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USS Tuscarora (AT-77) on 8 January 1942
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Class: TUSCARORA (AT-77)
Design Tug, 1941
Displacement (tons): 427 light, 710 full
Dimensions (feet): 135.0' oa, 122.75' pp x 30.0' mld. x 14.2'
Original Armament: 1-3"/23 (Dec. 1941)
Later armaments: None (1943)
Complement 37 (as YTB, 1944)
Propulsion (HP): 1,500
Machinery: 1 screw, diesel-electric
||20 Feb 41
||Levingston SB, Orange
||ca Dec 40
||17 Jul 41
||13 Dec 41
||1 Sep 61
||12 Aug 76
FY 1941. On 20 Jun 40 CNO, acting as Secretary of the Navy, wrote to the Maritime Commission stating that world conditions made it necessary for the Navy to acquire from the merchant marine 18 to 21 additional auxiliary vessels ranging in size and type from transports to tugs, including one ocean going tug (AT). This conversion was included in a large group of auxiliaries whose construction or acquisition was directed on 5 Aug 40 in the 70% Expansion Program (the second increment of the Two Ocean Navy mobilization effort) along with many combatant ships. According to the June request the tug was to be "rugged, seagoing, oil burning, steam or diesel" with a minimum length of 120 feet, speed of 12 knots, horsepower of 1,000, and radius of 5,000 miles. On 14 Jan 41 CNO informed BuShips that the Levingston Shipbuilding Co., Orange, Texas, had under construction a 135-foot single screw steel diesel electric ocean tug. This vessel was due for completion in 6-7 months, and the contractor had agreed to include some conversion features during construction, including increased and rearranged spaces for a Navy crew, strengthened structure for possible gun mounts, and installation of a heavy boom. CNO asked BuShips to proceed with negotiations for the tug.
TUSCARORA served at Norfolk from 14 Jan 42 to 8 Oct 45 guarding submarine nets and towing targets and ammunition barges. She was reclassified as a harbor tug (YT) on 5 Nov 42 and presumably decommissioned and placed in service. She arrived at Key West on 6 Nov 45 to serve at the Anti-Submarine Development Section Base there and was laid up in the Florida Group of the Atlantic Reserve Fleet ca. 1953. After her sale by the Navy she was converted in two stages by Sam Ryniker of Caribbean Towing at Main Iron Works of Houma, Louisiana to serve as an ocean tug for operations in the Caribbean and along the South American coast. The first stage of the conversion in 1979 changed the raised forecastle, single screw tug to twin screws. In 1985, the second stage consisted of fitting kort nozzles and new propellors. In 1991 she was operating on the Great Lakes towing a self-unloading cement barge, and she is now reportedly in service for the Puerto Rico Towing and Barge Co., San Juan.
||Ex LEVINGSTON HULL 185. To YT-341 5 Nov 42, to YTB-341 15 May 44, to ATA-245 31 Oct 58. In USN reserve 1953-61, to NDRF 8 Mar 61, title to MA 1 Sep 62. From MA to Navy 30 Jul 75 for equipment removal and sale. Sold to T. W. Olson Ship Sales, Florida, 1976. Merc. CHALLENGER 1979 (rebuilt), TRITON 1986 (further modified), still in service 2012.
Compiled: 17 May 2011
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2011