An important plains tribe of the Algonquian family—closely associated with the Cheyenne—who lived between the south fork of the Platte River and the headwaters of the Arkansas. The name itself may be derived from the Pawnee words "tirapihu" or "larapihu," meaning trader.
(Tug No. 14: dp. 575; l. 122'6"; b. 24'0"; dr. 12'10" (mean); s. 11 k.; cpl. 25; a. 2 3-pdrs.; cl. Arapaho)
The name Arapaho (sometimes spelled Arapahoe) was assigned on 9 May 1914 to a tug that had been laid down unnamed on 16 December 1913 at Seattle, Wash., by the Seattle Construction and Drydock Co. Launched on 20 June 1914, Arapaho was delivered to the Navy on 2 December 1914. Placed in an "in service" status as befitting a yard craft, Arapaho performed tug and tow duty at the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Calif., through 1917. Classified as a fleet tug on 15 December 1915, the ship was commissioned on 8 February 1918 at the Mare Island Navy Yard, Lt. A. R. Hunter, USNRF, in command.
Ordered to the Atlantic Fleet, Arapaho departed Mare Island on 25 February 1918 and, after transiting the Panama Canal, reached Norfolk, Va., on 6 April 1918. The tug operated with the Atlantic Fleet, primarily out of Norfolk, through the armistice of 11 November 1918. Assigned to the Atlantic Fleet Train, Arapaho towed target rafts and barges and performed routine mooring buoy maintenance at Hampton Roads, and occasionally ranged with the fleet to Guantanamo and Guayancanabo Bays, Cuba, and Narragansett Bay, R.I.
During the fleet movement to Guantanamo in January 1920, Arapaho—in company with the minesweepers Cormorant (Minesweeper No. 40), Quail (Minesweeper No. 15), Mallard (Minesweeper No. 44), and Lark (Minesweeper No. 21)—towed target rafts and barges to Guantanamo for the fleet's use during the annual winter maneuvers there. Although detached from the Train on 1 January 1920, Arapaho was apparently not assigned to the 4th Naval District (Philadelphia, Pa.) until 29 February 1920. During the first year of operations out of her new home port and yard, she was classified as AT-14 during the fleet-wide assignment of alphanumeric hull numbers on 17 July 1920. Thatautumn, in company with Leonidas (AD-7), she laid out a torpedo range between 19 October and 1 November 1920 in the lower Potomac. Upon completion of this duty, Arapaho returned to the Philadelphia Navy Yard for a resumption of her previous duties.
Arapaho remained assigned to the 4th Naval District until decommissioned at Philadelphia on the afternoon of 6 April 1922. She remained in reserve there—reclassified, while inactive, as a yard tug YT-121 on 27 February 1936—until struck from the Navy list on 22 December 1936. Two days later, Arapaho was ordered to be sold, and she was eventually purchased by A. S. Hughes' Sons, Philadelphia, on 5 May 1937