Salinan ATF-161



(ATF-161: dp. 1,330; 1. 205'; b. 38'7"; dr. 16'9"; s. 16 k.; cpl. 85; a. 1 3"; cl. Abnaki)

Salinan (ATF-161) was laid down on 13 April 1945 by the Charleston Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Charleston, S.C.; launched on 20 July 1945, sponsored by Mrs. Lillie E. Hilton, and commissioned on 9 November 1945, Lt. Comdr. Robert M. Whelpley in command.

Assigned to Service Force, Atlantic Fleet, and attached initially to Service Squadron 1 ( ServRon 1), Salinan completed shakedown in Chesapeake Bay early in the new year, 1946. Then she conducted several towing assignments along the mid-Atlantic and southeastern coasts of the United States. In March, she sailed to Key West, where she relieved Seneca (ATF91) as the fleet ocean tug assigned to the Surface Antisubmarine Development Detachment (later called the Key West Test and Evaluation Detachment). There, despite administrative transfers to ServRon 4 and to ServRon 8, she provided services over the next twenty-one years.

In addition to services to the Development Detachment, she provided towing, torpedo recovery, salvage rescue, diving, and fire fighting services which took her from the Gulf of Mexico, throughout the Caribbean, to the New England coast. Tows ranged in size from targets and district craft to a fleet barge carrying a two-man submarine towed down the Mississippi and across the gulf to Key West in late 1946. They also included floating cranes and dry docks, minecraft, destroyers, and tankers. Her crowded schedule was periodically interrupted for overhauls, training, and fleet exercises.

On 7 January 1967, the ATF arrived at her new homeport, Mayport, Fla. Increased training services— target towing and torpedo recovery-did not diminish her towing, rescue, and development support work. Six months after her arrival at Mayport, she added support operations for NASA to her achievements. During July of that year, she served as the launch site sea salvage unit for the Apollo 15 mission. As such, she stood by for recovery purposes, should the mission be aborted within a few minutes after the launch. Secondarily, she recorded sonic boom data for analysis by NASA personnel. Since that time, into 1974, she remained based at Mayport and continued to provide the fleet her myriad services.