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Geronimo II (ATA-207)

(ATA-207: dp. 835; l.143'; b. 33' 10" ; dr. 13' 2" ; s. 13 k., cpl. 45; a. 13")


Geronimo, the great Chief of a Chiricahua band of Apache Indians, was born about 1829 in the Territory of Arizona. A champion of his people and fighter against restrictions placed upon them, he escaped from custody time and time again to lead bands of Apaches in retaliatory actions until he finally agreed to surrender to General Nelson A. Miles in 1886. Geronimo was later settled in Alabama with a number of his tribe, finally transferring to Fort Sill in present Oklahoma. He died in 1909.


The second Geronimo (ATA-207) an auxiliary ocean tug, was built by the Gulfport Boiler and Welding Works of Port Arthur, Tex., and originally designated ATR-134. Launched 4 January 1945 as ATA-207, she commissioned 1 March 1945, Lt. Joseph K. Hawkins in command. Her name was assigned 16 July 1948.

ATA-207 completed shakedown training off Galveston, Tex., and then reported to Tampa, Fla., to pick up a barracks ship to be towed to the Pacific. She transited the Panama Canal with her tow 15 April, and arrived Leyte, P.I., via Pearl Harbor, 25 June 1945. She departed for Guadalcanal 2 July to serve as harbor and rescue tug at Lunga Point Naval Base. On 21 July she departed Lunga Point for Leyte with cargo lighters in tow, arriving just after the surrender of Japan.

After the close of the Pacific war, ATA-207 was active throughout the islands towing and performing rescue work. She carried sections of a dock to Bniwetok, Marshall Islands, in October, and served as a general harbor and towing tug at Noumea, New Caledonia. Later, she performed as a cargo tug, carrying RAAF equipment to Brisbane, where she arrived 29 April 1946. ATA-207 then steamed to Pearl Harbor, arriving 13 June to assist SS John Miller from a reef at the entrance to the harbor. On her way back to California, the ship discovered disabled USAT Peter M. Anderson and brought her safely to San Pedro.

ATA-207 soon departed for Charleston, S.C., via the Panama Canal, and from there moved to her new base, New Orleans, arriving in September 1946. She spent nearly a year in numerous towing voyages in the Gulf region before decommissioning 19 September 1947 at Orange, Tex.

Assigned to the Reserve Fleet, Geronimo was taken to Chelsea, Mass., 20 September 1962 to be fitted out as an oceanographic and marine biological research ship. On loan from the Navy, she serves the Biological Laboratory, Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, Department of the Interior.

Published: Mon Jul 13 09:51:34 EDT 2015