(AT-84: dp. 1,240; l. 205'; b. 38'6"; dr. 15'4"; s. 16 k.; cpl. 85; a. 1 3"; cl. Cherokee)
An Indian tribe, originally Canadian, many of whom settled in Montana during the 19th century.
Cree (AT-84) was launched 17 August 1942 by United Engineering Co., San Francisco, Calif.; sponsored by Mrs. T. Colburn; and commissioned 28 March 1943, Lieutenant P. Bond in command.
From 10 April to 9 May 1943 Cree sailed between San Francisco and San Diego towing target sleds and drydock sections. She cleared 11 May for Seattle and Dutch Harbor, and operated out of Adak from 26 July 1943 to 15 August 1944. Cree screened transports to Kiska, had towing and salvage duties, and aided the distressed USSRS Valery Chkalov between 15 and 23 December 1943. Cree was reclassified ATF-84, 15 May 1944.
Returning to San Francisco 21 August 1944, Cree sailed 1 October to serve as retriever tug for a convoy to Eniwetok, returning to Pearl Harbor 14 November. She cleared 7 December on another convoy trip to Eniwetok, then continued to Guam and Ulithi on towing duty. She joined the screen of the replenishment group of the 5th Fleet at Ulithi 8 February 1945 and sortied for the invasion of Iwo Jima, during which she stood by for salvage assignments, until returning to Ulithi to replenish 5 March. Cree arrived off Okinawa 16 March for salvage operations on the beachheads until 1 July, when she sailed for overhaul at San Pedro Bay, Leyte.
Cree was based at Pearl Harbor for towing and salvage duties throughout the Pacific until the outbreak of the Korean war. Arriving at Yokosuka 6 July 1950, she acted as beaching control off Kyuryuhon on 16 and 17 August, transferring salvage equipment to the Korean navy, buoying swept channels, and supporting the Inchon landings from 15 September to 15 October with salvage and towing services. Returning to Long Beach, Calif., 16 June for overhaul, Cree operated alternately at Pearl Harbor and in the Pacific islands and along the west coast until 4 August 1959, when she sailed for duty based on Sasebo, Japan, until 19 December. She returned to west coast operations through September 1960 when she sailed for her 1960-61 Far Eastern tour of duty.
Cree received two battle stars for World War II service and three for Korean war service.