Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Related Content
Document Type
  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
File Formats
Location of Archival Materials

Napa I (AT-32)

(Mon.: dp. 1,175; l. 225-; b. 45-; dr. 6-6-; s. 9 k.; cpl. 60 (approx.); a. 2 11- D. sb.; cl. Casco)

A county in California.

Light draft monitor Napa, designed to fight effectively in shallow waters of the bays, sounds, and rivers of the Confederacy, was contracted for by Harlan & Hollingsworth & Co., Wilmington, Del., 2 March 1863. Converted to a torpedo vessel, 25 June 1864, she was launched 26 November 1864, and turned over to the government upon her completion 4 May 1865. Never commissioned, she was laid up at League Island, Pa., until 1875 when she was broken up by John Roach at New York. While at League Island, her name was changed twice: to Nemesis, 15 June 1869; and back to Napa, 10 August 1869.


(AT-32: dp. 845; l. 156-8-; b. 30-; dr. 14-7-; s. 13 k.; cpl. 44; a. 2 3-, 1 mg.; cl. Bagaduce)


Napa (AT-32), originally Yucca, was laid down as Napa, 5 March 1919, at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Wash.; launched 24 July 1919; and commissioned 5 December 1919, Lt. W. R. Giddens in command.

Following shakedown and an abbreviated tour on the West Coast, the ocean going tug sailed to Guam where she served as a station ship from June 1919 until the spring of 1929. She then steamed to the Philippines, where she decommissioned, 7 June 1929, and joined the Inactive Fleet, berthed at Olongapo. Ordered reactivated as war in Asia loomed closer, Napa recommissioned at Cavite 15 August 1939, joined the Asiatic Fleet and for the next two years performed the services demanded of her type.

In the fall of 1941, when the possibility of war became a probability for the near future, the under-shipped and undermanned fleet assigned to defend and support the Philippines began to improve its defenses. Napa was assigned to net laying and maintenance activities in Mariveles and Manila Bays. Without previous training or experience and without the proper equipment, the crew of Napa, aided by 16th Naval District service craft, and, at times, by various available minesweepers, gunboats, and Army craft, improvised with what they had. Between 8 October and 8 December they worked to install anti-torpedo nets across the entrance to Mariveles Bay. Continuing on after losing what little remained of their equipment during the Japanese air raid on Cavite, 10 December, they kept up the work, completing 95% of the job by 14 December when they were ordered to cease operations. On the 17th and 18th, they moved two unsunk sections of the net to Manila, and then, on the 19th, reported for duty under Commander, Inshore Patrol, 16th Naval District. From that time on, until 9 April 1942, Napa, operating from Mariveles, performed various duties which included net tending, salvage, towing and patrol assignments in the Bataan-Manila Bay area.

On 8 April the decision to evacuate Bataan was made. About 0130 on the 9th, the sinking of Napa was ordered. Most of the crew, with provisions, personal belongings and small arms, were transported, via small boats, to Corregidor Island. Napa was then towed 500 yards out from the beach. The skeleton crew opened the magazine flood valves and made 3 openings through the hull in the fire and engine room. At 0500 Napa was abandoned. The CO, Ens. P. B. Wingo, and the remaining crew members proceeded to Corregidor. From that island they watched their ship remain afloat throughout the day and then, after nightfall, sink into the bay.

The crew of Napa then joined the crews of other similarly fated ships. Taking up small arms, they were incorporated into the 4th Marine Regiment, in which they helped man the beach defenses until Corregidor fell, 6 May 1942.

Napa was awarded one battle star for her service in World War II

The name Napa was assigned to APR-10, 23 August 1942. However, the contract for construction of the rescue vessel was cancelled 12 March 1943.

Published: Wed Aug 12 10:07:48 EDT 2015