(AM-315: dp. 890; l. 221'2"; b. 32'2"; d. 10'9"; s. 18 k.; cpl. 105; a. 1 3"; cl. Auk)
The head or leader of a group.
On 23 May 1941 Chief (AMC-67) was renamed Bold (q.v.).
Originally intended for Great Britain, HMS Alice (BAM-2) was launched 5 January 1943 by General Engineering and Dry Dock Co., Alameda, Calif.; renamed and reclassified Chief (AM-315), 23 January 1943; and commissioned 9 October 1943, Lieutenant Commander J. M. Wyckoff, USNR, in command.
Departing San Diego 7 December 1943, Chief joined in exercises in Hawaiian waters until 22 January 1944 when she sailed for Kwajalein. She swept the harbor and joined the antisubmarine patrol until 14 February, when she returned to Pearl Harbor for repairs. Except for a convoy escort voyage to Eniwetok (21 March-15 April), she remained at Pearl Harbor until 29 May.
Joining TF 52 at Eniwetok, Chief sortied 12 June 1944 for the Marianas operation. Between 15 June and 7 August, she cleared mines for the invasions of Saipan and Tinian, and gave fire support to troops ashore, then had local duty at Saipan. Departing 9 September she escorted DeGrasse (AP-164) to Pearl Harbor, then continued to San Francisco for overhaul.
Returning to Pearl Harbor 2 January 1945, Chief voyaged to Eniwetok on convoy escort duty, then conducted exercises in Hawaiian waters until clearing for Ulithi, where she arrived 4 March. After receiving new equipment, she sailed for Okinawa on 15 May. From 26 May to 21 August she acted as flagship for the group conducting hydrographic survey of Unten Ko, and developing it as a minecraft typhoon anchorage. On 8 September Chief put out for Wakayama, Japan, where until 6 October she swept minefields in preparation for the arrival of occupation forces. She also assisted in the salvage of YMS-418 on 28 September. 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 conducted training exercises off San Diego, until 7 July when she sailed for Sasebo, Japan, arriving 3 August. She operated with TF 95 around mine-infested Wonsan Harbor and was twice fired on by enemy shore batteries. She returned to Long Beach 5 February 1953 for local operations and training. Her second Korean tour from 5 October 1953 to 2 June 1954 found her patrolling with TF 95 off both coasts of Korea to preserve the truce. She returned to west coast operations, and on 1 November 1954 was placed in commission in reserve. Reclassified MSF-315 on 7 February 1955, she was placed out of commission in reserve 15 March 1955.
Chief received five battle stars for World War II service and two for Korean war service.