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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Choctaw (ATF-70)
USS Choctaw (AT-70) (1943 - 1944)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Uniform - Juliet - Tango
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
American Campaign Medal - Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal

USS Choctaw (ATF-70) was sold to Colombia renamed ARC Pedro De Heredia (RM-72)
Navajo Class Fleet Tug:
  • Laid down, 4 April 1942, at Charleston Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Charleston, S.C.
  • Launched, 18 October 1942
  • Commissioned USS Choctaw (AT-70), 21 April 1943, LT. J. D. Garland in command
  • During World War II USS Choctaw was assigned to the Europe-Africa-Middle East Theater
  • Redesignated Fleet Ocean Tug, (ATF-70), 15 May 1944
  • Decommissioned, 11 March 1947, at Orange, TX.
  • Laid up in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet, Texas Group, Orange
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 31 October 1977
  • Transferred, cash sale, to Colombia under the Security Assistance Program, 1 March 1978, renamed ARC Pedro De Heredia (RM-72)
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Displacement 1,240 t.(lt) 1,675 t.(fl)
    Length 205'
    Beam 38' 6"
    Draft 15' 4"
    Speed 16.5 kts.
    Officers 5
    Enlisted 80
    Largest Boom Capacity 20 t.
    one single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mount
    two single 40mm AA gun mounts
    two single 20mm AA gun mounts
    Fuel Capacity Diesel 2,260 Bbls
    Diesel-electric drive
    four General Motors 12-278A diesel main engines driving four General Electric generators and three General Motors 3-268A auxiliary services engines
    single Fairbanks-Morse Main Reduction Gears
    Ship's Service Generators
    two 100Kw 120V D.C.
    one 60Kw 120V D.C.
    single propeller 3,000shp

    Click On Image
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    Size Image Description Contributed By
    USS Choctaw (AT-70 / ATF-70)
    Choctaw 199k USS Choctaw (AT-70) launching, 18 October 1942, at Charleston Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., Charleston, S.C.
    US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Alan Owens
    Choctaw 321k USS Choctaw (AT-70) going full astern during builders trials in the Cooper River, at Charleston S.C. in April 1943. Alan Owens
    Choctaw 13k SS Murfreesboro being towed by USS Choctaw (AT-70) off St. Georges, Bermuda, 29 March 1944. Murfreesboro was rammed by SS El Coston during a gale on 25 February 1944. Photo from Armed Guard web site. Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret
    Choctaw 37k Aerial view of USS Choctaw (AT-70) towing the tanker SS Murfreesboro 950 miles from the spot in the Atlantic, where it was disable by collision, back to a US port in 24 days. SS Murfreesboro was damaged when struck by SS El Coston on 25 February 1944 in an Allied convoy heading toward the European Theater. Loaded with 5,500,000 gallons of AVGAS, the tanker burst into flame. After survivors were removed and efforts to extinguish the flames proved futile the tanker was abandoned and the Choctaw was dispatched from Bermuda. The tug, after a series of difficulties in high seas managed to secure a tow line to the tanker and towed her to safety with 4,500,000 gallons of AVGAS still aboard. The tug averaged 1.7 miles per hour during the tow.
    US Navy photo.
    Tommy Trampp
    Choctaw 144k USS Choctaw (ATF-70) underway, date and location unknown. Stan Svec
    Choctaw 40k USS Choctaw (ATF-70) at Naval Station Norfolk, VA, circa 1946. Note the aircraft carrier in the background. National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors
    ARC Pedro De Heredia (RM-72)
    Choctaw 74k Ex-USS Choctaw (ATF-70) in Colombian naval service as ARC Pedro De Heredia (RM-72) under way, circa 1971, location unknown.
    Official Colombian navy photo.
    Robert Hurst

    USS Choctaw (ATF-70)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LT. Garland, John Dexter, USN21 April 1943 - 20 February 1945
    02LT. Tuttle, Samuel David, USNR20 February 1945 - December 1945
    03LT. Gill, Ronald Eugene, USNDecember 1945 - March 1946
    04LCDR. Melchor, Richard Johnston, USNRMarch 1946 - July 1946
    05LT. Weeks, Edward F., USNJuly 1946 - January 1947
    06LT. Sokulski, Stanley Albert, USNJanuary 1947 - 11 March 1947
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler

    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 13 July 2018