USC&GS Pioneer (1929)

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Pioneer (1941)
Career (United States) 100x35px U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey flag.png
Name: Pioneer
Namesake: Pioneer, one who goes before, as into the wilderness, preparing the way for others to follow
Builder: Germaniawerft, Kiel, Germany
Completed: 1929
Acquired: 1941 by U.S. Department of Commerce on loan from U.S. Navy
In service: 17 September 1941
Fate: Returned to U.S. Navy 16 March 1942
Notes: Served as private yacht Haida 1929-1940
Served as U.S. Navy patrol yacht USS Argus (PY-14) 1941 and 1942-1946
Served as private yacht Sarina 1946-1981
Served as private charter yacht Rosenkavalier 1981-2000
Has served as private yacht Haida G. since 2000
General characteristics
Type: Survey ship
Displacement: 859[1] or 890[2] tons (as Navy patrol yacht)
Length: 207.6 ft (63.3 m)
Beam: 30 ft (9.1 m)
Draft: 13.2 ft (4.0 m)
Installed power: 1,500[3] or 1,600[4] horsepower (1.12 or 1.19 megawatts)
Propulsion: Two 750-[5] or 800-[6]horsepower (0.56- or 0.60-megawatt) Krupp diesel engines, two shafts
Speed: 13.5 [7] or 14.5[8] knots

USC&GS Pioneer was a survey ship that served in the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey from 1941 to 1942. She was the second ship of the Coast and Geodetic Survey to bear the name.

Early Years and initial U.S. Navy service

Pioneer was completed in 1929 by Germaniawerft at Kiel, Germany, as the private yacht Haida. The United States Navy purchased Haida in 1940, modified her for naval use, and commissioned her as patrol yacht USS Argus (PY-14) in 1941.

United States Coast and Geodetic Survey career

The U.S. Navy decommissioned Argus later in 1941 and loaned her to the Coast and Geodetic Survey for use as a survey ship. The Coast and Geodetic Survey modified her for her new role, renamed her Pioneer, and placed her in service on 17 September 1941.

Pioneer was able to accomplish little survey work before the entry of the United States into World War II led to her return to the U.S. Navy on 16 March 1942 under Executive Order 9072 of 24 February 1942[9].

Later career

The U.S. Navy recommissioned the ship, again as patrol yacht USS Argus (PY-14), in April 1942, and she remained in commission until 1946, spending most of her naval career patrolling San Francisco Bay. She was sold for use as the private yacht Sarina in 1946, then again in 1981, becoming the charter yacht Rosenkavalier, and again in 2000, becoming the yacht Haida G. Restored to the appearance of the original Haida of 1929, Haida G. remains in service today.


  1. Per the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (see
  2. Per NavSource Online (see
  3. Per Power and Motoryacht (see
  4. Per NavSource Online (see
  5. Per Power and Motoryacht (see
  6. Per NavSource Online (see
  7. Per NavSource Online (see
  8. Per the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (see
  9. | Executive Order 9072 - Transfer of the Pioneer (ex Argus), Guide (ex Andradite) and Pratt (ex YP-96) and certain personnel from the Coast and Geodetic Survey to the War and Navy Departments