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USNS ATA 240 on date
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Class: ATA 239 (ARMY LT DESIGN 377/377-A)
Design: Army designs 377, 377-A (143', steel)
Displacement (tons): 505.44 grt
Dimensions (feet): 143' oa x 33' x 17'
Original armament: none
Complement: ###
Speed (kts.): ##.#
Propulsion (HP): 1,500 BHP (Dsn 377), 1,900 BHP (Dsn 377-A) [Contr]
Machinery: Diesel electric, 1 screw

239ATA-2391 Mar 1950Levingston SB, Orange, TX26 Apr 1943Apr 19441 Mar 1950
240ATA-2401 Jul 1950Levingston SB, Orange, TX18 Mar 194329 Feb 19441 Jul 1950

ATANameTInactStrikeDisposalFateMA Sale/Depart
239ATA-239T13 Jul 195026 Sep 195014 Jul 1950Trf. Army--
240ATA-240T24 Apr 19614 Aug 197111 Apr 1975Navy sale--

Class Notes:
On 13 Aug 1941 the U.S. Navy responded to a Lend Lease requisition from the British by ordering the first of what became a long series of 143-foot steel oceangoing tugs. The Bureau of Ships contracted with the General Motors Corporation to build the tugs. G.M. provided the diesel engines and subcontracted the construction of the hulls to two Gulf Coast yards including Levingston S.B. of Orange, Texas. On 18 Mar 1943 the Army ordered its first three examples (LT 454-456) of this versatile type. It used the design of the Navy's ships but did not follow the Navy's contracting procedure and instead ordered the tugs directly from Levingston and gave them diesels by Cooper-Bessemer. The result was Army Design 377. On 26 Apr 1943 the Army placed an order for more 143-foot tugs, ultimately LT 528-38 and 578-81, but this time followed the Navy's pattern of ordering them from G.M. with G.M. diesels and hulls subcontracted to Levingston. These became Army Design 377-A and were virtually identical to the Navy ATAs. ATA 239 (LT 532, Design 377-A) was among the Army ships operating out of continental U.S. ports that were to be acquired on 1 Mar 1950 for which names, classification, and hull numbers were approved on 21 Feb 1950. She was inspected on 9-13 Feb 1950 while undergoing a major overhaul at the Todd Ship Repair Yard, Hoboken Division, Hoboken, N.J. and was found in satisfactory condition. On 12 Apr 1950 the Deputy Commander of MSTS-Atlantic recommended to the Commander, MSTS, that ATA 239 be inactivated or reassigned to another command where she might be employed more usefully. The Army had maintained her at New York between 3 Jan 1949 and 8 Feb 1950 to meet its deep-sea towing requirements there, but MSTSA expected its towing requirements to be less and could be met more economically by the Navy's Service Force Atlantic or by a commercial towing company. Commander MSTS relayed the request to CNO on 29 May 1950. On 9 Jun 1950 the Army informed SecNav that it had a requirement for a diesel electric tug for use at Fort Eustis, Va., and requested transfer of LT 532 for that purpose. On 15 Jun 1950 Commander MSTS supported this request and on 23 Jun 1950 Assistant SecNav informed the Secretary of the Army that the Navy would transfer title to and possession of the ship to the Army at New York. On 13 Jul 1950 she was placed out of service and title and possession were transferred to the Army. ATA 240 (LT 455, Design 377) was among 31 Army, two MA, and 5 SCAJAP ships then operating under commands in the Far East that were to be transferred to the Navy about 1 July 1950. She operated from Japanese ports with a civilian crew providing towing services throughout the Far East until being placed in reserve at Sasebo in 1961 because commercial services had become more economical.

Ship Notes:
239ATA-239(ex-LT-532, completed Apr 1944). Army design 377-A. Accepted by War Dept 5 Apr 1944, entered into Army Transportation Service 11 Apr 1944. In 1950 was a unit of the Army Transportation Corps. Reverted to LT 532 when returned on 13 Jul 1950. Sold 1968 becoming the mercantile ACTIVE.
240ATA-240(ex-LT-455, completed 29 Feb 1944). Civilian manned. Inactivated at Sasebo, Japan, on 24 Apr 1961. By 1971 she had deteriorated beyond economical repair and was stricken. She was then handed over in 1971 to the Army for cannibalization and sold by the Navy on 11 Apr 1975 to a buyer in Okinawa.

Page Notes:
Compiled: 18 Aug 2021
© Stephen S. Roberts, 2021
Sources: DB, Maroon