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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND
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Chewink

 

The common towhee finch of eastern North America.

 

I

 

(AM-39: dp. 950; l. 187'10"; b. 35'6"; dr. 9'9"; s. 14 k.; cpl. 78; a. 2 3"; cl. Lapwing)

 

The first Chewink (AM-39) was launched 21 December 1918 by Todd Shipyard Corp., New York City; sponsored by Miss M. Sperrin; and commissioned 9 April 1919, Lieutenant (junior grade) J. Williams in command. She was reclassified ASR-3 on 12 Sept. 1929.

 

Chewink sailed from Boston 23 May 1919 for Kirk-wall, Orkney Islands, arriving 5 July to aid in the vast task of clearing the North Sea minefields. She returned via Lisbon, the Azores, and Bermuda to New York, arriving 19 November, and for the next 11 years operated along the east coast and to Cuba and Puerto Rico in a variety of duties, which included salvage, target towing, recovering mines, experimental underwater radio tests, net laying and tending, and tending submarines. In October 1930 she sailed from New London with Submarine Division 4 for Pearl Harbor, to be stationed there as submarine tender, until 5 January 1931, and then at Coco Solo, Canal Zone until August 1933. Chewink was decommissioned at Pearl Harbor 21 August 1933, remaining there until April 1937, when her berth was changed to Mare Island Navy Yard.

 

Chewink recommissioned 12 November 1940, sailed from San Diego 3 February 1941, and on 10 May reached New London, her base through the remainder of her active service. During World War II, she aided America's growing ability to make war beneath the sea as she operated training divers, in submarine search and rescue exercises, as a station ship, and as a target ship for submarine torpedoes. Her operations took her to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Argentia, Newfoundland, and several times to Key West. Chewink was decommissioned at Brooklyn 4 February 1947. She was used as a target and sunk off New London 31 July 1947.