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USS Tatoosh (YAG-1) at Kodiak, Alaska, on 17 February 1943
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Class: TATOOSH (YAG-1)
Design: Small wooden freighter
Displacement (tons): 2,224 registered
Dimensions (feet): 242' oa x 41.5' x 24.3' max
Original Armament: Machine guns
Later armaments: --
Complement: 92 (1944)
Speed (kts.): 8.5
Propulsion (HP): 1,000
Machinery: 3-exp, 2 screws
||2 Mar 41
||Pacific American Fisheries
||27 Feb 18
||17 Jun 41
||1 Dec 44
||11 Dec 44
||29 Sep 45
Funded by BuShips maintenance funds. This wooden-hulled steam cargo and passenger ship was the third and largest of six such ships built by Pacific American Fisheries, Bellingham, Washington, in 1916-1918. (For another ship in this group see REDWOOD, AK-39.) CATHERINE D, named for and christened by a 3-year old granddaughter of the firm's owner, E. B. Deming, was built to carry passengers and cannery crews to and from Alaska as well as to carry supplies to and canned salmon from Alaska. She had capacity for 125 first class, 72 second class, and 66 steerage passengers plus 84,000 cases of canned salmon. Reputed to be well built but something of a roller, she remained the flagship of the company's steamer fleet until the Navy took her over in 1941.
On 8 Feb 41 CNO directed the acquisition of this ship for use as a tender (mobile section base) for vessels of the Inshore Patrol of the Northwest Sea Frontier. The Commandant, 13th Naval District (Pacific Northwest) explained to the Bureau of Ships on 17 Mar 41 that the ship would be used as a base in outlying districts prior to the establishment of Section Bases on shore and would service a number of local defense forces such as patrol boats and minesweepers. The ship was received by the Navy at Winslow, Washington, 9 Mar 41, her name was approved 4 Apr 41, and she started conversion 6 Apr 41 and was placed in reduced commission 25 Apr 41. Com-13 expected the ship to be designated YR (floating workshop), but on 19 Mar 41 the Bureau of Ships instead created the new category YAG (District Auxiliary, Miscellaneous) for her and on 21 Mar 41 CNO approved the designation YAG-1. The intended conversion contractor (Winslow Marine Railway and Shipbuilding Co.) put too high a price on the job and instead Com-13 had the ship converted by the ship's force with assistance from the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton. No building plans were available--they had been lost by the former owner in a fire. TATOOSH was placed in full commission as a mobile section base in the 13th Naval District on 17 Jun 41.
The ship was reassigned to the 17th Naval District (Alaska) on 14 Apr 44, and on 23 Jun 44 Com-17 reported that her hull was seriously infested by dry rot and that she could not be considered seaworthy. Shore facilities would soon be completed at her current location, Adak, and Com-17 recommended she be decommissioned and then stripped and laid up as a hulk. An inspection was ordered on 12 Jul 44, and on 17 Aug 44 Com-17 reported that if the ship were decommissioned the hulk could be used in connection with local repair facilities to service nearby piers and vessels under overhaul. CNO on 27 Aug 44 directed that the ship be decommissioned and authorized the use proposed by Com-17. SecNav on 10 Sep 45 authorized disposal of the vessel, and Com-17 on 10 Oct 45 reported the action (nature unspecified) had been taken on 29 Sep 45. As Com-17 in 1944 had not favored towing the ship to Seattle for disposal, it is likely that the hulk was demolished or scuttled at Adak.
||Ex merc CATHERINE D (completed 1918). Converted by ship's company at Bremerton, Wash. Her hulk was probably demolished or scuttled at Adak, Alaska.
Compiled: 15 Nov 2008
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2002-2008