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Bagaduce II (ATA-194)


A peninsula on the Atlantic coast in Hancock County, Maine.  The word is a corruption of Abadusets, the name of a tribe of Native Americans from that area, and of Abagadusset, the name of a tributary of Maine's Kennebec River.


(ATA-194: displacement 835; length 143'0"; beam 33'10"; draft 13'2"; speed 13 knots; complement 45; armament 1 3-inch, 2 20 millimeter; class ATA-121)

The auxiliary ocean tug ATA-194 was laid down on 7 November 1944 at Orange, Texas, by the Levingston Ship Building Co.; launched 4 December 1944; and commissioned at Orange on 14 February 1945, Lt. (j.g.) William J. Bryan in command.

After shakedown training, ATA-194 sailed for the Pacific with equipment in tow.  She transited the Panama Canal late in March and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 29 April 1945.  After two berth shifting operations early in May, the tug got underway on the 23rd with barracks craft in tow, bound for the western Pacific.  Steaming by way of Eniwetok, Guam, and Saipan, ATA-194 arrived at Leyte, Philippines, on 9 July.  The auxiliary tug operated in the central Pacific through September, towing equipment between Kwajalein, Eniwetok and Guam.

ATA-194 arrived at Buckner Bay, Okinawa, on 14 October 1945, just before a typhoon struck the anchorage on the 15th and caused severe damage among the assembled ships.  As a consequence, she spent the next month aiding warships and support craft damaged in that storm.  These salvage operations included retracting two LCIs from the beach and a YMS from a reef.  Assigned to the Philippine Sea Frontier, the tug remained in the Far East into the following year.  In the spring of 1946, she supported preparations for Operation Crossroads, a two-detonation atmospheric nuclear test held that summer at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands.  She returned to the west coast in late May and moored at Seattle, Wash., on 15 June.

Reassigned to the Seventeenth Naval District, ATA-194 sailed for duty in Alaskan waters later that summer.  Aside from an overhaul at Puget Sound in the summer of 1947, the tug operated for the next six years out of the Alaskan ports of Kodiak, Cold Bay, Adak, Anchorage, Attu and Dutch Harbor.  She was named Bagaduce on 15 July 1948.  Upon arrival in Seattle on 2 July 1953, she was transferred to the Thirteenth Naval District and ordered to prepare for assignment to the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS).

Bagaduce was decommissioned on 17 July 1953 and transferred to MSTS on 31 August.  Assigned to the northern Pacific, she returned to the Kodiak area for another five years of towing duty. The tug was transferred to the Maritime Administration, for lay up in its National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF) at Olympia, Wash., on 25 August 1958.  Her name was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register that same day.

Transferred to the U.S.Coast Guard.on 15 April 1959, Bagaduce was reclassified, initially as an auxiliary tug (WATA-194) , and renamed Modoc  and commissioned on 20 April 1959. She was later reclassified,  as a medium endurance cutter (WMEC-194) in 1968 . Ultimately she was decommissioned on 31 May 1979 and stricken from the list of Coast Guard vessels.

Sold to Marine Power & Equipment, of Seattle, in 1980, the vessel was then acquired a decade later by Washington [state] boatbuilder Peter Benneson, who had Modoc outfitted for luxury tourism in Alaskan waters (summer),and a bed and breakfast at Gig Harbor, Wash. (winter) being renamed Modoc Pearl (1990-2017).

The hardy vessel was subsequently purchased, and renamed Modoc. by Earthrace, a non-profit organization dedicated to "various conservation missions around the world that save animals and save habitat.." As of the time of this writing [2021], Modoc is currently thus employed.

Timothy L. Francis

Updated, Robert J. Cressman

Updated 15 November 2021

Published: Mon Nov 15 15:45:52 EST 2021