|Builder:||Cramp Shipbuilding Co., Philadelphia|
|Laid down:||10 August 1942|
|Launched:||7 September 1942|
|Commissioned:||2 March 1943|
|Fate:||Sunk in enemy action, 9 September 1943|
|Beam:||38 ft 6 in|
|Speed:||16 knots (30 km/h)|
|Armament:||1 3 in (76 mm)|
USS Nauset (AT–89) was a Navajo class tug in the United States Navy
Nauset was laid down 10 August 1942 by the Cramp Shipbuilding Company, Philadelphia; launched 7 September 1942; and commissioned 2 March 1943; Lt. (j.g.) H. K. Wombacher in command.
Following shakedown off the mid-Atlantic and New England coasts, Nauset departed Norfolk, Virginia 28 April, and sailed, via Bermuda, to Mers-el-Kebir, Algeria, arriving 26 May. There she performed towing and salvage operations along the North African coast. Detached in early July, she departed Bizerte on the 8th and steamed eastward to participate in the invasion of Sicily. On the 10th she joined the “Cent” Attack Force and anchored less than three miles off the Scoglitti beaches to await calls for assistance.
Heavy surf, indefinite landmarks, and inexperienced boat crews took their toll, keeping Nauset busy for the next two weeks: at first in the Scoglitti area, then at Licata and Gela. By the end of the month her operational area had expanded to Palermo, whence she departed, in mid-August, to tow USS Shubrick (DD-639) to Malta for repairs. Back in Sicilian waters within a week, she continued salvage operations and towing services from the southern beaches to Palermo until the 23rd. On the 24th, Nauset arrived at Bizerte, completed several local salvage and towing assignments, and then staged for her last operation “Avalanche,” with Salerno its target.
On 7 September, Nauset departed the Tunisian coast with a Royal Navy boat crew as passengers, their boat, an LCA(HR)—assault craft equipped with hedgehog projectors as deck cargo, and hedgehogs and dynamite in her holds. Escaping damage during aerial attacks on the 8th, the tug arrived in the vicinity of the US lowering position soon after “D-day,” 9 September, began. Moving further in toward the “Uncle” beaches, AT–89 commenced lowering the LCA(HR), and by 0230, the British craft had shoved off to explode her hedgehog charges in the shallow waters off the beaches, thus, hopefully, clearing the area of mines. Nauset, in the meantime, stood by to await the craft’s return for replenishment.
At 0430, the Luftwaffe paid its first visit to the Allied vessels. Forty minutes later enemy aircraft again flew over the ships in the Gulf of Salerno. Bombs, from a plane heard, but not seen, exploded in close proximity to the tug. Fire enveloped Nauset's entire boat deck and broke out in the motor and generator rooms, cutting all power. She began to list heavily to port and without pressure in the fire plugs, the fires spread quickly.
The tug Intent, followed by USS Narragansett (AT-88), immediately joined in the battle to save the ship, attaching tow lines and turning on their fire hoses, they stood in toward the nearest beach. Burned and wounded men were soon transferred to Intent, while the uninjured continued the battle. The deck fires were extinguished, but those below raged. Flooding soon broached the critical point and Nauset was abandoned.
After abandonment, the tug righted itself to a 20-foot (6 m) list, raising hopes for saving the ship. The captain, Lt. Joseph Orleck, the first lieutenant and the chief bos’n reboarded her to make lines fast from Narragansett. Within seconds, however, a final explosion, probably caused by a mine, rocked the ship. Nauset broke in two and sank, taking the captain and the first lieutenant with her.
Lt. Edwin Lee Reel SR. was the senior surviving officer.
Of her wartime complement of 113, 18 were known dead or missing and 41 suffered severe injuries.
Nauset received two battle stars for her brief service in World War II.
USS Shubrick (DD-639), a Gleaves-class destroyer, was the fourth ship of the United States Navy to be named for Rear Admiral William B. Shubrick.
USS Nelson (DD-623), a Gleaves-class destroyer, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Rear Admiral Charles P. Nelson, who served during the Spanish–American War and World War I.
USS Knight (DD-633), a Gleaves-class destroyer, is the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Admiral Austin M. Knight.
USS Arikara (AT-98) was an Abnaki-class of fleet ocean tug. It was named after the Arikara, a loose confederacy of sub-tribes of American Indians related to the Pawnee. The Arikara inhabited villages in the Missouri River valley.
USS Seer (AM-112/MSF-112/MMC-5) was an Auk-class minesweeper of the United States Navy that served during World War II and the Korean War, and was sold to Norway in 1962.
USS Bernalillo County (LST-306) was an LST-1-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named for Bernalillo County, New Mexico, she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name.
USS LST-356 was an LST-1-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. She earned three battle stars during the war and was decommissioned in July 1946. In July 1955, she was assigned the name USS Bledsoe County (LST-356) in honor of Bledsoe County, Tennessee, but never saw active service under that name. Bledsoe County was struck from the Naval Vessel Register in September 1960 and sold for scrapping in March 1961. She was apparently sold into commercial service in 1962 instead, serving under several names over the next five years. In 1967, she was acquired by the Indonesian Navy and renamed KRI Teluk Tomini (508). In 2012, the ship has pensioned and scrapped as scrap metal.
USS Boone County (LST-389) was an LST-1-class tank landing ship built for the United States Navy during World War II. Named for counties in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, and West Virginia, she was the only U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name.
USS Sustain (AM-119) was an Auk-class minesweeper acquired by the United States Navy for the dangerous task of removing mines from minefields laid in the water to prevent ships from passing.
USS Quapaw (ATF–110/AT-110) was a Abnaki-class fleet ocean tug in the United States Navy. She was named after the Quapaw.
USS Brant (AM-24) was a Lapwing-class minesweeper in the United States Navy during World War II. She was named by the U.S. Navy for the brant, a small goose.
USS Redwing (AM-48) was an Lapwing-class minesweeper commissioned by the United States Navy for service in World War I. She was responsible for removing mines from harbors, and, in her role as rescue and salvage ship, she was responsible for coming to the aid of stricken vessels. She was laid down 5 August 1918 by the Baltimore Drydock & Shipbuilding Co., Baltimore, Maryland; launched 7 June 1919; sponsored by Mrs. Fred A. Plagemann, wife of the prospective commanding officer; and commissioned 17 October 1919, Lt. F. A. Plagemann in command.
USS Tekesta (AT-93) was Navajo-class fleet tug built during World War II for the United States Navy. Shortly after being built, it was crewed by trained Navy personnel and sent into the Pacific Ocean to provide tug service to damaged ships in battle areas. For successfully performing this dangerous work, she was awarded four battle stars by the war's end.
USS Lipan (AT-85) was a Navajo-class fleet tug constructed for the United States Navy during World War II. Her purpose was to aid ships, usually by towing, on the high seas or in combat or post-combat areas, plus "other duties as assigned." She served in the Pacific Ocean and after successful support of World War II and the Korean War, her crew returned home proudly displaying two battle stars for World War II and four battle stars for their efforts during the Korean War.
USS Moreno (AT-87) was a Navajo-class fleet tug constructed for the United States Navy during World War II. Her purpose was to aid ships, usually by towing, on the high seas or in combat or post-combat areas, plus "other duties as assigned." She served in the Atlantic Ocean and, at war's end, returned home proudly with three battle stars to her credit.
USS Narragansett (AT-88) was a Navajo-class fleet tug constructed for the United States Navy during World War II. Her purpose was to aid ships, usually by towing, on the high seas or in combat or post-combat areas, plus "other duties as assigned." She served in the Atlantic Ocean and, at war’s end, returned home proudly with three battle stars to her credit.
USS Extricate (ARS-16) was an Anchor-class rescue and salvage ship commissioned by the U.S. Navy during World War II. Her task was to come to the aid of stricken vessels.
USS Weight (ARS-35) was a Weight-class rescue and salvage ship acquired by the U.S. Navy during World War II. Her task was to come to the aid of stricken vessels. This narrative provides a detailed account of such a task conducted under battle conditions.
USS LST-16 was a LST-1-class tank landing ship built for the U.S. Navy during World War II. Like most ships in her class, she was not named and was known only by her designation. She was staffed by a U.S. Coast Guard crew throughout her service career.
USS Hopi (AT-71) was a Navajo-class fleet tug constructed for the United States Navy during World War II. Her purpose was to aid ships, usually by towing, on the high seas or in combat or post-combat areas, plus "other duties as assigned." During World War II she was assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater where she participated in four campaigns earning four battle stars.