An American Indian tribe of Algonkin stock, which lived northwest of Lake Michigan along the Menominee River. Their descendents now live along the Wolf River in Wisconsin.
(AT‑73: dp. 1,240; l. 205'; b. 38'6"; dr. 15'4"; s. 16 k.; cpl. 85; a. 1 3", 2 40mm.; cl. Cherokee)
The first Menominee (AT‑73) was laid down 27 September 1941 by the United Engineering Co., San Francisco, Calif.; launched 14 February 1942; sponsored by Mrs. Edwin H. Price; and commissioned 25 September 1942, Lt. Comdr. Emil C. Generaux, Jr., USNR, in commnand.
Menominee, an oceangoing tug, departed Pearl Harbor 28 November 1942 for Suva, Fiji. Arriving 12 December she began her wartime tugging and salvage career 3 days later when she salvaged the cargo of the grounded British merchantman Thomas Edison. She continued to operate in the Fijis, at New Caledonia, and in the New Hebrides until 21 February 1943. She then steamed to the Solomons and for the next year provided salvage and temporary repair services to ships damaged in the waters surrounding Florida, Guadalcanal, New Georgia, Bougainville, and Green Islands. During the invasions of the two latter islands, Menominee accompanied the landing craft convoys and then took up station in the antisubmarine screens off the invasion beaches.
In March 1944, as the Allied thrusts were breaking down the “Bismarcks Barrier”, Menominee again joined an advance echelon, TF 31, assigned to support the occupation of Emirau, the last link in the encirclement of Rabaul. Detached at the end of April, Menominee provided towing and salvage services among the Ellice, Fiji, and Loyalty Islands. Reclassified ATF‑73 on 15 May, Menominee returned to operations in the New Hebrides‑Solomons area in mid‑July.
On 8 September she left Guadalcanal with TG 32.17, arriving in the Palaus the 15th to assist grounded and damaged landing craft through 15 October. Next day she rendezvoused with a landing craft convoy headed for Leyte Gulf. By the 20th she was in position off the Dulag beachhead and during the next 3 days provided temporary repair services to cruiser Honolulu (CL‑48) and battleship Tennessee (BB‑43) in addition to numerous landing craft.
Menominee departed Leyte on the 23d for Humboldt Bay. Arriving there on the 30th, she was temporarily assigned to transporting ammunition to Ulithi. At the latter, 20 November, she witnessed the first successful attack launched by a new Japanese weapon, the kaiten. The kaiten’s target, the berthed oiler Mississinewa (AO‑59) carrying aviation gasoline, diesel oil, and fuel oil, exploded on contact and Menominee was one of the ships which immediately got underway in the harbor to fight the resultant raging fire.
Following overhaul at Pearl Harbor, Menominee returned to the South Pacific in mid‑April 1945, and operated in the Marianas until mid‑May when she got underway for the Ryukyus. Arriving off Okinawa 20 May she provided repair, salvage, firefighting, and fueling services there through the end of the war. In mid‑August she was assigned to accompany minesweepers as they cleared the East China Sea.
Menominee sailed for home 27 October, arrived San Francisco 12 December, and later sailed north. At Portland, Oreg., 15 November 1946, she decommissioned and entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet. She was struck from the Naval Register 1 November 1959, and transferred to Indonesia 26 January 1961 under the Military Assistance Program. She serves Indonesia as Rakata (928) into 1969.
Menominee received five battle stars for World War II service.