USS Chief (MCM-14) was christened by Mrs. Susan Bushey (the wife of the seventh Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy MCPON Duane Bushey) on 12 June 1993. Construction and fitting-out was done in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and the ship was accepted from Mr. Ellsworth Peterson on behalf of the United States Navy, and placed in commission by Lieutenant Commander Timothy S. Garrold, USN, her first commanding officer, on 8 July 1994.
Current USS Chief
USS Chief (MCM-14) was commissioned on 5 November 1994. Since that time the USS Chief has participated in many operations and exercises in fulfillment of wartime and peacekeeping missions.
1st USS Chief
Originally intended for Great Britain, HMS Alice (BAM-2) was launched 5 January 1943. She was then renamed and reclassified Chief (AM-315), 23 January 1943 The USS Chief was commissioned 9 October 1943 with Lieutenant Commander J. M. Wyckoff, USNR, as the as the first command officer.
Departing San Diego in December 1943, the USS Chief participated in exercises off Hawaii, then sailed for Kwajalein. She performed mine sweeping and antisubmarine duties in Kwajalein and convoy duty to Eniwetok. USS Chief cleared mines for the invasions of Saipan and Tinian, and gave fire support to troops ashore. She escorted DeGrasse (AP-164) to Pearl Harbor, voyaged to Eniwetok on convoy escort duty, conducted exercises and acted as flagship for the group conducting hydrographic survey of Unten Ko, and developing it as a minecraft typhoon anchorage. Near the end of WWII, Chief put out for Wakayama, Japan, where she swept minefields in preparation for the arrival of occupation forces. She also assisted in the salvage of YMS-418. Chief remained on occupation duty at Nagoya and Sasebo until 10 March 1946 when she steamed for San Francisco, arriving 19 April. She was placed out of commission in reserve 17 March 1947, berthed at San Pedro, Calif.
Recommissioned 28 February 1952 at Long Beach, Chief operated with TF 95 around mine-infested Wonsan Harbor and was twice fired on by enemy shore batteries. In her second Korean tour she patrolled with TF 95 off both coasts of Korea to preserve the truce. On 1 November 1954 USS Chief was placed in reserve. Reclassified MSF-315 on 7 February 1955, she was placed out of commission in reserve 15 March 1955.
USS Chief received five battle stars for World War II service and two for Korean war service.
For more detailed history on the first USS Chief visit the Navy Archive page at http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/c8/chief.htm.