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Chetco

 

An Indian tribe of Oregon and extreme northern California.

 

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Chetco (ATF-99) was renamed and reclassified Penguin (ASR-12) (q.v.) on 23 September 1943 prior to her commissioning.

 

I

 

(AT-166: dp. l,500(f.); l.150'; b. 27'7"; dr. 15'; s. 13 k.; cpl. 47)

 

Chetco (AT-166) was built in 1919 as Barryton by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Co., Elizabeth, N.J.; purchased by the Navy 13 September 1943; converted at Boland Machine Co., New Orleans, La.; and commissioned 24 September 1943, Lieutenant (junior grade) R. E. Gill in command.

 

Chetco departed New Orleans 29 September 1943 towing three oil barges for the lengthy passage to Cairns, Australia, where she arrived 8 February. She cleared Cairns 16 March for Milne Bay, New Guinea, towing LCT-922, and arrived 19 March to assume operations in the New Guinea area. After a voyage to Manus, Chetco took part in the invasion of Aitape 22-23 April by retracting grounded LST's. On 10 May she assumed duty as a harbor tug at Milne Bay, and on 15 May was reclassified ATA-166. After another lengthy towing assignment, to Cairns, Chetco assumed duties as harbor tug at Mios Woendi from 16 August to 1 January 1945, when she sailed to Manus on tow duty, returning to Hollandia 9 January. Towing duty between Manus and Munda, in the Treasuries, and in the New Guinea area continued until 15 November, when Chetco sailed for San Francisco, arriving 24 December.

 

Chetco operated along the Pacific Coast between San Francisco and San Pedro until 25 April 1946, when she reported to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Chetco was decommissioned 14 June 1946, and transferred to the Maritime Commission 18 June 1947.

 

Chetco received two battle stars for World War II service.