USS Penobscot (SP-982)

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U.S. Navy tug Penobscot (YT-42) underway circa the later 1930s, probably in New York Harbor area.
Career (USA) Union Navy Jack 100x35px
Name: USS Penobscot
Namesake: An Indian tribe of Algonquian stock, inhabitants of eastern Maine
Owner: Luckenbach Steamship Company of New York City
Builder: Risdon Iron Works at San Francisco, California
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: date unknown
Christened: as tugboat Luckenbach No. 5; later known as tugboat Dauntless
Completed: in 1903
Acquired: by the U.S. Navy and renamed Penobscot
In service: 29 August 1917 as SP–982
Out of service: 29 October 1945 at New York City
Reclassified: YT-42 in 1920; YTB-42 in May 1944
Struck: 17 April 1946
Homeport: Norfolk, Virginia
New York City, New York
Fate: turned over to the U.S. Maritime Commission 31 January 1947 for disposal.
General characteristics
Type: Tugboat
Tonnage: 269 gross tons
Displacement: 415 tons
Length: 121’ 6”
Beam: 24’ 6”
Draft: 11’ 2”
Propulsion: not known
Speed: 11 knots
Complement: 38 officers and enlisted
Armament: one 3-inch gun

USS Penobscot (SP-982/YT-42/YTB-42) was a commercial harbor tugboat purchased by the U.S. Navy at the start of World War I. Penobscot performed her towing services for the 5th Naval District on the U.S. East Coast, and continued to do so for the 3rd Naval District through the end of World War II. She was finally retired from Navy service in 1947.

Commercial activity

The second ship to be so named by the U.S. Navy, Penobscot (SP–982), a 121-foot-long harbor tug, was built as Luckenbach No. 5 by Risdon Iron Works, San Francisco, California, in 1904. Under the name Dauntless she operated on the Pacific Ocean Coast until 1916, then moved to the Atlantic Ocean seaboard.

World War I service

She was acquired by the U.S. Navy from Luckenbach Steamship Co. and placed in service 29 August 1917 as SP–982. Through World War I she served as a section patrol craft in the 5th Naval District, operating in Hampton Roads, Virginia, and the Elizabeth River. and in Italian waters during the remainder of World War I.

She also served in Europe, and suffered a fire off Villa Franca, Italy, on 5 October 1918 that took the life of one person.

World War II service

Shortly after World War I she was redesignated YT–42 and assigned harbor duties in the 3rd Naval District. She was slated for replacement in 1939, but war extended her period of use to the Navy. Through World War II she continued to serve the Fleet as a tug in New York Harbor.

Final decommissioning

Redesignated YTB 42 in May 1944, Penobscot remained active until 29 October 1945, when she was placed out of service at New York City. Struck from the Navy List 17 April 1946, she was turned over to the U.S. Maritime Commission 31 January 1947 for disposal.

See also