ARA Comodoro Somellera (A-10)

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Career (United States)
Name: USS Catawba (ATA-210)
Launched: 15 February 1945
Commissioned: 1945
Decommissioned: 1972
Fate: transferred to Argentine Navy, 1972
Struck: 1 February 1975
Career (Argentina) 100x35px
Name: ARA Comodoro Somellera (A-10)
Acquired: 10 February 1972
Commissioned: 10 February 1972
Out of service: 1998
Fate: sunk during storm in Port of Ushuaia
General characteristics
Displacement: 835 tons (848 t) (full)
Length: 143 feet (43.6 m)
Beam:   33 ft 10 in (10.3 m)
Draft:   13 ft 2 in (4.0 m)
Propulsion: Diesel-electric engines,
1,500 shp single screw
Speed: 13 knots (24 km/h)
Complement: 45–49
Armament: as Catawba
• 1 × single 3 inch/50 guns,
• 2 × twin 40 mm AA guns
as Somellera
• 1 × 40 mm /60 Bofors gun,
• 2 × Oerlikon 20 mm cannon

The ARA Comodoro Somellera (A-10) was a Sotoyomo-class rescue tug that served in the Argentine Navy from 1972 to 1998 classified as Aviso. She previously served in the US Navy as USS Catawba (ATA-210) from 1945 to 1972.

US Navy service

Catawba was laid down as ATR-137 at Gulfport Boiler & Welding Works shipyard in Port Arthur, Texas reclassified ATA-210 on 15 May 1944, launched 15 February 1945 and commissioned by the Navy 18 April 1945. In 1959 she served in Operation Inland Seas.

Argentine service

Antonio Somellera

The ship was named after Commodore es:Antonio Somellera who joined the Argentine Navy in 1828 with his Brigantine General Rondeau to fight in the Argentina–Brazil War. She was acquired in 1972 along with her sister ship ARA Alferez Sobral (A-9) departing together from Mayport, Florida on 6 March 1972 and arriving Puerto Belgrano on April 18.

Both ships served during the 1982 Falklands War where they were involved in a confuse episode. The British claimed to have sunk the Somellera with Sea Skua [1] but this claim was subsequently dropped when the British evaluated wartime claims after the war. Somellera will spent all the war in the opening of the Strait of Magellan. From 1988 she was assigned to the Ushuaia naval base until 1995 when she was transferred back to Puerto Belgrano.

In 1997, she participated on operacion Calypso in order to find possible nazi submarines sunk in the Patagonian coast [2]

The ship continued to serve in the Argentine navy until 1998 when after finishing a naval exercise with the Chilean Navy she sank in the port of Ushuaia during a storm following a collision with ARA Suboficial Castillo (A-6) [3] [4].

The ship was later refloat [5] but the hull was considered to old to be repaired and was finally retired from the naval service.


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