USS ALLEGHENY (ATA-179)
unnamed single-screw ocean-going tug ATA-179 (originally projected as the rescue
tug, ATR-106) was laid down on 22 May 1944 at Orange, Tex., by the Levingston Shipbuilding
on 30 June 1944; and commissioned on 22 September 1944, Lt. (jg.) Thomas C. McLaren, USNR, in
fitting out, ATA-179 conducted shakedown training out of Galveston, Tex.,
before undergoing post-shakedown availability at that port until 24 October. Two days later,
the tug departed Galveston for Tampa, Fla., with a covered lighter, YF-6H, in tow, and reached her destination on the 28th.
Taking the barracks ship APL-19 in tow, the tug sailed for the Panama
Canal Zone on 4 November 1944, reaching her
destination with her two tows on the
13th. Transiting the Panama Canal three days later, she sailed for Bora Bora, in the Society Islands,
on 30 November
reached her destination on 22 December. On the day after Christmas, ATA-179 got underway for Finschhafen, New Guinea, towing YF-6H. She then towed the
lighter to Hollandia, New Guinea, arriving on 12 January 1945, before
proceeding on to Leyte with APL-19
and YF-6U in tow, arriving there on 5 February 1945.
to Service Squadron Three, Service Force, Seventh Fleet, ATA-179 cleared
Leyte on 18 February 1945 for the Carolines and reached Ulithi the following day. There,
she took two floating workshops, YRD(H)-6
and YRD(M)-6, in tow and departed
Ulithi on 24 February for the Philippines. Proceeding via Kossol Roads,
in the Palaus, ATA-179 arrived at Leyte on 12 March 1945 and delivered her tows. Departing San Pedro Bay on 24
March, the tug reached Cebu on the 26th and picked up LCT-1'296, towing
her to Leyte.
thence to Hollandia, New Guinea, having left the tank craft at Leyte, ATA-179
picked up the tow of a dredge and four pontoon barges on 18 April and
delivered them to Leyte on 1 May 1945. Returning to Hollandia, the tug then picked
up four ammunition barges and
towed them to Leyte as well, reaching the Philippines on 7 June. ATA-179 proceeded
thence to Espi-ritu Santo, in the New
Hebrides, reaching that port on 26 June 1945. On 7 July, the tug
cleared the New Hebrides with Section B
of the advanced base sectional dock, ABSD-1, and the open lighter, YC-324, and headed for the
Philippines. Proceeding via Hollandia,
the tug and her two charges reached their destination on 2 August 1945.
Leyte on 7 August, ATA-179 sailed for the Padaido Islands, and there took David
B. Henderson in tow on 12 August. She proceeded thence to Biak, New Guinea, and
arrived on the following day. During the week that followed, ATA-179 towed a
400-ton pontoon drydock to Morotai and the covered lighter, YF-621, to Leyte. Proceeding
thence to Morotai, the tug towed a 400-ton floating drydock and the motor minesweeper YMS-47
Samar, and a 100-ton pontoon drydock from there to Subic Bay. For the balance
of October 1945, the tug operated in the Philippine Islands, between Samar and
Leyte. She towed seven pontoon barges from Samar to Subic Bay (24 to 28 October) and spent the remainder of
1945 and the first few months of the following year, 1946, based at Leyte.
ATA-179 departed Leyte on 30 March 1946. She reached Manus, in the
Admiralties, on 6 April and departed there eight days later with a section of ABSD-4 in tow. Touching
briefly at Eniwetok
and Johnston Island en route, the tug reached Pearl Harbor on 24 May and
proceeded thence to the west coast of the United States soon thereafter, towing AFD-2 to
San Pedro. She then took LCS-66
to San Diego and arrived there on 12 September.
Moving to San Pedro the same day, ATA-179 took APL-43 in tow and sailed for the Canal Zone on 12 October. She reached her destination on the 18th, and departed
11 days later, bound for
Jacksonville with APL-43 and APL-34
in her wake, to deliver
her tows to the Florida group of the reserve fleet. With new orders to deliver the barracks ships
elsewhere, however, for preservation
work, ATA-179 proceeded to Charleston, S.C., which she reached on 8
Over the next several
months, ATA-179 participated in the demobilization
process of many fleet units assigned temporarily to the Commandant, 8th Naval District, and performed tug and tow operations on the Gulf and Florida coasts,
ranging from Key West and Mayport to
New Orleans, Mobile, and Galveston until she herself was inactivated and placed
out of commission, in reserve, at Orange, Tex., on 10 October 1947. On 16 July
1948, she was named Allegheny (ATA-179).
recommissioned on 25 July 1949. Allegheny then sailed for the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, arriving on 8 August. She remained
there until 26 September, when she sailed for New York. Departing New York on 1 October, Allegheny sailed for the Mediterranean, in company with Stallion (ATA-193)
and the survey ship Maury (AGS-16), reaching Gibraltar on 13 October. Pushing on across the Mediterranean, the survey
group put in at Naples, Italy, on the 19th, and at Argostolion, Greece,
on the 21st. Sailing for Port Said, Egypt,
that same day, the ships reached the
northern terminus of the Suez Canal on 24 October and transited that waterway on the 25th, reaching
Aden on the 30th.
Allegheny commenced her hydrographic work in that region soon thereafter. Over the next several weeks,
she supported Maury as that ship operated in the Gulf of Aden, the
Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman, and the
Persian Gulf conducting surveys of the uncharted waters of the Arabian
coast. She touched at ports in Saudi Arabia;
Kuwait; Bahrain; and Pakistan. The survey
ships transited the Suez Canal on 4 May. Allegheny rounded out the deployment with visits to Algiers and
Gibraltar before she sailed for the United States, reaching Norfolk on 27 May.
She moved to New York soon thereafter, and underwent post-deployment availability at the New York Naval
Shipyard from 3 June to 8 September.
Allegheny conducted survey operations at Newport, R.I., following her overhaul at
New York from 9 to 29 September. She then returned to the naval shipyard
following that work, to prepare for another deployment to the Persian Gulf, and sailed
Mediterranean on 6 October. Reaching Gibraltar on 19 October, Allegheny visited
Golfe Juan from 22 to 25 October and touched briefly at Port Said from 30 to 31 October
before transiting the Suez Canal and proceeding down the Red Sea. Reaching Bahrain on 11 November,
she remained there until the 13th when she got underway for Ras Tanura, making port there
same day. She spent the remainder of the year 1950 and the first three and one-half
months of 1951 operating from that Saudi oil port, ultimately sailing for Suez
on 18 April 1951. She wound up the deployment with calls at Port Said, Naples,
Algiers, and Gibraltar before she got underway to return to the United States on 18 May.
at the New York Naval Shipyard on the last day of May 1951, Allegheny remained
there through the summer and into September, leaving New York on 17 September for Hampton Roads. Reaching
Norfolk the next day, she did not get underway again until 10 October when she sailed for
her third deployment to the Mediterranean
and Middle Eastern waters. She visited
Athens from 30 October to 2 November, and operated briefly in the Mediterranean before transiting the Suez Canal on 5 November. A port call at Aden on 10
November preceded her arrival at
Bahrain on the 17th. As in the previous deployment, she conducted survey
work in the Bahrain-Ras Tanura area into
the following spring, winding up her work at the latter port on 12 April. Transiting the Suez Canal on 24 and 25
April 1952, Allegheny visited Naples and Monaco en route home,
ultimately reaching Norfolk on 29 May 1952.
thereafter to the New York Naval Shipyard where
she arrived on 14 June, Allegheny underwent a major conversion for her new role as research vessel.
During the summer of 1952, all armament
and towing accessories were removed and
her towing winch rotated 90° and modified to perform the functions of a heavy
trawling winch. Various hydrographic and bathythermograph winches and booms were installed, as was sonar, dead reckoning, and various electronic
equipment. Shipboard spaces were
converted to a machine shop, motor generator, and photographic laboratory. A new deckhouse was constructed aft
to house underwater sound and electronic equipment.
to the Commandant, 3d Naval District, for duty and based at the Naval Supply Center, Bayonne,
N.J., Allegheny spent the next 17
years engaged in hydrographic and research functions through the Office of Naval Research, with various research teams from the Hudson Laboratories, Bell
Telephone Co., Woods Hole Institute,
and Columbia University embarked as
the mission required. Generally, her operations consisted of spending months
from January through April in the Bermuda-Caribbean area, and the rest
of the year in the Long Island-Hudson Canyon
region, off New York, and occasionally involved in operations off Cape Hatteras. Ports of call included St. Thomas, Virgin Islands; San Juan, Puerto Rico;
Willemstadt, Curacao; Miami and Port
Everglades, Fla.; and Bermuda. In the spring of 1963 she was assigned to Task Group 89.7 from 24 April to 15 May, an operational commitment occasioned by the
disappearance of the nuclear
submarine Thresher (SSN-593).
the latter part of her long tour of research support work was a towing operation-something she had
not been configured
for in many, many years. Underway from Bayonne on 31 January 1967, Allegheny sailed for
Bermuda, arriving on 3 February. No longer possessing a towing engine or fittings, the research vessel had to jury-rig a towing
arrangement to the "Monster Buoy"
(General Dynamics Buoy "Bravo")- Setting out for the west
coast of the United States on 11 February, Allegheny and the
"Monster Buoy" headed for the Pacific. Touching briefly at Guantanamo Bay for provisions from 17 to 19 February, Allegheny and her charge
transited the Panama Canal on 23
February, and set out for Acapulco on the 25th. En route, the tug and
her tow ran into 40-knot winds and 15-foot seas in the Gulf of Tehuantepec, but
reached their destination on 4 March.
Underway on the 7th, Allegheny delivered her tow one week later, on the
14th, having successfully completed a 32-day,
4,642-mile journey. Retracing her course, the tug returned to Bermuda on 16 April, via Acapulco, the
Panama Canal, and Kingston, Jamaica.
Allegheny conducted oceanographic research missions off Bermuda with USNS Mission
Capistrano (T-AO-112) from 22 April to 5 May before sailing for Bayonne. Further oceanographic work- off Port Everglades, Fla.-began in June,
followed by a visit on 4 July to Washington, B.C. That September, the
ship was reassigned from Commandant, 3d
Naval District, to Service Squadron 8 on 1 July 1969, and conducted coring
operations on the Continental Shelf,
off the New York-New Jersey coast from 5 to 11 September. From 18 to 28
September, Allegheny conducted
operations with Bang (SS-365) in the Gulf of Maine and Boston area and,
from 9 to 20 November with Cutlass (SS-478), in the Virginia
capes area, each time under the auspices of Commander,
Operational Development Force.
declared excess to the needs of the Navy, Allegheny was decommissioned and
struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 14 December 1968. Towed to Philadelphia and the
Inactive Ship Facility there, the
ship was turned over to Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City, Mich.,
for use as a training ship to prepare young
men for merchant service on the Great Lakes. Berthed at the Great Lakes
Maritime Academy, the ship served as a training vessel and floating
laboratory for a little under a decade. On
27 January 1978, "burdened by frozen spray flung on her superstructure by strong north winds," the ship rolled over at her Maritime Academy dock.
[Note: The above USS ALLEGHENY (ATA-179) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS ALLEGHENY (ATA-179), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]