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USNS T-ATA 240 on 15 February 1955.
Click on this photograph for links to larger images of this class.

Class: T-ATA 239 (ARMY LT DESIGN 377/377-A)
Design: Army Designs 377, 377-A (143', steel)
Displacement (tons): 588 light, 860 full
Dimensions (feet): 143' oa, 134' wl x 33' e/wl x 14' max nav
Armament: none
Accommodations: 13 officers, 13 unlicensed
Speed (kts.): 12
Propulsion (HP): 1,500 (Dsn 377), 1,900 (Dsn 377-A)
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
239ATA 239T13 Jul 195026 Sep 195014 Jul 1950Trf--
240ATA 240T24 Apr 19614 Aug 197111 Apr 1975Navy sale--

Class Notes:
On 13 Aug 1941 the US Navy responded to a Lend Lease requisition from the British (see the BAT-1 class) 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. GM provided the diesel-electric propulsion machinery and subcontracted construction of the hulls to two Gulf Coast yards including Levingston SB of Orange, Texas. On 18 March 1943 the Army ordered its first three examples (LT 454-456) of this versatile type. It used the Navy's design but did not follow the Navy's contracting procedure and instead ordered the three tugs directly from Levingston and gave them diesels by Cooper-Bessemer. The result was Army Design 377. On 26 April 1943 the Army placed an order for 15 more 143-foot tugs (LT 528-538 and 578-581), but this time followed the Navy's pattern of ordering them from the Cleveland Diesel Engine Division of General Motors with the hulls subcontracted to Levingston. These became Army Design 377-A and were virtually identical to the Navy ATAs.

T-ATA 239 (LT 532, Design 377-A) was among the Army ships operating out of continental US ports that were to be acquired on 1 March 1950 for which names, classification, and hull numbers were approved on 21 February 1950. She was inspected on 9-13 February 1950 while undergoing a major overhaul at the Todd Ship Repair Yard, Hoboken Division, Hoboken, NJ, and was found in satisfactory condition. On 12 April 1950 the Deputy Commander of MSTS-Atlantic recommended to the Commander, MSTS, that T-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 January 1949 and 8 February 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 June 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 June 1950 Commander MSTS supported this request and on 23 June 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 July 1950 she was placed out of service and title and possession were transferred to the Army.

T-ATA 240 (LT 455, Design 377) was among 31 Army, two MARAD, 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.

On 30 March 1951 the Navy wrote to the Secretary of the Army requested that, to meet ocean-towing requirements in the Far East in FY 1952, title to and possession of the Army tugs LT 454 (Design 377) and LT 531 (Design 377-A), presently assigned to the Japan Logistical Command, Yokohama be transferred to the Navy. On 24 April 1951 the Army acknowledged that these tugs possessed seagoing characteristics that were not essential to the harbor tug work which they were then performing for the Army and agreed to transfer them to the Navy provided that two Navy tugs of the 100-ft diesel electric class of which many were in reserve would be made available as replacements. Due to the shortage of spare parts for electric-driven vessels in the Far East Command, each of the replacement vessels should carry on board a supply of spare parts for one year. The Navy replied on 13 June 1951 that a resurvey of its ocean-towing requirements in the Far East now indicated that the transfer of these tugs to the Navy would not be required and the request was withdrawn.

Ship Notes:
239ATA 239(ex-LT 532, Army Design 377A, completed Apr 1944). Accepted by War Dept 5 Apr 1944, entered into Army Transportation Service 11 Apr 1944. As a unit of the Army Transportation Corps was transferred to the Navy 1 Mar 1950 as T-ATA 239 but was not needed and was returned to the Army 13 Jul 1950 with name reverting to LT 532. Sold 1968 becoming the mercantile ACTIVE.
240ATA 240(ex-LT 455, Army Design 377, completed 29 Feb 1944). From Army to Navy 1 Jul 1950 as T-ATA 240. Civilian manned. Inactivated at Sasebo, Japan, on 24 Apr 1961. By 1971 had deteriorated beyond economical repair and was stricken. Handed over in 1971 to the Army for cannibalization and then sold by the Navy on 11 Apr 1975 to a buyer in Okinawa.

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