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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Pakana

 

An Indian tribe of Texas.

 

(AT–108: dp. 1,675; l. 205’; b. 38’6”; dr. 15’4”; s. 16.5 k.; cpl. 85; a. 1 3”, 2 40mm.; cl. Abnaki)

 

Pakana (AT–108) was laid down 1 October 1942 by United Engineering Co., Alameda, Calif.; launched 3 March 1943; sponsored by Miss Louise Mary Shipp; commissioned 17 December 1943, Lt. William E. White in command; and reclassified (ATF–108) on 15 May 1944.

 

After shakedown, Pakana conducted numerous towing assignments up and down the West Coast and carried out familiarization training for her crew. On 8 March 1944 she departed San Pedro, Calif., and sailed for Pearl Harbor with a tow and in company with two YW’s. Enroute she spent many hours at General Quarters due to frequent submarine contacts.

 

Several weeks were spent at Pearl providing services for fleet units, towing targets and performing salvage operations. On 28 April Pakana sailed for Majuro accompanied by Saunter (AM–295) and Molala (ATF–106) with three fuel barges in tow. She arrived Majuro 11 May, whereupon she returned to Pearl. On 9 June, while proceeding to Kwajalein with a tow, her tow wire parted in heavy weather. Pakana subsequently retrieved the tow and completed her voyage. Through June and most of July she carried out salvage operations at Kwajalein and Eniwetok, removing beached craft from the landing areas.

 

Upon completion of salvage operations, she was given towing assignments to Guam, back to Eniwetok, to Saipan, and to Guam again, where she became engaged in additional salvage work.

 

From Guam, Pakana sailed 1 October for the Palau Islands encountering a typhoon enroute, which tore lose her tow. Again Pakana was forced to ride out heavy weather and watch-dog her charge until she could re-rig her wire. She arrived Ulithi 6 October, dropped the tow and headed for Pearl via Guam, to undergo alterations.

 

On completion of scheduled alterations, Pakana, with Deliverer (ARS–23), began salvage operations on a LST at Maui, on 25 January 1945, completing the job on 3 February. She was then assigned convoy duty through 25 March, ending up at Okinawa on the 30th.

 

Okinawa proved to be hazardous as Pakana spent several days extracting LST’s from the beaches while under Japanese aerial attacks. On the 6th she was called to pick up survivors of Bush (DD–529), sunk by Japanese planes, and to assist Wesson (DE–184), which was flooding from battle damage.

 

Next came salvage assignments at Kerama Retto and Hagushi. On 22 April Pakana picked up survivors of SS Canada Victory and the next day had three crewmen wounded during a strafing attack in which one of her lookouts, manning a 40mm. gun, brought down the plane. A short time later the ship’s gunners bagged another plane.

 

On 9 May, Pakana assisted New Mexico (BB–40) in fighting fires resulting from bomb hits and then went alongside SS Bucknell Victory to supply power to the stricken vessel, remaining with her until the 18th.

 

Pakana’s divers engaged in underwater operations to remove obstructions at the Hagushi anchorage in Okinawa on 1 June and later, on 8 June she was directed to rendezvous with Munsee (ATF–107), to assist her in towing the bow of Pittsburgh (CA–72), which broke off in a typhoon, to Guam. They arrived on the 20th and by the 22nd, Pakana was enroute to Leyte.

 

Pakana underwent repairs at Leyte, leaving 20 August. She subsequently provided services and salvage assistance at Saipan, Okinawa, Kagoshima, Sasebo, and Nago Wan.

 

From 20–25 January 1946, Pakana was in Tokyo in conjunction with salvage operations following a recent typhoon. She departed on the 25th for Guam, arriving on the 30th for installation of LORAN equipment. On 20 February she began a series of shuttle runs between Saipan and Guam with various tows.

 

On 26 April Pakana sailed for Pearl Harbor, with tow, arriving on the 26th. She returned to San Diego and operated locally until October 1947 when she was assigned to the Pacific Reserve Fleet. She was retained for temporary duty by Service Force, Pacific Fleet until 9 December 1947, when she was ordered to San Diego for inactivation. Pakana was placed out of commission in reserve 30 April 1948 and berthed at San Diego. She was struck from the Naval Vessel Register 1 July 1963, transferred to the Maritime Administration, and laid up at Suisun Bay, Calif.

 

On 17 May 1966 she was reinstated and assigned to the Bureau of Mines for use in Alaska, where she remains into 1970.

 

Pakana earned one battle star for service in World War II.