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USS Arapaho (ATF-68)
ex
USS Arapaho (AT-68) (1943 - 1944)


International Radio Call Sign:
November - Uniform - Foxtrot - Oscar
NUFO
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons


Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - American Campaign Medal - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal (1)
Bottom Row - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (4) - World War II Victory Medal - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp)



USS Arapaho (ATF-68) was transferred to Argentina and renamed ARA Comandante General Zapiola (R-41)
Navajo Class Fleet Ocean Tug:
  • Laid down, 8 November 1941, at Charleston Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Charleston, S.C.
  • Launched, 22 June 1942
  • Commissioned, USS Arapaho (AT-68), 20 January 1943, LT. Edward H. Wootan USN, in command
  • During World War II USS Arapaho was assigned to the Asiatic Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Gilbert Islands operation
    20 November to 4 December 1943
    Tinian Capture and Occupation
    24 to 28 July 1944
    Marshall Islands operation
    Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, 3 to 8 February 1944
    5th and 3rd Fleet raids in support of the Okinawa Gunto operation
    20 to 23 March 1945

  • Reclassified as Fleet Ocean Tug (ATF-68), 15 May 1944
  • Following World War II USS Arapaho was assigned to Occupation service in the Far East from 7 September to 9 November 1945
  • Decommissioned, 15 January 1947
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet, San Diego Group
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 10 July 1961
  • Transferred under the Security Assistance Program to Argentina, the same day and renamed ARA Comandante General Zapiola (R-41)
  • Re-rated as a Patrol Craft with side number change to (A-2), date unknown
  • Final Disposition, ran aground 10 January 1976 and declared a total loss
  • USS Arapaho (ATF-68) earned four battle stars during World War II
    Specifications:
    Displacement 1,235 t.(lt) 1,675 t.(fl)
    Length 205'
    Beam 38' 6"
    Draft 15' 4"
    Speed 16.5 kts (trial)
    Complement
    Officers 5
    Enlisted 80
    Largest Boom Capacity 20 t.
    Armament
    one single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mount
    two single 40mm AA gun mounts
    two single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacity Diesel 2,265 Bbls
    Propulsion
    four General Motors 12-278 Diesel-electric main engines
    single Fairbanks Morse Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    two 100Kw 120V D.C.
    one 60Kw 120V D.C.
    three General Motors 3-268A auxiliary services engines
    single propeller, 3,000shp

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    USS Arapaho (AT-68)
    Arapaho 331k Mrs. Alice Posey Hatcher, ship's sponsor, breaks the traditional bottle of Champagne across the bow of Arapaho (AT-68) during launching ceremonies , 22 June 1942, at Charleston Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Charleston, S.C.
    US Navy Bureau of Ships photo
    S. Dale Hargrave
    Arapaho 453k Arapaho (AT-68) launching, 22 June 1942, at Charleston Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Charleston, S.C.
    US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Alan Owens
    Arapaho 1208k Arapaho (AT-68) (left) and Apache (AT-67) (right) fitting out at Charleston Shipbuilding & Drydock Co, Charleston S.C., July 1942.
    US National Archives photo # 19-N-55163 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Alan Owens
    Arapaho 38k Starboard quarter view of USS Arapaho (AT-68) underway on the Cooper River off Navy Yard Charleston, S. C., 5 February 1943.
    US Navy Yard Charleston, S.C. photo # 246-43
    Robert Hall
    Arapaho 55k Starboard broadside view of USS Arapaho (AT-68) underway while passing under the Cooper River Bridge off Navy Yard Charleston, S. C., 5 February 1943.
    US Navy Yard Charleston, S.C. photo # 249-43
    Robert Hall
    Arapaho 72k Stern down view of USS Arapaho (AT-68) underway on the Cooper River off Navy Yard Charleston, S. C., 5 February 1943.
    US Navy Yard Charleston, S.C. photo # 251-43
    Robert Hall
    ARA Comandante General Zapiola (R-41) (A-2)
    Arapaho 50k
    Namesake

    José Matías Zapiola (Buenos Aires, 1780 - Buenos Aires, 1874) was an Argentinean sailor, military man and politician, who took part in the war for independence. He was commander of the Mounted Grenadiers Regiment at the Battle of Chacabuco
    Francisco Javier Santos Vazquez
    Cahuilla 63k Hand over and commissioning ceremony (inboard to outboard) ARA Comandante General Zapiola (R-41) (ex-USS Arapaho (ATF-68) and ARA Comandante General Irigoyen (R-40) (ex-USS Cahuilla (ATF-152) at Naval Station San Diego, CA., 9 July 1961. Photo courtesy of Ignacio Amendolara and National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors. Robert Hurst
    Arapaho 36k Ex-USS Arapaho (ATF-68) seen here in Argentine service as ARA Comandante General Zapiola (R-41), date and location unknown.s Submitted by Ignacio Amendolara to National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors
    Arapaho 43k ARA Comandante General Zapiola (A-2) at sea, circa early 1970s Submitted by Ignacio Amendolara to National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors
    Arapaho 57k ARA Comandante General Zapiola (A-2), at Antarctica. Note the crew gathered at the stern. Zapiola sunk on 10 January 1976. The crew was rescued by the Chilean ship Piloto Pardo (AP-45). Photo taken 11 January 1976. Eduardo Rivera
    Arapaho 114k ARA Comandante General Zapiola (A-2), at Antarctica after running aground while doing hydrographic research in Morton Strait. After several attempts to pull her off with another ship she was abandoned, 1 January 1976. (06) - Photo Casa Amarilla Library, Buenos Aires, courtesy of Ignacio Amendolara and National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors and (11) - Armada Argentina website. Robert Hurst
    Arapaho 167k

    USS Arapaho (ATF-68)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Wootan, Edward Henry, USN20 January 1943 - 16 February 1943
    02LT. Lee, Charles Bates, USN16 February 1943 - 4 August 1944
    02LT. Gunn, Aubrey Hazel, USN4 August 1944 - 1946
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Ship Photo Index Back To The Fleet Tug (AT) Photo Index Back To The Fleet Ocean Tug (ATF) Photo Index
    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail Webmaster.
    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 14 November 2014