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USS Navajo (AT-52)
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Class: NAVAJO (AT-52)
Design: Tug, 1907
Displacement (tons): 438 gross, 800 displ.
Dimensions (feet): 141.3' oa x 27.5' x 14.1' mn
Original Armament: None (1908)
Later armaments: 2-3pdr (1918); none (1920)
Complement: 31 (1929)
Speed (kts.): 12
Propulsion (HP): 935
Machinery: Vert. triple expansion, 1 screw
||21 Nov 07
||Neafie & Levy
||17 Mar 08
||7 Feb 46
||23 Nov 48
In 1907 the Neafie & Levy shipyard at Philadelphia built the tug GENERAL HUBBARD for the Hammond Lumber Co. of San Francisco, Calif. The tug arrived at San Francisco on 7 Oct 07 after a 72-day passage via the Straits of Magellan. During most of her time in the Atlantic she was practically submerged in a series of violent storms but suffered no ill effects. She was to be used for towing lumber barges and rafts along the West Coast. However the Hammond firm apparently decided it did not need the tug and it sold her to the Navy a month after her arrival for $115,000. The navy renamed her NAVAJO.
When NAVAJO was commissioned at the Mare Island Navy Yard in March 1908 she was slated for duty with the Atlantic Fleet, but instead she remained at Mare Island and operated from there along the West Coast. She was reassigned to the Naval Station at Pearl Harbor in June 1911 and remained there for the rest of her career. She was out of commission, probably in service as a district craft, for part of this period, but was in full commission from 1920 to 1927. She was designated AT-52 when the Navy's standard hull classification scheme was implemented on 17 Jul 20. Her last log as a tug was dated 20 Jun 27. She was stricken on 24 Apr 37 and was put on the sale list around the same time.
On 4 May 37 she was withdrawn from the sale list and was to be retained in her present condition at NYd Pearl until further instructions were received from the 14th Naval District. The Bureau of Navigation noted on 12 Jun 39 that she was to be known as "AT-52," not USS NAVAJO. Following the Japanese attack the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard recommended on 22 Dec 41 that she be restored to the Navy List in decommissioned status for use by that yard. She was formally withdrawn from sale 26 Dec 41 and on 14 Jan 42 CNO assigned her the designation IX-56 and directed that she was to be placed in service and her former name was not to be used. Now non-self propelled, she completed conversion at NYd Pearl 14 Mar 42 and was placed in service 16 Mar 42. She was used as a floating messing facility for the divers and other personnel engaged in the salvage of the battleship OKLAHOMA (BB-37) and was moored alongside or near the capsized battleship in late 1942 and all of 1943.
||Ex merc. GENERAL HUBBARD (completed Jun 07). Decomm. as tug 1927 (probably 20 Jun 27). Stk. 24 Apr 37, sale deferred 4 May 37 and cancelled 26 Dec 41. To IX-56 14 Jan 42. Sold as scrap Nov 48 to Commercial Equipment Co., Honolulu, for $1,790.
Compiled: 19 Feb 2013
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2013