replacement photo: Robert Hurst
    YMS-242/262/263 107k In foreground at the Brooklyn Navy Yard is Simon Newcomb (AGS 14), Harkness, and James M. Gilliss
    (AGS 13)
    . Astern is the "mother ship" Tanner (AGS 15). LST-664 is moored at another pier inboard of an unidentified LST.
    George W. Desharnais
    Harkness 81k Conducting underway replenishment operations
    Photo from Shipscribe website
    Mike Green
    USS Harkness (AMCU 12)
    Harkness 196k U.S. Navy photo from "Our Navy" magazine Arthur Gendreau
    Harkness 94k Panama City, FL
    Undergoing underwater explosive tests
    Harkness 111k Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA
    Fuel Oil Barge YO-224 to port with Pigeon (AM 374) astern
    Harkness 103k Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA
    Fuel Oil Barge YO-224 to port
    Harkness 207k Off Norfolk, VA
    Harkness 134k Little Creek, VA
    Harkness 157k Off Little Creek, VA
    Harkness 101k Marine Railway, St. Helena Annex, Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA
    Harkness 147k Original photo: Richard Miller, BMCS, USNR, Ret.
    Replacement photo: Tommy Trampp

    Commanding Officers
    01LTJG Hugh Samuel Meredith, USN27 March 1943
    02LT John Melvin Bohanon, USN5 September 1951
    Courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and Joe Radigan

    View the Harkness (MHC 12)
    DANFS History entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Website
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    This page created and maintained by Joseph M. Radigan
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