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Upon commissioning, the main engine was found to be in a very poor condition and the ship was given a main engine overhaul at the San Diego Repair base.
When the ship was finally ready for sea, a course was set for San Pedro, California. She arrived September 5, 1944, at the Small Craft Training Center, Terminal Island, ready for her four week shakedown period.
The shakedown period was completed on the 1st of October and on the 2nd she was on her way to Pearl Harbor with a barge in tow.
Eleven weeks were spent at Pearl Harbor, accomplishing almost every task which she was built for. She pulled on grounded vessels, moved barges and drydocks, chased and recovered hundreds of torpedoes. In general, she was very handy to have around.
Two days before Xmas, with two barges and a small tug in tow, the 36 was on her way to the forward areas.
The barges and tugs were delivered at Eniwetok, Marshall Islands, on January 8, 1945, and immediately after delivery she was on her way to pick up a broken down merchant vessel, 600 miles northeast of Eniwetok. This was the start of many varied assignments, some of which seemed impossible but somehow were always accomplished.
After brief stays at Eniwetok and Guam, the ATR-36 was sent to Dulag, Leyte, Philippine Islands, to assist in the loading of the Okinawa Invasion group.
Two months were spent at Dulag and undoubtedly it was there that the ship paid for itself.
During these two months the 36 was going day and night - pulling ships clear of the beaches, clearing screws, recovering anchors and pulling wreckage from the shores.
When this assignment was completed, she was ordered to proceed to San Pedro Bay, Leyte, Philippine Islands, where she remained as a harbor tug until the 23rd of September 1945.
On that date she set sail for Korea with a ten thousand ton concrete barge in tow. This assignment was never completed, for the evening of the 29th placed the ship in the dangerous semi-circle of a violent typhoon.
For twenty nine hours the vessel and crew battled the elements at its worst. At one time it was feared that the ship would have to be abandoned, for she was taking more water than could be pumped.
In the end, though, the 36 won and made her way to Subic Bay, Luzon, Philippine Islands, for repairs. She didn't resemble much when she steamed into port with her mast down and wreckage strewn about the decks, but the important factor was that she did make it.
It was at Subic Bay that a Board of Inspection and Survey decided her job was finished, and on the 13 of December she started the long trek home to finish her short but active career.
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