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Bagaduce II (ATA-194)

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

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


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, Lieutenant (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.  After two berth shifting operations early in May, the tug got underway on the 23d 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, 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 17th 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 13th 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 struck from the Naval Vessel Register that same day and she was later transferred to the Coast Guard.

Timothy L. Francis

25 September 2005

Published: Mon Jun 22 08:28:10 EDT 2015