(ATF-157: dp. 1,330; l. 205-; b. 38-6-; dr. 16-9-; s. 16 k.; cpl. 85; a. 1 3-; cl. Abnaki)
A southern New England Algonquian tribe.
Nipmuc (ATF-157) was laid down at the Charleston Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Charleston, S.C., 2 December 1944; sponsored by Mrs. James O. Freeman; and commissioned 8 July 1945, Lt. Robert G. Hoffman in command.
Following shakedown, Nipmuc towed SS Jacona, a generator vessel from the East Coast to Pearl Harbor. Underway for return to the East Coast in November, she delivered ARD-5 at New London, 25 February 1946. From 1946 to 1967, Nipmuc, based first at Norfolk and then at Newport, operated primarily along the east coast and in the Caribbean. She has, however, also gone into Arctic waters, to improve facilities at Thule, and provided transatlantic towing services. Her towing assignments ranged in size from battleship Wisconsin to district craft and targets; and, in 1955, included towing ARD-16, carrying Constellation, from Boston to Baltimore. She also performed myriad recovery and salvage missions, which in 1965 and 1966 took her to Cape Kennedy, Fla., to participate in capsule recovery for Gemini GT-3 and Gemini II.
On 7 September 1967, Nipmuc departed Newport for her first extended overseas deployment, joining the 6th Fleet on the 19th. In the Mediterranean for five months, her primary mission was towing targets. In September 1968, she again crossed the Atlantic, this time to the United Kindgom, where, for a short time, she provided service for Atlantic Fleet units at the Firth of Clyde, Greenock, and Belfast.
On her return to Newport, she underwent regular overhaul and then resumed her service to the fleet. Despite a lack of fanfare, Nipmuc's accomplishments as a unit of Service Force, Atlantic Fleet contribute significantly to the strength and preparedness of the Navy.