Yanegua was a late 18th century Cherokee chief, prominent in tribal relations with white settlers, who lived near the present site of Bryson City, N.C. The term Yanegua means "Big Bear."
(YTB-397: dp. 345 (f.) ; l. 100'0"; b. 25'0"; dr. 11'0"; s. 12.0 k.; cpl. 14; a. none; cl. Sassaba)
Yanegua (YT-397) was laid down on 24 April 1944 at Jacksonville, Fla., by the Gibbs Gas Engine and Power Co.; reclassified YTB-397 on 15 May 1944; launched on 14 September 1944; sponsored by Mrs. Bette M. Keating; and completed and delivered to the Navy on 23 March 1945.
After service in the 12th Naval District, the large harbor tug was placed in reserve at Astoria, Oreg., in the Columbia River Reserve Group of the 19th (Reserve) Fleet. She was later shifted to San Diego, Calif. Apparently reactivated in response to the Navy's expansion during the Korean conflict, Yanegua was placed in service during March 1951 in the 11th Naval District at San Diego and performed her vital tow and tug services in that district through the 1970's, a task she still performed as of early 1979. During the ship's tour at San Diego, she was reclassified a medium harbor tug, YTM-397, in February 1962.