DANFS IndexImage of an anchor Naval History & Heritage Command home
flag banner
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships banner


A Native American sachem (chief) of the Wampanoag people during the 17th century, sometimes spelled Metacomet (q.v.), and known by the European settlers of New England as King Philip. The American Indians who attended the Pilgrimís original Thanksgiving feast in 1621 included Metacomís father, Massasoit, the sachem of the Wampanoag. Massasoitís son tirelessly championed the self determination of his people against the inroads of the European settlers, and Metacomís charismatic leadership and tactical skill proved instrumental in a conflict fought against the settlers, popularly known as King Philipís War, from 1675 to 1676. The Native Americans attained some initial successes and both sides suffered terrible losses, but the settlers defeated the Indians, decisively breaking their power in those areas of southern and eastern New England affected by the war. A Native American of the Pocasset people, a man named Alderman who opposed the sachem, shot and killed Metacom in the chiefís encampment in a swamp on the southwestern side of Mount Hope, Narragansett Bay, R.I., on 12 August 1676. (YN 51: displacement 226; length 104'; beam 27'; draft 11'6"; armament 2 .30 caliber machine guns)

Metacom (YN 51) was completed by H. A. Marvel, Newburgh, N.Y., in January 1940; purchased by the Navy as Joseph Meseck from Meseck Towing & Transportation Co., Inc., New York, and delivered on 8 November 1940; renamed Metacom on 2 December 1940; converted from a large steam tug at the New York Navy Yard; and placed in service on 11 March 1941.

Assigned to the 3d Naval District, Metacom began net-tending operations based from her home yard in New York. On 8 April 1942, she was redesignated YNT 19. The vessel served under Task Unit 90.3.1 of the Eastern Sea Frontier Force by September of that year, patrolling the ship lanes and performing minor tug duties out of the Ambrose Channel. Metacom continued her support mission through a redesignation as YTB 740 on 4 August 1945.

Metacom was placed out of service at New York Navy Yard on 30 August 1946, and transferred to the Maritime Commission for delivery to her owner, on 26 February 1947. She returned to merchant service as Joseph Meseck.