Page 92: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (November 2018)

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WWII Era Fleet Tugs

Photos: Courtesy of the Author

Former U.S. Navy ? eet tugs still sailing … 40 years later

By Capt. Edward Lundquist, U.S. Navy (Ret.) he author recently had the that larger ships didn’t go, and gain ship The Ta-Han was among several oth- gun mounts—with a maximum range of opportunity to visit RCS Ta- handling experience. Rather than being er ATFs and salvage and rescue ships 6,000 yards—are now installed on each

Han (ATF 553) in Keelung an assistant division of? cer on a large (ARSs) that were transferred to the bridge wing.

Harbor. The ocean going ship, I reported aboard USS Tawakoni ROCN, and they still have most of them. The ship’s motor whaleboat (or whale ? eet tug was commissioned (ATF-114) as a department head in Janu- Ta-Han was already 34 years old when dinghy, as they call it) is carried in da-

T in the U.S. Navy in 1944 as USS Tawa- ary 1977, and I was still an ensign when, it joined Taiwan’s Navy. Now it is 74 vits on the port side. The 10-ton crane koni (ATF 114), and served in World as executive of? cer, I took part in the years old! is the same. The 8,000 lb. Eells anchors,

War II, Korea and Vietnam. It was trans- ceremony transferring Tawakoni to the Not much has changed in 40 years. which are used for salvage operations, ferred to the Republic of China Navy in Republic of China Navy on June 1, 1978. The ? ying bridge is now fully enclosed. are carried in the gunwhales on each 1978. The author was the Tawakoni’s As I had hoped, I had plenty of respon- The original UQN-1 fathometer is still side. The Almon-Johnson Towing Ma- executive of? cer at the transfer ceremo- sibility, got lots of time driving the ship, mounted in the pilot house. chine is original equipment, too, and it ny. and visited big ports and tiny islands. The LN-66 radar has been replaced by still works.

Mariners tend to be sentimental, al- The USN had several closely related the CP/UPS 60X radar, made in Taiwan U.S. Navy ATFs were diesel electric, most to a fault. And we tend to have a classes of ocean going ? eet tugs. They by the National Chung-Shan Institute of with four main diesel engines powering special relationship with our ? rst ship, were their 205 feet (62 m) long, with a Science and Technology, which is re- a large electric motor. The motor had a with vivid memories and powerful les- 38 foot (12 m) beam, and a fuel capacity sponsible for much of Taiwan’s combat separate diesel for excitation. Two ad- sons that stay with us throughout our of more than 90,000 gallons. The ? rst systems. The Sperry gyrocompass is also ditional ship service generators provided lives. So it was with my ? rst ship, an three ships, Navajo, Seminole and Cher- still in use. the electrical load throughout the ship. aging ocean-going tug that had fought okee, were built prior to WWII. Later The original 3-inch/50 cal. Slow-? re The engine room, where the four Cat- in the Paci? c during World War II, and versions had a slightly different stack gun mount was removed in 1977. But erpillar main engines can still be found, helped landing ships get their cargo on and diesel exhaust arrangement, but they the ROCN has installed a BAE Systems looked – and smelled – the same as it has the beach and rescue damaged destroy- all had a similar and distinctive shape. Bofors 40 mm gun on the gun deck, with for the past four decades. The electric ers, all while ? ghting off air attacks. Altogether, more than 70 were built, and an effective range of 2,800 yards against motor was very responsive, and powered

I had asked to be on a small ship so that many had long service lives, as well as surface targets, and 4,000 yards against a single large 4-meter (13-foot) screw.

I might visit remote and isolated places serving in other navies. air targets. A pair of Oerlikon 20mm Ta-Han routinely conducts damage con- 92 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News • NOVEMBER 2018

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