(YN-44: dp. 253; 1. 105'0"; b. 25'0"; dr. 9'0"; a. 4 .30 cal. mg.)
A chief of the Mdewakanton Sioux who met and aided Lt. Zebulon Pike during the American explorer's expeditions in 1806 and 1807. Their ensuing strong friendship prompted Tamaha to remain loyal to the United States during the War of 1812 despite the fact that most of the Sioux supported the British. Tamaha not only refused to join the other Sioux in the war against the United States, but served General Clarke as a scout and messenger. On one of his trips, he was imprisoned by a fur trader in the employ of the British and, though threatened with execution, steadfastly refused to divulge any information to the enemy. After the war, in 1816, he visited St. Louis to participate in a council of the 46 chiefs from the upper Missouri. General Clarke took that occasion to present Tamaha a medal of honor for his faithful service to the United States. Tamaha lived to the age of 85, venerated by red man and white man alike. He died in April 1860 at Wabasha, Minn.
Rowen Card, a tug built in 1936 at Slidell, La., by the Canulette Shipbuilding Co., was acquired by the Navy on 25 October 1940 from the Card Towing Line, Inc., of New York City; renamed Tamaha (YN-44); converted to a net tender at the New York Navy Yard; and placed in service there on 17 December 1940.
On 30 December, she departed New York harbor and steamed via Norfolk, Va.; Charleston, S.C.; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; the Panama Canal; and San Diego, Calif. to the Hawaiian Islands. After a long voyage interrupted by port visits, Tamaha reached Hawaii on 25 March 1941 and operated for the next five years as a net tender in the 14th Naval District, primarily at Midway Island. On 8 April 1942, she was redesignated YNT-12.
On 1 March 1946, she departed Pearl Harbor in ARD-8 and headed for San Diego, where she was placed out of service on 12 April 1946. On 1 May, Tamaha was determined to be surplus to the needs of the Navy, and her name was struck from the Navy list. On 15 January 1947, she was turned over to the Maritime Commission at San Diego, Calif., for disposal.