Wednesday, November 26, 2008
USS Tatnuck AT-27, ATA-195
The first Tatnuck (Tug No. 27) was laid down on 3 December 1918 by the Puget Sound Navy Yard as losco; launched on 21 February 1919; renamed Tatnuck on 24 February 1919; and placed in commission on 26 July 1919, Lt. (jg.) Christian Christensen in command.
Upon commissioning, Tatnuck was assigned to the 13th Naval District, which encompassed the Pacific northwest and the Alaskan coast. Designated AT-27 on 17 July 1920, she engaged in towing operations for almost all of her 27-year career. The only break came on 16 April 1944, when the Alaska area was established as a separate naval district-the 17th. She did a short tour of duty under the control of the Commandant 17th Naval District, before reverting to the 13th in May. On 15 May 1944, she was reclassified ATO-27.
The tug served just over two years under that designation in the 13th Naval District before being placed out of commission on 12 September 1946. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 29 October 1946. Tatnuck was delivered to the Maritime Commission for disposal on 26 April 1947 and subsequently was sold to the Puget Sound Tug and Barge Co.
The second Tatnuck (ATA-196) was laid down on 16 November 1944 at Orange, Tex., by the Levingston Shipbuilding Co.; launched on 14 December 1944; and commissioned on 26 February 1946, Lt. (jg.) John Pakron in command.
Following shakedown training in March, Tatnuck was briefly assigned to the Atlantic Fleet before being transferred to the Pacific Fleet with her home yard at Pearl Harbor. During the fall of 1946, the ocean tug saw service with the occupation forces in the Far East. On 26 January 1946, she steamed out of the lagoon at Eniwetok Atoll, reached Pearl Harbor on 19 February, and remained there until 30 April when she headed for Puget Sound. Tatnuck arrived in Bremerton, Wash., on 3 January 1947.
For the remainder of her Navy career, Tatnuck operated in the 13th Naval District. Generally, her range of operations extended from the ports of southern California north along the coast of North America and west to the Aleutian Islands. However during each of four of her last five years of service—1966, 1968, 1969, and 1970—she made a voyage to Balboa, the Pacific terminus of the Panama Canal. In the main, her duties consisted of ocean towing, target towing, and salvage work; but occasionally she was also called upon to assist scientists of the University of Washington's Applied Physics Laboratory in their research work for the Navy.
After more than 26 years of service, she was placed out of commission at Bremerton, Wash., on 1 July 1971 and berthed there with the Pacific Reserve Fleet. She was disposed of by sale in June 1979.