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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Kalmia

 

A genus of North American shrubs of the heath family with evergreen leaves and umbellate clusters of rose, purple, or white flowers.

 

II

 

(AT-23: dp. 1,000; l. 158'6"; b. 30'; dr. 14'7"; s. 13 k.; cpl. 44; a. 1 mg.; cl. Bagaduce)

 

The second Kalmia (AT-23) was laid down 23 August 1918; launched 26 August 1919 by Ferguson Steel & Iron Co., Buffalo, N.Y.; sponsored by Mrs. E. D. Bishop; and commissioned 18 November, Lt. (j.g.) W. S. Burns in command.

 

Steaming to Montreal 21 November, Kalmia joined the St. Lawrence Division of Eagle Boats for towing and ice-breaking duty between Montreal and Quebec. She departed Quebec 24 May 1920 for the eastern seaboard; sailing via Portsmouth, N.H., she arrived Philadelphia 18 June. Attached to the 4th Naval District, she operated out of Philadelphia as a tow for barges and yard craft. On 10 January 1934 she joined the Special Service Squadron to assist in transporting armament to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Assigned to Train Squadron 1, Base Force, 1 May, she sailed to Norfolk 24 May and on 13 October departed for the West Coast. Steaming via the Panama Canal, she established her base at San Diego 22 November and commenced target towing operations along the California coast.

 

On 30 June 1941 Kalmia sailed for the Atlantic, arriving Norfolk 10 August. She proceeded to Portland, Maine, 10 October and arrived on the 13th to join the Service Force, Atlantic Fleet. For the next 3 years she towed gun targets in Casco Bay. From 8 to 11 September 1942 she assisted in salvage and rescue operations of auxiliary-transport Wakefield (AP-21), gutted by fire while off Halifax, Nova Scotia. Redesignated ATO-23 on 15 May 1944, she returned to Norfolk 24 October for target-towing duty in the Chesapeake Bay.

 

Departing Norfolk 14 December, Kalmia sailed for the West Coast arriving Seattle, Wash., 14 February 1945 with floating dry dock AFDL-33 in tow. Following two towing runs from San Diego and San Francisco to Seattle, she arrived San Diego 30 May to resume bomb and gun target towing operations off Santa Catalina and Santa Cruz Islands. Steaming to San Pedro 29 March 1946, Kalmia decommissioned 15 May. She was struck from the Navy List 3 July 1946, and sold to Bay Cities Transportation Co., San Francisco, Calif., 21 January 1947.