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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Yuma

 

One of the major tribes of Indians who lived on land on both sides of the lower Colorado River, near the present site of what is now Yuma, Arizona.

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(Mon: dp. 1,175; l. 225'; b. 45'; dph. 9'1"; s. 9 k.; cpl. 60; a. 2 11" D. sb.; cl. Casco)

 

Yuma—a twin-screw, shallow-draft, single-turreted river monitor—was laid down at Cincinnati, Ohio, by Alexander Swift and Co., and launched on 30 May 1865.

 

Due to a miscalculation in the displacement of ships of the Casco-class, Yuma—as originally designed—was unseaworthy. Alterations were accordingly carried out on the vessel during the spring of 1866 to remedy the shortcoming in design, but the ship never saw active service. Laid up from 1866 to 1874, Yuma was twice renamed during this time period: first, to Tempest on 15 June 1869 and, second, back to Yuma on 10 August 1869.

 

The monitor was subsequently sold at auction to Theodore Allen, at New Orleans, La., on 12 September 1874.

 

II

 

(AT-94: dp. 1,589 (tl.); 1- 205'0"; b. 38'6"; dr. 15'4" (f.); s. 16.5 k. (tl.); cpl. 85; a. 1 3", 2 40mm.; cl. Navajo)

 

The second Yuma (AT-94) was laid down on 13 February 1943 at Portland, Oreg., by the Commercial Iron Works; launched on 17 July 1943; sponsored by Mrs. W. J. Jones; and commissioned on 31 August 1943, Lt. W. R. J. Hayes in command.

 

Following shakedown in September and about 10 weeks of operations along the west coast, the tug departed San Francisco on 12 December 1943, bound for the southwestern Pacific. She arrived at Melbourne, Australia, on 1 February 1944 and operated in Australian waters for the next three months, also visiting the ports of Sydney, Fremantle, and Brisbane as a unit of the 7th Fleet. At the end of April, the ship was reassigned to the 3d Fleet and moved to Noumea, New Caledonia. On 4 June, she returned to 7th Fleet jurisdiction at Milne Bay, New Guinea, to prepare for the landings on Noemfoor Island and at Cape Sansapor, both of which she supported in July. In August, she returned to the South Pacific area for duty in the Solomon and New Hebrides Islands. That assignment lasted until February 1945 when she headed for the Marianas and service in support of the 5th Fleet.

 

She arrived at Saipan on 11 February and remained there until sailing for the invasion of the Ryukyus as a part of the Western Islands Attack Group, Task Group (TG) 51.1, during the third week in March. Attached to the unit assigned to the conquest of Kerama Retto for use as a forward base, she moved into that anchorage almost a week before the initial assault on Okinawa itself on 1 April and remained there until mid-May, supporting the forces afloat around the island. She towed several battle-damaged and kamikaze-crashed ships, including Hinsdale (APA-120), crashed by a suicide plane on 1 April during a feigned landing operation along the island's southern coast.

 

At mid-May, the fleet tug concluded her six-week tour of duty at the Okinawa inferno and set course, via Guam, for Ulithi where she arrived on the 24th. On 7 June, she stood out of Ulithi for a month of duty at Leyte which ended on 18 July with her departure for the Marshalls. She arrived at Eniwetok on 24 July and remained until the beginning of the second week in September. At that time, she departed the Philippines for occupation duty in Japan.

 

Arriving in Tokyo Bay on 18 September, she provided support services for American forces in Japan until the first week in April 1946. On the 5th, the tug left Japan, bound for Hawaii. She arrived at Oahu on 18 April and remained there until 26 August, when she headed back to the Far East. She arrived in Yokosuka, Japan, on 10 September and resumed duty with American occupation forces in Asia. Over the next six months, she provided towing services in Japan, Korea, the Philippines, China, and the Ryukyus.

 

Yuma left the Far East again in May 1947, departing from Samar in the Philippines. She stopped at Pearl Harbor briefly in June and continued on to San Francisco, Calif., where she arrived on 10 June. In July, the tug voyaged to Pearl Harbor before returning to the west coast at Puget Sound on the 28th. From that time until February of 1948, she operated along the western coast of the United States, visiting ports in Washington, Oregon, and California. Late in February 1948, she sailed to Pearl Harbor and thence proceeded to the Aleutian Islands where she operated until late Aueust. In September, she steamed to Tsingtao, China, making one round-trip run between Tsingtao and Yokosuka before departing the former port, bound for Oahu on 29 November. The tug entered port at Pearl Harbor on 27 December and remained there until 7 January 1949 at which time she got underway to return to the west coast. She spent February and March engaged in normal west coast operations and in April returned to the Aleutians where she served until late August. The tug resumed duty along the California coast upon her arrival in San Francisco on 27 August. In December, she made a round-trip voyage to Pearl Harbor and back to the west coast.

 

On 9 February 1950, Yuma departed San Diego for Oahu and arrived in Pearl Harbor 10 days later. After almost two months of duty at Pearl Harbor, the tug got underway on 10 April for a mission in the Pacific Trust Territories. Based at Guam, she performed duty at Taongi Atoll and Kusaie Island in the Carolines, at Koror in the Palaus, and at Saipan. On 9 July, she departed Guam and, four days later, arrived in Yokosuka, Japan. That move, however, did not presage her early participation in the war which had broken out in Korea just two weeks earlier for, after visits to Sasebo in Japan and to Subic Bay in the Philippines, she returned to Guam on 2 August and resumed duty in the Pacific Trust Territories for another year. During that 12-month period, she visited Japanese ports and, no doubt, performed missions in distant support for the United Nations forces fighting in Korea. She also made several voyages to Pearl Harbor and operated at various islands—notably Kwajalein, Eniwetok, and Guam—in the Trust Territories. In September 1951, she returned to Japan, arriving at Sasebo on the 17th. With that arrival, Yuma began her seven months of duty in the combat zone. She made numerous voyages between Japanese ports and Wonsan, Korea, in support of the troops and ships fighting in and around Korea.

 

She concluded her brief interlude with the Korean conflict on 22 April 1952 when she departed Sasebo, bound for Pearl Harbor. She arrived in Oahu on 5 May and, for most of the year, made voyages from Pearl Harbor to Eniwetok and Kwajalein in the Marshalls in support of the nuclear testing in progress at those islands. She completed that service in November, returning to Pearl Harbor on the 21st. In January and February 1953, she operated at Midway Island with Current (ARS-22) during the salvage of a grounded civilian ship, SS Quartette. Following overhaul at Pearl Harbor during the spring and summer of 1953, she returned to the Aleutians once more for duty and, for the next 18 months, alternated between Alaskan and Hawaiian waters.

 

In February 1955, the tug returned to the west coast where she operated until decommissioned on 11 November 1955. Yuma was berthed at Astoria, Oreg., until 17 January 1958 at which time she was placed in service. She cruised the coasts of Washington, Oregon, and California for most of the year. On 3 December, she departed Astoria and headed—via Pearl Harbor and Midway—for the Far East. She arrived in Yokosuka on 16 January 1959, at Hong Kong on 3 February, Singapore on 20 February, Ceylon on 27 February, Bombay on 7 March, and finally at Karachi, Pakistan, on 11 March. There, she was placed out of service and turned over to Pakistan on loan. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 25 March 1959.

 

Yuma earned two battle stars during World War II and another pair during the Korean War.