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Tunica

 

A small Indian tribe which lived on the lower Mississippi until the beginning of the 18th century. Pressure from the Chickasaws forced them to migrate to the northwestern portion of what is today the state of Mississippi. By the late 19th century, the Tunicas had all vanished from that area.

 

(ATA-178: dp. 835 (tl.); 1. 143'0"; b. 33'10"; dr. 13'2"; s. 13.0 k. (tl.); cpl. 45; a. 1 3"; cl. ATA-121)

 

ATA-178 was laid down on 10 May 1944 at Orange, Tex., by the Levingston Shipbuilding Co.; launched on 15 June 1944; and commissioned on 15 September 1944, Lt. J. L. Robinson in command.

 

Late in September, ATA-178 picked up two barges at New Orleans for towing to Hawaii. The tug transited the Panama Canal, stopped at San Diego, and reached Pearl Harbor on 10 December 1944. After a brief layover in Hawaii, she departed Pearl Harbor to tow one of the 10 sections of a drydock to Guam, where she arrived on 14 January 1945.

 

Not long after her arrival in the Marianas, ATA-178 was assigned to the Samoan Defense Command. Between 10 February and 28 May, she towed supply barges between various bases in the South Pacific. Late in May, ATA-178 joined other tugs in towing barge-loads of equipment from the South Pacific to bases nearer to the active theaters of operations. During the final three months of the war, she called frequently at Guam, Leyte, Manus, Eniwetok, and Kwajalein to deliver equipment-laden barges.

 

Following the cessation of hostilities, she reported to Noumea, New Caledonia, where she underwent her first major overhaul. When that was completed, she resumed her duties in support of the disestablishment of South Pacific bases until April 1946. On the 24th, she departed Tutuila, Samoa, and headed via Pearl Harbor to San Diego, where she arrived on 31 May. On 18 June, the tug stood out of San Diego for the east coast. She transited the canal during the second week in July and arrived in New York on 24 July. A week later, she headed south and reported for duty at Mayport, Fla., on 22 Apgust. For the next 16 months, she towed inactivated ships between Mayport, Charleston, and Savannah. On 23 December 1947, ATA-178 was placed out of commission and berthed with the Texas Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet.

 

ATA-178 spent the remainder of her Navy career in reserve. On 16 July 1948, she was named Tunica. After almost 14 years of inactivity, Tunica was transferred to the Maritime Administration in October 1961 for lay-up with the National Defense Reserve Fleet at Beaumont, Tex. Eleven months later, on 1 September 1962, her name was struck from the Navy list. She was finally disposed of by the Maritime Administration sometime during fiscal year 1971.