An Indian of a Siouan tribe sometimes called the “Arkansas,” formerly living in the eastern part of the state of Arkansas.
(AT–110: dp. 1,646; l. 205’; b. 38’6”; dr. 15’3”; s. 16 k.; cpl. 85; a. 1 3”, 4 40mm.; cl. Navajo)
The first Quapaw (AT–110), an auxiliary ocean tug, was laid down by United Engineering Co., Alameda, Calif. 28 December 1942; launched 15 May 1943; sponsored by Mrs. N. Lehman; and commissioned 6 May 1944, Lt. Comdr. N. H. Castle in command.
Redesignated ATF–110, 15 May 1944, Quapaw steamed for San Francisco after shakedown out of San Pedro and San Diego, Calif. through 16 June. She departed San Francisco 21 June 1944, enroute the Admiralty Islands. After calling at Honolulu, where she delivered an Army barge, a dump scow, and a derrick, she steamed 12 July via the Ellice Islands and Milne Bay, New Guinea, arriving Manus, Admiralty Islands 14 August.
Following several harbor tow assignments, she departed 17 August with a deck cargo of 7,500 bbls. of aviation gasoline and 49 motor torpedo boat engines, and with a gasoline barge in tow. These she delivered to Mios Woendi Lagoon, whence she steamed to Maffin Bay where she received orders to stand by in preparation for the landings on Morotai Island.
With a convoy of liberty ships, minesweepers, and landing craft, together with screening destroyers, Quapaw entered Morotai Harbor the morning of 16 September 1944. She remained through I October, primarily engaged in retracting LSTs from the beach of Pitoe Bay.
From 20 October 1944 through 1 January 1945, Quapaw was operating in San Pedro Bay in support of the Leyte operation. Her assignments entailed salvage, firefighting, and towing operations.
Landings were made at Lingayen 9 January 1945 and Quapaw was assigned patrol of both attack areas to render all necessary assistance. She retracted landing ships, made repairs and conducted towing operations until 21 February. She then steamed to Mindoro. She departed Mangarin Bay 26 February as a unit of Admiral W. M. Fechteler’s TG 78.2, enroute Puerto Princesa, Palawan, for initial assaults against that island. Enroute Quapaw took LCI–683 in tow when the latter was unable to maintain convoy speed. The landing forces went asbore 28 February and Quapaw retracted landing craft from the beaches east of Puerto Princesa and in the vicinity of the city jetty. She returned to Mangarin Bay, 5 March.
From 8 through 25 March Quapaw participated in salvage and demolition work, and assisted in clearing harbor wreckage, with intervening repair and tow missions at Zamboanga, Mindanao, P.I. Further salvage, tow, and repair missions preceeded overhaul at Hollandia, New Guinea, commencing 29 May. The tug departed 25 June for Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, from where she steamed 6 July with one section of a battleship drydock in tow for Samar, P.I. With the end of hostilities she continued towing services between various ports of the Philippines, with frequent service to Manus and back through 28 April 1946.
Quapaw departed Subic Bay for the United States 16 June 1946, arriving San Francisco, Calif. 14 July. After overhaul at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, the tug continued coastal and trans-Pacific towing operations until 21 December 1947. She was placed in an inactive status at San Francisco until 30 April 1948 when she was placed out of commission, in reserve.
Quapaw recommissioned 5 December 1950 at Alameda, Calif., Lt. Fleming M. Christian in command. After refresher training out of San Diego through January 1951, she steamed via Bremerton, Wash. with a barracks ship in tow for Pearl Harbor. Arriving 14 February 1951, she commenced operations under Commander Service Force, Pacific.
The fleet tug provided services at Inchon, Korea 30 April–17 July 1951, and at Wonsan 19 July–3 August. Towing services at Sasebo and Yokosuka, Japan were interrupted by patrol duty at Wonsan, Korea 26 October–20 November 1952, and by operation in the areas of Cho Do and Taechong Do, Korea 17 January–14 February 1953. Quapaw also conducted patrols in Korean waters in March and April of 1953.
Quapaw has since continued to provide services to the Fleet out of her homeport of Pearl Harbor in 1970. Annual WestPac deployments have been interspersed with assignments throughout mid-Pacific areas, as well as by occassional duty as search and rescue vessel out of Adak, Alaska.
Quapaw received four battle stars for World War II service and five for the Korean conflict.