U.S. Navy Ships Named in Honor of Native Americans

The Navy has named many ships in honor of American Indians, their tribes and the places where they've lived. Perhaps the best known among the ocean-going tugs of the World War II era were the 205-foot fleet tugs of the Navajo class, also referred to as the Indian class since they were named for tribes of native North Americans.

Currently serving in the fleet today include:

  • USNS Red Cloud (T-AKR-313), one of Military Sealift Command's Large, Medium-Speed Roll-on/Roll-off Ships, is named after Corporal Mitchell Red Cloud, Jr., U.S. Army.

    Corporal Red Cloud was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in Chonghyon, Korea, 5 November 1950.

  • USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE-2), one of the Military Sealift Command's Dry Cargo/Ammunition Ships, is named after the lead interpreter and guide for the Lewis and Clark expedition.

  • Named after Indian tribes, USNS Catawba (T-ATF 168), USNS Navajo (T-ATF 169), USNS Sioux (T-ATF 171), USNS Apache (T-ATF 172) are the Military Sealift Command's Fleet Ocean Tugs which provide towing, diving platform and other services to the Navy's numbered fleets.

 The fleet ocean tug USNS Catawba (T-ATF 168) steams through the waters of the Arabian Gulf. USNS Catawba is an ocean going tug, which can be used for diving 
and salvage operations and is forward deployed to the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Operation Iraqi Freedom is the multi-national coalition
 effort to liberate the Iraqi people, eliminate Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, and end the regime of Saddam Hussein.

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