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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Contributed by Mike Smolinski

Contributed by Al Grazevich

USS Molala (ATF-106)
USS Molala (AT-106) (1943 - 1944)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Whiskey - Zulu - Golf
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Battle "E" Ribbon (2) - China Service Medal (extended)
Second Row - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (4) - World War II Victory Medal
Third Row - Navy Occupation Service Medal (with Asia clasp) - National Defense Service Medal (2) - Korean Service Medal (3)
Fourth Row - Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (1-Vietnam) - Vietnam Service Medal (4) - Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation
Fifth Row - United Nations Service Medal - Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal - Republic of Korea War Service Medal (retroactive)

USS Molala (ATF-106) was transferred to Mexico and renamed ARM Otomi (A-17)
Abnaki Class Fleet Ocean Tug:
  • Laid down, 26 July 1942, at United Engineering Co., Alameda, CA.
  • Launched, 23 December 1942
  • Commissioned USS Molala (AT-106), 29 September 1943, LT. Rudolph L. Ward in command
  • Reclassified Fleet Ocean Tug (ATF-106), 15 May 1944
  • During WWII USS Molala was assigned to Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Marshall Islands operation
    Occupation of Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls, 31 January to 8 February and 15 June to 17 July 1944
    Occupation of Eniwetok Atoll, 17 February to 2 March 1944
    Iwo Jima operation
    Assault and occupation of Iwo Jima, 15 February to 5 March 1945
    Luzon operation
    Luzon attacks, 5 to 7 January 1945
    Formosa attacks, 9 and 15 January 1945
    China Coast attacks, 12 and 16 January 1945
    Okinawa Gunto operation
    Assault and occupation of Okinawa Gunto, 12 April to 6 May 1945

  • Following World War II USS Molala was assigned Occupation and China service in the Far East for the following periods:

    Navy Occupation Service Medal

    China Service Medal (extended)
    25 September 1945 to 25 October 194625 September 1945 to 25 October 1946
     5 to 12 August 1949

  • During the Korean War USS Molala participated in the following campaigns:

    Korean War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Korean Defense Summer-Fall 1952
    25 to 30 November 1952
    Korean Summer-Fall 1953
    3 to 13 May 1953
    Third Korean Winter
    13 to 14 December 1952
    7 to 30 January 1953
    7 to 23 April 1953

  • During the Vietnam War USS Molala participated in the following campaigns:

    Vietnam War Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Vietnam Defense
    10 November to 24 December 1965
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive - Phase II
    11 March to 11 April 1967
    Vietnamese Counteroffensive
    25 December 1965 to 8 January 1966
    25 January to 28 January 1966
    Vietnam Ceasefire
    17 to 20 April 1972
    23 May to 6 June 1972
    25 July to 1 August 1972

  • Decommissioned, 1 August 1978
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 1 August 1978
  • USS Molala earned four battle stars for World War II service, three battle stars for Korean War service and four campaign stars for Vietnam War service
  • Sold to Mexico, 1 August 1978, under the Security Assistance Program, named ARM Otomi (A-17), later renamed ARM Kukulkan (A-52)
  • Current Disposition, active in the Mexican Navy
    Displacement 1,240 t.(lt) 1,675 t.(lim)
    Length 205'
    Beam 38' 6"
    Draft 15' 4"
    Speed 16.5 kts.
    Officers 5
    Enlisted 80
    Largest Boom Capacity 10 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 2,170 Bbls
    four Alco Diesel main engines driving four General Electric generators
    three General Motors Diesel 3-268A auxiliary services engines driving
    three Diesel-drive General Motors 3-268A auxiliary services engines driving
    three Ship's Service Generators
    two Diesel-drive 200Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    one Diesel-drive 100Kw 120V/240V D.C.
    single propeller, 3,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    USS Molala (AT-106)
    96k Molala (AT-106) photographed by her builder, United Engineering Co., Inc., in San Francisco Bay , 27 September 1943, two days before her commissioning. In this group of fleet tugs the large smokestack in the Navajo group was replaced with a thin diesel exhaust pipe, barely visible here behind the motor whaleboat amidships. The small diesel exhaust pipe is all but lost in the clutter amidships. The projection on the after end of the pilot house is the ship's single flag bag for signal flags Mike Green
    USS Molala (ATF-106)
    Molala 83k USS Molala (ATF-106) underway, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo
    Chris Cavas of "The Navy Times"via
    Mike Turner ex RM/2c
    Molala 249k Some of the USS Molala (ATF-106) relaxing on the fantail, circa 1944-45, location unknown. Margaret Langley for her father Glenn Spira YN USS Molala
    Molala 22k USS Molala (ATF-106) underway, date and location unknown. Submitted by Darold Fenton
    to NAFTS
    (National Association
    of Fleet Tug Sailors)
    Molala 506k USS Molala (ATF-106) at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, 29 October 1953. The stern of the USS Alstede (AF 48) is seen behind the bow of Molala. The bridge area of ARD-11 is seen to the right.
    File name: ATF 106 19188-10-53, Navy Photo, 10/29/53.
    Darryl Baker
    Molala 65k USS Molala (ATF-106) with an unidentified Italian Motor Minesweeper (AMS) alongside. Molala was escorting Italian and French minesweepers from San Diego, CA to the Panama Canal in November 1954. Photo was taken from the French minesweeper Jacinthe (M 680), ex-AMS-115. Photo courtesy of Quartermaster First Stephan Raymond, French Navy. André Pilon
    Molala 212k USS Molala (ATF-106) underway in 1967, location unknown.
    US Navy photo from the 1967-68 edition of "Jane's Fighting Ships/"
    Robert Hurst
    Molala 63k USS Molala (ATF-106) moored outboard of an unidentified ATF, probably in San Diego in 1973. Photo by Bob Dunn ex ETN/2c via
    Mike Turner ex RM2
    ARM Kukulan (A-52)
    Molala 77k Ex-USS Molala (ATF-106) in Mexican service as ARM Kukulan (A-52), date and location unknown. Photo provided to Mike Turner ex RM/2c
    by Mexican Governments, Secretary of Foreign Relations Office

    Memorabilia and Additional Ships Patches
    Contributed by Margaret Langley
    Contributed by Margaret Langley
    Contributed by Margaret Langley
    Contributed by Mike Smolinski
    Contributed by Mike Smolinski

    For more photos and information about USS Molala, see;
  • Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
  • National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors
  • Log of Glenn Spira YN USS Molala 1944-45 contributed by his daughter Margaret Langley

  • Commanding Officers
    01LT. Ward, Rudolph L.29 September 1943 - 1 July 1946
    02LT. Oliver, C. R.1 July 1946 - 13 December 1946
    03LT. Stark, E. L.13 December 1946 - 6 March 1947
    04LT. Paquette, Leland H.6 March 1947 - 20 April 1948
    05LCDR. Collins, W. L.20 April 1948 - 2 July 1951
    06LT. Arthur, Earl Zebulion2 July 1951 - 19 July 1952
    07LT. Reed, R. F.19 July 1952 - 13 January 1955
    08LT. Hansen, Hans Peter13 January 1955 - 2 July 1956
    09LT. McMullen, F. W.2 July 1956 - 16 September 1957
    10LTjg. Deryckere, A. G.16 September 1957 - 31 December 1958
    11LT. Darwin, William Cowan31 December 1958 - 14 February 1961
    12LT. Shaffer, George W.14 February 1961 - 31 March 1962
    13LT. Pettigrew, Joseph Holland31 March 1962 - 27 June 1964
    14LT. Raymond, Calvin27 June 1964 - 7 March 1967
    15LT. Flanagan, Alan Brian7 March 1967 - 21 December 1968
    16LT. Roberts, Keith Carlton21 December 1968 - 8 July 1971
    17LT. Branco, Robert John, USN (USNA 1966)8 July 1971 - 1 September 1972
    18LT. Graham, Alan S.1 SEptember 1972 - 16 August 1973
    19LT. Miller, Roger Lee16 August 1973 - 10 October 1975
    20LCDR. Dawson Jr., James Cutler, USN (USNA 1970) :VADM10 October 1975 - 20 May 1977
    21LT. Purves, William20 May 1977 - 1 August 1978
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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

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    Last Updated 19 December 2014