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Massasoit, the chief of the Wampanoag Indians of New England, born around 1580, befriended the English colonists and gave the food and assistance during the early settlement of the Plymouth Colony. His son, the chief known as King Philip, started the destructive King Philipís War some years after Massasoitís death in 1661.




(YT‑15: dp. 202; lwl. 89'5"; b. 24'; dr. 8'6"; s. 9 k.; a. 1 1‑pdr.)


The second Massasoit (YT‑15) was launched as A. W. Booth by Neafie and Levy, Philadelphia, Pa., in 1898; acquired by the Navy from the Moran Towing Service at Philadelphia 25 April 1898; and commissioned 21 June 1898, Lt. A. Reynolds in command.


Assigned to the North Atlantic Fleet during the Spanish-American War, Massasoit departed Philadelphia 29 June 1898, steaming with barge in tow by way of several east coast ports to Key West, Fla., arriving 21 July. There she operated until 21 August when she sailed to Philadelphia, arriving League Island Navy Yard 24 September. Massasoit gave yard service at League Island until 25 February 1899 when she sailed for Key West. She was assigned to the naval station there for yard and towing service for the next 12 years. She made brief voyages to nearby ports, and in March and December 1910, two tow voyages to Havana, Cuba.


On 23 April 1912, Massasoit was assigned to the Norfolk Navy Yard and sailed the same day, arriving 3 May. There she remained, performing her essential service to the fleet through 1922, making intermittent voyages with barges to Indian Head, Annapolis, and smaller naval installations. On 10 March 1922, the tug transferred to general duty in the 5th Naval District until placed in inactive status 18 September 1930. On 7 February 1931, she decommissioned at Norfolk. Towed to Philadelphia in 1933 to be placed in ordinary, Massasoit was struck from the Navy list 17 December 1936 and sold to Herman Spector of Philadelphia 25 January 1937.