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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Moreno

 

A Central American Indian tribe residing in coastal Guatemala and Honduras.

 

(ATF‑87; dp. 1,270; l. 205'; b. 38'6"; dr. 16'; s. 16 k.; cpl. 119; a. 1 3"; cl. Navajo.)

 

Moreno was laid down as AT‑87, 26 June 1942, by the Cramp Shipbuilding Co., Philadelphia, Pa.; launched 9 July 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Charles H. Kramb; and commissioned 30 November 1942, Lt. (jg.) V. H. Kyllberg in command.

 

Following shakedown out of Norfolk. Va., Moreno, a fleet tug equipped with good firefighting, salvage, and repair facilities to allow participation in combat operations, sailed, 21 January 1943, for Bermuda. There she provided towing and escort services to vessels attached to the naval operating base and assigned to convoys using the southern lanes across the North Atlantic to Africa and Europe. On 3 March, she rendezvoused with TF 32 and set out for Gibraltar, returning to Norfolk, with TF 63 on 28 April. While at sea with those forces, Moreno was employed as an escort and as a standby tug.

 

After availability at Norfolk, Moreno again headed out across the Atlantic, sailing 8 June with TF 65. She anchored off Oran on the 22d, and then continued on to Bizerte, where she prepared for the invasion of southern Sicily. On 6 July, while still at Bizerte, she was caught in an air raid during which a near miss injured three men and damaged the superstructure and rigging. By 8 July, however, she was underway in an LST convoy bound for Sicily. Despite heavy weather, “Joss” Force arrived off Licata early on the 10th, and the Falconara Attack Group headed toward “Beach Blue” while Moreno stood by to provide aid if called upon. Later in the day, the tug shifted to Licata, anchoring in the bay. Through 10 August, she salvaged and repaired damaged vessels, fought fires, and cleared beachhead landing craft at Licata, Gela, Port Empedocle, Sciacca, and Marsala. On the 11th, she commenced planting buoys in swept channels at Marsala and off the western coast of the island. Detached on the 21st, she joined a merchant convoy and sailed to Tunis, where, her part in operation “Husky” completed, she prepared for “Avalanche,” the assault at Salerno.

 

Sailing with TF 81 on 7 September, she was in the Gulf of Salerno, standing off the landing beaches at Paestum, by 0100 on the 9th. She remained in the area, conducting firefighting, salvage, repair, and fueling operations in spite of frequent air raids, until 4 November, when she departed for Bizerte. Thence, she followed the African coast to Algiers for availability and salvage work in that area.

 

On 11 February 1944, Moreno sailed back to Bizerte where she received towing assignments which took her to Taranto, Malta, and Naples. From 6 April through 27 July, Moreno, now ATF‑87 (effective 15 May), was employed in convoy work from Naples and Palermo to Bizerte, shuttling damaged LCTs south, and those in good repair north. She then steamed to Algiers, and from there, to Corsica and various Italian ports before arriving at Palermo to prepare for operation “Dragoon,” the invasion of southern France.

 

Departing Palermo 7 August, she proceeded first to Naples and then to Ajaccio, where, on the 13th, she joined convoy 89‑1 and sailed for St. Raphael. On the 15th, she was off Green Beach providing services similar to those performed at Licata and Paestum. On the 18th, she shifted to the Gulf of St. Tropez, remaining there until 9 October.

 

From southern France, Moreno returned to Palermo for availability and then commenced towing and escort services between various points in Italy, Corsica, France, and north Africa. On 7 March 1945, she took Tackle In tow and headed for Odessa, where the latter’s cargo, food, clothing and medicine, was off loaded for distribution to American soldiers recently released from German POW camps by Red army units.

 

Moreno, with Tackle, returned to Oran 13 April, only to depart, again with Tackle in tow, 3 days later for the Azores. The two vessels were engaged in repair work until 6 May, when they joined convoy GUS 87 and steamed west. Arriving at Norfolk 18 May, Moreno entered the Norfolk Navy Yard for a brief overhaul. On 5 July, she got underway for Charleston, where she took ARDC‑11 and an Army tug in tow. Leaving the Army vessel in Panama, Moreno continued up the west coast to San Diego, arriving 9 September. She remained in operation with the Pacific Fleet until ordered back to the Atlantic at the end of the year. On 17 May 1946, Moreno reported to the 16th Fleet for inactivation, decommissioning 13 August and berthing at Orange, Tex. The diesel‑electric, single‑screw tug remained in the Reserve Fleet until struck from the Naval Register 1 September 1961.

 

Moreno received three battle stars for World War II service.