Naval History and Heritage Command

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Chickasaw III (AT-83)

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Caption: USS Chickasaw (ATF-83)

(AT-83: dp. 1,240; l. 205'; b. 38'6"; dr. 15'4"; s. 16 k.; cpl. 85; a. 1 3"; cl. Cherokee)

An Indian tribe now resident in Oklahoma.


The third Chickasaw (AT-83) was launched 23 July 1942 by United Engineering Co., Ltd., Alameda, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. R. Fairbanks; commissioned 4 February 1943, Lieutenant (junior grade) J. F. King in command; and reported to the Pacific Fleet.

Chickasaw departed Seattle 11 March 1943 for Pearl Harbor towing YFD-21, and arrived 30 March. Sailing on to Espiritu Santo, Chickasaw served as station tug until 27 June, when she stood out for Pearl Harbor. Arriving 6 July, she had salvage duty, towed targets, laid buoys, and made tows to Midway until 21 January 1944, when she sailed for the Marshalls. Chickasaw supported the occupation of Kwajalein, Majuro, and Eniwetok until 19 March, when she cleared Kwajalein for Pearl Harbor, arriving 27 March. She sailed from Pearl Harbor 11 May, was reclassified ATF-83 15 May, and arrived at Majuro 24 May for training duty. Clearing the Marshalls 11 June, Chickasaw arrived off Saipan 16 June for tug duties, patrol, and salvage in support of the occupation of that island until 24 July.

Similar duty found Chickasaw off Tinian from 24 July 1944. After continued salvage duty in the Marianas Chickasaw cleared Saipan 18 September for Guam, Eniwetok, and Manus, arriving 4 October. Six days later she sailed for the assault on Leyte, arriving in Leyte Gulf 20 October. Here she conducted salvage and rescue operations through the landings, the fury of the Battle for Leyte Gulf, and the occupation, until 22 November when she sailed for replenishment and salvage duty at Manus. On 27 December she got underway for Lingayen Gulf, arriving 9 January 1945 for salvage operations during the assault. She remained at Lingayen, Subic Bay, and San Pedro Bay on similar duty until 4 March, when she cleared for overhaul and tug duties at Ulithi. From 9 to 22 June she next operated off Okinawa, then sailed for Pearl Harbor, where she arrived 24 July for yard overhaul.

Variously based at San Diego, Pearl Harbor, and in the Marianas between World War II and the Korean war, Chickasaw served the Fleet with towing, salvage, and other tug duty which took her throughout the Pacific. During the first year of the Korean war, she operated on the west coast, to Pearl Harbor, and to Eniwetok and Kwajalein, and during the summer of 1951, sailed in Alaskan waters. After west coast operations, she cleared Pearl Harbor 3 March 1953 for Sasebo, her base for direct support to forces engaged in the Korean war. Returning to San Diego 17 October, she resumed an operating schedule which through 1960 has included Alaskan operations in 1954-55 and 1957, and deployments to the Far East in 1957-58, 1959, and 1960.

Chickasaw received six battle stars for World War II service, and two for Korean war service.


Published: Tue Jun 30 11:50:20 EDT 2015