(YTB-495: dp. 240; l. 100'0"; b. 25'0"; dr. 9'7" (f.); s. 11 k.; cpl. 10; cl. Pessacus)
Barboncito (YTB-495) was laid down on 19 October 1944 at Brooklyn, N. Y., by Ira S. Bushey & Sons; launched on 21 February 1945; delivered to the Navy and placed in service at the New York Navy Yard on 2 July 1945.
Barboncito departed New York on her maiden voyage on 18 July 1945, bound for Norfolk. Reaching that port on the 19th, she sailed two days later for Charleston, S.C., arriving at the Naval Frontier Base there on the 23d. Proceeding thence on the 26th, she reached Miami on the 28th. Ordered to proceed to New Orleans, Barboncito made her destination on 2 August. Shifting to Southwest Pass by the end of the month, the harbor tug made her way to the Canal Zone.
Departing Balboa on 19 September 1945 with the Bureau of Docks Dump Scow No.10, Barboncito proceeded thence to San Francisco. Ultimately steaming to Pearl Harbor, where she arrived on 27 February 1946, the harbor tug--tentatively earmarked for assignment to the post-war Philippine Sea Frontier about that time--operated there until 14 May 1946, when she sailed for the Marshall Islands.
Arriving at Eniwetok on 28 May, she proceeded onward that same day, reaching Guam under tow of Lipan (ATF-85) on 3 June. Operating at Guam until 18 October, Barboncito was again towed by Lipan, this time to Peleliu, along with Abinago (YTB-493) and ultimately to Samar in the Philippines. Underway from Samar on 4 November, Barboncito accompanied by Bolster (ARS-38), towing YOG-41, reached Subic Bay on 9 November. On 26 November, Barboncito cleared Subic Bay for Samar with LCI-8 in tow, and reached her destination on 1 December. Proceeding thence with YnG-8 in tow, the harbor tug reached Guam the day before Christmas of 1946.
Towed from Guam to Pearl Harbor by the fleet tug Molala (ATF-106) and thence on to the west coast by the auxiliary ocean tug ATA-198, Barboncito entered Long Beach three days before Christmas of 1948. Taken from there to Balboa in the Canal Zone, the harbor tug reached her destination on 10 February 1949. Assigned to the Texas group of the Reserve Fleet, Barboncito arrived there on 27 March 1949. Following preinactivation overhaul at Port Arthur, she was placed out of service, in reserve, on 29 December 1949.
Barboncito remained inactive until placed back in service on 14 July 1952 for duty at Mayport, Fla. She was transferred to the 6th Naval District on 28 July 1952 and thence to the Naval Mine Countermeasures Station (later the Naval Mine Defense Laboratory) at Panama City, Fla. There, she served through the late 1950s supporting a portion of the Mine Force's research and development work. Later, Barboncito was assigned to the 5th Naval District, based at Norfolk, Va., where she provided tug and tow services to fleet units. During that assignment, she was reclassified a medium harbor tug and was redesignated YTM-495 in February 1962.
The 5th Naval District proved to be her last active Navy assignment, as she remained there until she was taken out of service. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 1 May 1975, and she was turned over to the Government Services Administration for disposal. On 1 August 1975, she was sold to the University of Georgia for use by its Institute of Natural Resources, and the actual transfer of custody took place on 21 November 1975.
Robert J. Cressman
7 March 2006