Umpqua I


Umpqua I

(Tug No. 26: dp. 1,000; 1. 166'8"; b. 30'; dr. 14'7"
(mean); s. 13.0 k.; cpl. 42; a. 1 mg.; cl. Bagaduce)

The first Umpqua (Tug No. 25) was laid down on 19 February 1919 at Buffalo, N.Y., by the Ferguson Steel and Iron Works; launched on 18 September 1919; and commissioned at Buffalo on 6 December 1919, Lt. (jg.) W. F. Verleger in command.

Umpqua—as one of a class of ships regarded as "exceptionally powerful seagoing tugs"—spent nearly all of her active service operating out of Charleston, S.C. in the 6th Naval District. During that lengthy period— more than two and one-half decades—the single-screw, steel-hulled steam tug performed heavy duty towing and tug operations for the Atlantic Fleet into the 1940's.

In World War II, the seagoing tug performed coastal towing operations out of Charleston and ranged into the Gulf of Mexico. Among the ships she towed were patrol craft (PC's), amphibious vessels (LCI's and LST's), pontoon barges, and the incomplete hull of DE-774 (named Russell M. Cox but cancelled before she was to be completed). She also towed merchantmen and assisted vessels in distress.

Reclassified as an old ocean-going tug, ATO-26, on 16 May 1944, Umpqua was decommisioned at Charleston on 24 May 1946, her name was struck from the list of naval vessels on 3 July of the same year. She was transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposition on 4 December 1946.