(ATF-116:- dp. 1,589; 1. 205'0"; b. 38'6"; dr.- 15'4"; s. 16.5 k. (tl.); cpl. 85; a. 1 3", 2 40mm.; cl. Abnaki)
An Athapascan Indian tribe of northwestern California that formerly occupied the coast from the Klamath River to the Oregon line.
Tolowa was laid down as AT-116 on 28 July 1943 at Alameda, Calif., by the United Engineering Co.; re-designated as ATF-116 on 15 May 1944; launched on 17 May 1944; sponsored by Mrs. B. D. Bales; and commissioned on 26 December 1944, Lt. Eugene G. Sheasby, USNR, in command.
The tug held shakedown training in the San Diego-San Pedro area in January and February 1945. On 27 February, she got underway for Hawaii with a barge in tow and arrived at Pearl Harbor on 12 March. Eleven days later, she proceeded via Eniwetok to Ulithi. Tolowa left Ulithi on 7 May bound for the Philippines with Ginnabar (IX-163) and YC-75S in tow. She delivered her charges at Leyte on 13 May and returned to Ulithi to deliver a concrete ship and a barge to Leyte.
On 8 June, Tolowa joined a convoy of 12 tugs, 20 tows, and two escorts en route to Okinawa. She arrived at Kerama Retto on 12 June and embarked a fire-fighting team. The ship then took station off le Shima as an emergency salvage and fire-fighting tug. The tug operated in the Okinawa area until the end of hostilities in August.
On 11 September, she headed for the Philippines and operated there until late in October, when she took two tows from Subic Bay to Hong Kong. She returned to Subic Bay on 2 November and, six days later, headed again for Chinese waters. After operating out of Shanghai and Tsingtao from 16 November 1945 to 1 April 1946, she called at Sasebo en route back to the Philippines. On 16 April, Tolowa began the long return voyage to the United States. She called at Eniwetok, Kwajalein, Johnston, and Oahu before arriving at San Diego on 9 July. The ship proceeded to San Pedro the next day, remaining there until 6 August when she got underway for the east coast to be inactivated.
After a stay at New Orleans from 12 September to 9 November, Tolowa shifted to Orange, Tex. The tug was decommissioned on 27 January 1947 and struck from the Navy list on 11 November 1970.
Tolowa received one battle star for World War II.