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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Prowess (IX 305)
ex-MSF 280

Call sign:
November - Quebec - Charlie - Bravo

Prowess served the Navies of the United States, South Vietnam and North Vietnam

Admirable Class Minesweeper:

  • Laid down 15 September 1943 as Hull No. 945 by the Gulf Shipbuilding Corp., Chickasaw, AL
  • Launched, 17 February 1944
  • Commissioned USS Prowess (AM 280), 27 September 1944
  • Decommissioned in December 1945 and laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet
  • Reclassified as a Fleet Minesweeper (Steel Hull), MSF-280, 7 February 1955
  • Recommissioned 1 September 1965
  • Reclassified as an Unclassified Miscellaneous Auxiliary, IX-305, 1 March 1966
  • Transferred to South Vietnam 4 June 1970 and renamed Ha Hoi (HQ 13)
  • Struck from the Navy Register 3 June 1970
  • Captured by North Vietnam Forces in 1975
  • Reduced to a hulk in 1998 but remained afloat as a training and accommodations craft
  • Scrapped.


  • 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 single 20mm gun mounts, one depth charge thrower (hedgehogs), 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
    USS Prowess (AM 280)
    American Ship Building
    263k The Prowess (AM-280) was built by the Gulf Shipbuilding Co., Chickasaw, AL, a few miles upstream of the Port of Mobile.
    Here in August 1917, after the United States entered World War I, U.S. Steel established Chickasaw Shipbuilding. The yard closed after World War I but was reopened in 1940 by Waterman Steamship Corp. as Gulf Shipbuilding.
    Insert photos courtesy of &
    Photo courtesy of
    Prowess 74k Moored forward of an unidentified Iowa Class battleship
    U.S. Navy photo
    Joseph M. Radigan (of blessed memory)
    Prowess 173k In "mothballs" following World War II
    Courtesy of Ted Stone, 1979
    U.S. Navy photos NH 89420 and NH 89421
    Naval History and Heritage Command
    Prowess 210k
    USS Prowess (MSF 280)
    Prowess 117k Summer of 1964
    On the Genesee River in the Port of Rochester, NY
    Thomas Della Porta
    Prowess 257k c. 1964
    From the collection of Everett J. Jensen
    Gary A. Jensen
    Prowess 312k
    USS Prowess (IX 305)
    Prowess 91k Historical Collections of the Great Lakes
    Prowess 47k c. July 1969
    Lake Erie
    David Learn
    Prowess 46k
    Ha Hoi (HQ 13)
    Prowess 70k 5 December 1971
    Nha Be, Vietnam
    © Richard Leonhardt

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR Joseph Walter Meiere, USNR27 September 1944 - 16 July 1945
    02LT Russell Edgar Hinds, USNR16 July 1945 - 8 October 1945
    03LT Walter Howard Bickford, USNR8 October 1945 - 14 May 1946
    Courtesy of Wolfgang Hechler, Ron Reeves and R. A. Moody

    View the Prowess (AM 280)
    DANFS History entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway Website
    Back To The Main Photo Index Back To the Mine Warfare Ship Photo Index Back to the Fleet Minesweeper (MSF) Photo Index Back to the Auxiliary Ship Index Back to the Unclassified Miscellaneous Auxiliary Ship (IX) Photo Index

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    This page created and maintained by Joseph M. Radigan (of blessed memory) & Michael Mohl
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