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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.

 

III

 

(ATA-184: dp. 835; l.143'; b. 33'10"; dr. 13'2"; s. 13 k.; cpl. 45; a. 13", 2 20mm.; cl. Maricopa)

 

The third Kalmia (AT-184) was laid down as ATR-111 on 27 July 1944; redesignated ATA-184 15 May 1944; launched 29 August by Levingston Shipbuilding Co., Orange, Tex.; and commissioned 6 November as ATA-184, Lt. (j.g.) W. E. Hummel in command.

 

Following shakedown, ATA-184 departed New Orleans, I/a., 10 December for the Southwest Pacific with APL-9 in tow. Transiting the Panama Canal 27 December, she added ATR-64 to her towlines 2 January 1945, sailed via the Galapagos and Society Islands, and arrived Florida Island, Solomons, 16 February to deliver ATR-64 for duty. The next day, as a unit of Service Squadron 3, ATA-184 sailed for Manus Island, Admiralties, arriving the 22d with APL-9. After towing and salvage duty at Manus and Hollandia, New Guinea, she steamed for the Philippines 27 March with YRDH-3 and YRDM-3 in tandem tow. Arriving Subic Bay, Luzon, 14 April, she commenced towing and salvage operations throughout the Philippines that ranged from northern Luzon to southern Palawan and Mindanao. Following a towing run to Brunei Bay, Borneo, ATA-184 cleared Guiuan Roadstead, Samar, 22 June and returned to Manus the 29th.

 

ATA-184 proceeded to Russell Islands, Solomons, 4 July. While the tug was operating off Hui Island 12 July, a large quantity, estimated between 9 and 26 tons, of deteriorated and condemned dynamite exploded on the island causing minor damage to the tug. She departed the Russells 17 July for Guiuan, Samar, with five pontoon barges in tow. Arriving 6 August, she resumed towing duty in Leyte Gulf until she sailed 18 August for Manus Island to tow two pontoon drydocks to Luzon. ATA-184 reached Subic Bay 11 September and commenced towing runs between Subic Bay and Guiuan. From 2 to 7 October she operated in the typhoon area northeast of Luzon and recovered harbor tugs YTB-377 and YF-512 adrift at sea. During November and December she operated out of San Fernando, Luzon, on typhoon salvage and rescue patrols off northern Luzon, rescuing four men 26 December from a drifting Army barge.

 

ATA-184 continued towing and salvage operations off western Luzon until she departed Subic Bay 30 April 1946 with APL-19 in tow. Steaming via Guam and Bikini Atoll, she arrived Pearl Harbor 7 June and continued 11 June with APL-21 in tow for the West Coast. Arriving Astoria, Oreg., 23 June, ATA-184 decommissioned 24 June and entered the Columbia River Group, Pacific Reserve Fleet. On 16 July 1948 she was named Kalmia (ATA-184). Placed in service 1 April 1952, she departed Astoria 24 April for San Diego, where she recommissioned 5 May, Lt. T. P. Dorr in command.

 

Attached to the 11th Naval District since recommissioning, Kalmia has operated out of San Diego, providing valuable service for the Underway Training Command during training and readiness operations of the Navy's combat ships. As an integral link in training the Navy's fighting ships, especially destroyers, in gunnery, she has towed target sleds in the Southern California Operating Area. Equipped with a hydraulic launching catapult on her bow, she serves as one of the smallest "aircraft carriers" in the Navy by launching, controlling, and retrieving drone target aircraft during antiaircraft and aerial gunnery exercises. She also tows and services bomb targets and retrieves practice torpedoes and mines. When not at sea, she provides a variety of important services in San Diego and Long Beach harbors, towing ships in reserve to and from overhaul, assisting disabled or grounded ships, and moving a multitude of yard craft and a vast quantity of varied equipment. A floating workhorse, Kalmia continues to provide essential service to the 11th Naval District and the Pacific Fleet through 1967.