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Accokeek

 

An Indian tribe—long extinct—which lived in an area of Maryland now the site of Prince Georges County.

 

(ATA-181: dp. 835; l. 143'; b. 33'10"; dr. 13'3"; s. 13 k.; cpl. 45; a. 1 3", 2 20mm.; cl. ATA-121)

 

The auxiliary ocean tug ATA-181 was laid down on 15 June 1944 at Orange, Tex., by the Levingston Shipbuilding Co.; launched on 27 July 1944; and commissioned on 7 October 1944, Lt. C. M. Lacour in command.

 

After shakedown, she sailed for the Pacific, transiting the Panama Canal early in January 1945 and stopping in Hawaii in March. Resuming her voyage west, the tug arrived at Guam on 25 March, a week before the assault on Okinawa. For the rest of the war, ATA-181 aided warships damaged in that campaign, towing them from combat into Kerama Retto and thence to bases in the Marianas and in the Western Carolines.

 

She stayed in the Far East after the war providing towing and salvage support for the American occupation forces. On 15 October, a severe typhoon struck the anchorage at Okinawa and drove ATA-181 aground; but the tug escaped heavy damage and soon returned to duty. Her Far Eastern assignment ended early in the summer of 1946, and she began the long voyage to the east coast of the United States. Steaming via Pearl Harbor, San Francisco, and the Panama Canal, ATA-181 reached Philadelphia on 20 November.

 

Over the next 26 years, she carried out a variety of missions for the Atlantic Fleet. On 16 July 1948, she became Accokeek. While she operated most often along the eastern seaboard and in the West Indies, her work also took her to such widely separated locations as Labrador, Ascencion Island, and even inland to Lake Michigan. Philadelphia served as her home port through most of her postwar career, but that changed on 30 June 1969 when Accokeek was reassigned to Little Creek, Va. The tug operated from that base for the remaining three years of her Navy service. Decommissioned at Norfolk on 29 June 1972, Accokeek was transferred to the Maritime Administration on 19 September 1972 for layup in its National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF). At the end of 1987, Accokeek still appeared on the Navy list and remained at the NDRF facility at James River, Va.

 

As ATA-181, Accokeek earned one battle star in World War II.

 

 

Accokeek (ATA-181), underway in the Delaware River near the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, 18 July 1966, her crew at quarters as photographed by Bruno T. Wojciechowski. (NH 92281)