Return to DANFS IndexImage of an anchorReturn to Naval Historical Center homepage
flag banner
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships banner
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Umpqua

 

A river in Oregon rising near Roseburg and meandering northwest before emptying into Winchester Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The river in turn was named for the Umpqua Indians, a small tribe of Athabascan linguistic stock.

 

__________

 

(Mon: dp. 1,175; 1. 225'; b. 45'; dr. 6'; s. 9 k.; a. 2 11" D. sb.; cl. Casco)

 

Umpqua—a single-turreted, twin-screw monitor—was laid down in March 1863 at Brownsville, Pa., by Snowden & Mason; launched on 21 December 1865; and completed on 7 May 1866.

 

Umpqua was a Casco-class monitor intended for service in the shallow bays, rivers, and inlets of the Confederacy. These warships sacrificed armor plate for a shallow draft and were fitted with a ballast compartment designed to lower them in the water during battle to reduce the target they provided enemy guns.

 

However, when the first of the light-draft monitors were launched in the spring of 1864, the Navy discovered that serious errors had been made in calculating their displacements. They proved to have a scant three inches of freeboard—even without turret, guns, and stores. As a result, the Navy Department ordered on 24 June 1864 that Umpqua's deck be raised 22 inches to provide sufficient freeboard. Upon delivery, the monitor was laid up at Mound City, 111.; and she saw no commissioned service. In August 1868, she was moved to New Orleans, La. Her name was changed to Fury on 15 June 1869, but she resumed the name Umpqua on 10 August 1869.

 

Umpqua was sold at New Orleans on 12 September 1874 to Nathaniel McKay.

 

I

 

Umpqua was sold at New Orleans on 12 September 1874 to Nathaniel McKay.

 

(Tug No. 25: dp. 1,000; 1. 156'8"; b. 30'; dr. 14'7" (mean) ; s. 13.0 k.; cpl. 42; a. 1 mg.; cl. Bagaduce)

 

The first Umpqua (Tug No. 25) was laid down on 19 February 1919 at Buffalo, N.Y., by the Ferguson Steel and Iron Works; launched on 18 September 1919; and commissioned at Buffalo on 6 December 1919, Lt. (jg.) W. F. Verleger in command.

 

Umpqua—as one of a class of ships regarded as "exceptionally powerful seagoing tugs"—spent nearly all of her active service operating out of Charleston, S.C., in the 6th Naval District. During that lengthy period— more than two and one-half decades—the single-screw, steel-hulled steam tug performed heavy duty towing and tug operations for the Atlantic Fleet into the 1940's.

 

In World War II, the seagoing tug performed coastal towing operations out of Charleston and ranged into the Gulf of Mexico. Among the ships she towed were patrol craft (PC's), amphibious vessels (LCI's and LST's), pontoon barges, and the incomplete hull of DE-774 (named Russell M. Cox but cancelled before she was to be completed). She also towed merchantmen and assisted vessels in distress.

 

Reclassified as an old ocean-going tug, ATO-25, on 15 May 1944, Umpqua was decommisioned at Charleston on 24 May 1946; her name was struck from the list of naval vessels on 3 July of the same year. She was transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposition on 4 December 1946.