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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Mosopelea

 

An Indian tribe which inhabited the area near the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

 

(ATF‑158: dp. 1650; l. 205'3"; b. 39'3"; dr. 16'9"; s. 16.8 k.; cpl. 67; a. 1 3"; cl. Abnaki)

 

Mosopelea (ATF‑158) was laid down 2 January 1945 by the Charleston Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Charleston, S.C.; launched 7 May 1945; sponsored by Mrs. David Leroy Key; and commissioned 28 July 1945, Lt. Comdr. Allen H. Jensen, USNR, in command.

 

Following shakedown off the east coast, Mosopelea departed Portsmouth Navy Yard, N.H., in early October 1945 with a tow for San Francisco, Calif. Steaming via the Panama Canal, the tug arrived San Francisco 8 November and operated off the California coast until return to Charleston with a tow, 27 January 1946. Moving on to Norfolk, the ship made a voyage to Oran, Algeria, in February, returning via Trinidad, Key West, and Boston, to Norfolk 2 May. From June to September, she made a voyage to Iceland, and then operated out of Norfolk into 1947, departing 6 January for Bermuda and returning after an extended tow and limited deployment 23 March. The fleet tug continued to operate out of Norfolk, making a number of cruises to the Caribbean and gulf coast ports until June 1948, and then departed on the 12th as escort for 11 Turkish naval vessels bound for Gibraltar via Bermuda, returning 21 July.

 

For the next 16 years, Mosopelea operated out of Norfolk to principal ports on the eastern seaboard, also making frequent cruises to the Caribbean and operating for short intervals at ports in Labrador and Newfoundland. Supplying ships of the fleet with her valuable towing services, the tugboat made numerous extended deployments to San Juan, P.R., Mayport, Fla., and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for months at a time, operating out of those ports on various towing, research, and salvage assignments. During the Cuban missile crisis of October‑November 1962, the ship operated on standby emergency status, towing Army personnel barges from Charleston to Port Everglades, Fla., in preparation for a possible invasion of Cuba. On 15 September 1964, the fleet tug departed Norfolk on her first 6 months deployment with the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean, becoming the first fleet tug possessing fall salvage and diving capabilities to serve with the 6th Fleet. She operated on extended deployment in the Mediterranean into 1965 and then returned to Norfolk in late winter to resume her previous duties. Mosopelea continued on her valuable service to the Atlantic Fleet, basing out of Norfolk and performing towing, salvage, and research duties all along the east coast and in the Caribbean into 1969.