USS TAWASA (ATF-92)
Tawasa (AT-92) was laid down on 22 June 1942 at Portland, Oreg., by the Commercial Iron Works; launched on 22 February 1943; sponsored by Mrs. Thomas F. Sullivan; and commissioned on 17 July
1943, Lt. Fred C. Clark in command.
Tawasa held her shakedown cruise off the lower California coast in late August and returned to
Portland. The tug steamed to San
Pedro, Calif., in October and departed
there on the 20th for Hawaii, towing two fuel oil barges. She arrived at
Pearl Harbor on 4 November and was assigned
to Service Force, Pacific Fleet. The next day, the tug headed for the Ellice
Islands and arrived at Funafuti on the
Tawasa was routed onward to the Gilbert Islands and arrived on 26 November at Abemama-which, only the day before, had been taken by American marines.
On 3 December, she moved to Tarawa.
The tug made round trips between
Tarawa and Funafuti in December 1943 and
January 1944. On 21 January, she stood out of Tarawa and rendezvoused with Task Force (TF) 52, the Southern Attack Force, for the invasion of the
Marshall Islands. Off Kwajalein Atoll on the 31st, Tawasa took
soundings enabling Mississippi (BB-41) to approach the shore for
close bombardment. The tug then performed
salvage, towing, and screening duty until
18 February when she moved to Eniwetok to assist in the assault that was to strike that atoll the next morning.
She supported operations until the atoll was secured
and remained in the area for almost two months, providing services to American ships using this new base. Tawasa departed the Marshalls on
12 April for a tender availability at
Pearl Harbor and to have a radar installed.
The tug returned to the Marshalls on 25 May. On 11 June, she was in the transport screen of TF 52,
the Northern Attack Force, when it sortied for the Mariana Islands. Four days later, she was detached to
assist LST's as they landed marines
and equipment on Saipan. On 7 July,
she got underway for Eniwetok.
Tawasa operated with ServRon 10 from 31 July to 24 August
1944 when she joined ServRon, South Pacific. The
ship operated in the South Pacific until 9 May 1946 when she departed
Noumea for the United States.
From San Pedro, her home
port, she operated along the
California coast until returning to Pearl Harbor on 27 December 1946. On 23 February 1947, Tawasa headed
for Japan and an eight-month tour at Yokosuka before
returning home on 30 October 1947.
The tug headed for
Alaska on 15 June 1948 and operated out of Adak until October when she steamed
to Guam for four months. She then remained on the west coast until 10 August 1950 when she got underway
for a five-month tour in Alaska.
During the next decade, her
operations on the west coast were broken by seven deployments to the Far East for operations with the
7th Fleet. On the first of these, from 4 June 1952 to 1 March 1953, Tawasa operated with TF 92, the
Logistics Support Force which
supplied United Nations forces in Korea. She also performed services at
the Korean ports of Cho Do, Sokcho, and
Tawasa deployed to the western Pacific again from 13 February to 3 July 1962. On 29 December, she
took Plaice (SS-390) in tow at San Francisco and delivered the
submarine to Pearl Harbor before returning to San Diego on 1 February 1963. She
operated with the 7th Fleet from April to
November 1964 and with the Alaskan Sea
Frontier from June to September 1965. In December 1965, the tug towed Bunker Hill (AVT-9) from San Francisco to San Diego. This was the
largest operational tow made by a tug
of the Pacific Fleet- 33,946 tons.
She returned to Alaska from 8 February to 11 April 1967.
Tawasa's next deployment to the western Pacific placed the ship in a combat zone for the third time
in her naval career. On 5 February
1968, she stood out of San Diego for
San Francisco to pick up YFN-1126 and deliver the covered lighter to Hawaii. She left her charge at
Pearl Harbor on the 17th and headed for the Philippine
Islands the following week to provide target services for ships at Subic Bay
until 13 April when she headed for Vietnam.
Tawasa arrived at Danang on the 17th and departed the next day for special operations that lasted
for a month. She returned to Subic
Bay on 21 May for a week and then
steamed to Sattahip, Thailand, to provide drone services for the Royal
Thai Navy. The tug called at Danang on 19
June and began special operations that lasted
until 10 July. Upon conclusion of the mission, the tug called at Hong Kong and Yokusuka before returning to San Diego on 26 August. She entered the
Campbell Machine Yard there the following month for an overhaul which lasted until 21 January 1969.
On 5 March, Tawasa got
underway for the Philippines and
Vietnam. She called at Danang and then proceeded to "Yankee
Station" for surveillance duty. The ship
was relieved on 22 May and sailed, via Hong Kong, for Singapore. However, on 3 June, the tug went
to the assistance of Evans (DD-754) which had collided with the Australian aircraft carrier Melbourne.
Evans had been cut in two and
only the stern section was afloat. Tawasa
took the section in tow and
returned it to Subic Bay before continuing on her original voyage. She
was at Singapore on 16 and 17 June and left for Vung Tau with YF-866 in
tow. She dropped off the lighter on the 19th and picked up a repair barge the next day before proceeding, via Subic Bay, to Guam. After returning
to Subic Bay on 8 July, Tawasa made
two additional voyages to Vung Tau before returning to San Diego on 24 September 1969.
Tawasa was deployed to the western Pacific again from 16 March to 4 October 1970 and from 8
November 1972 to 15 June 1973. In 1971,
the tug deployed to Kodiak from July
to November to serve as a search and rescue ship.
After returning to San
Diego in 1973, Tawasa remained
in California waters until 1 April 1975 when she was decommissioned and
struck from the Navy list.
Tawasa received three battle stars for World War II service, two for Korea, and seven for Vietnam.
[Note: The above USS TAWASA (ATF-92) history may, or may not, contain text provided by crew members of the USS TAWASA (ATF-92), or by other non-crew members, and text from the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships]