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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Lost to enemy action, 24 October 1944

USS Sonoma (ATO-12)
USS Sonoma (AT-12) (1920 - 1944)
USS Sonoma (Fleet Tug No. 12) (1912 - 1920)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - India - Golf - Tango
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Combat Action Ribbon (Lae, New Guinea, Sept. 1943, Leyte, 24 Oct. 1944)
Second Row - Navy Unit Commendation- Mexican Service Medal - World War I Victory Medal (with Minesweeper clasp)
Third Row - American Defense Service Medal (with Fleet clasp) - American Campaign Medal - Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (5)
Fourth Row - World War II Victory Medal - Philippines Presidential Unit Citation - Philippines Liberation Medal (1)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Navy Cross - Coxswain Donnas Hank Boyd USNR (Posthumously) - Purple Heart (unknown number, 24 October 1944)
Sonoma Class Fleet Tug:
  • Laid down, 7 November 1911, at New York Shipbuilding Co., Camden, N.J.
  • Launched, 11 May 1912
  • Commissioned USS Sonoma, 6 September 1912, CHBOSN William Darrington in command
  • Designated Fleet Tug (AT-12), 17 July 1920
  • Redesignated Fleet Tug Old (ATO-12), 15 May 1944
  • During World War II USS Sonoma was assigned to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater and participated in the following campaigns:

    Asiatic-Pacific Campaigns
    Campaign and Dates Campaign and Dates
    Eastern New Guinea operation
    Finschhafen occupation, 4 to14 September and 22 to 23 September 1943
    Saidor occupation, 2 to 4 January 1944
    Western New Guinea operation
    Toem-Wakde-Sami area operation, 17 to 23 May 1944
    Biak Island operation, 27 to 28 May 1944
    Noemfoor Island operation, 27 to 28 May 1944
    Morotai landings, 15 September 1944
    Bismarck Archipelago operation
    Cape Gloucester, New Britain, 26 December 1943
    Admiralty Island Landings, 28 March to 6 April 1944
    Leyte operation
    Leyte landings, 24 October 1944
    Hollandia operation 21 April to 1 June 1944  

  • Lost to enemy action, 24 October 1944 at San Pedro Bay, Leyte Gulf when struck by a Japanese kamikaze bomber
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 27 November 1944
  • USS Sonoma (ATO-12) earned the Navy Unit Commendation for service in Salvage, Fire Fighting, and Rescue Unit, Service Force, 7th Fleet - Philippine Islands area, 20 to 24 October 1944, and five battle stars for World War II service
    Displacement 1,200 t. (lt) 1,571 t.(fl)
    Length 185' 2"
    Beam 35' 6"
    Draft 16'
    Speed 10.5 kts.
    Officers 5
    Enlisted 56
    Largest Boom Capacity 5 t.
    two machine guns
    Fuel Capacity
    NSFO 2,735 Bbls
    one New York Ship Building vertical triple-expansion steam engine
    two Scotch Single End boilers, 200psi Sat°
    Ship's Service Generators
    two turbo-drive 25Kw 120V D.C.
    one Diesel-drive 30Kw 120V D.C.
    single propeller, 1,800 shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    USS Sonoma (Fleet Tug #12)
    Sonoma 102k Sonoma launching ceremony, 11 May 1912, at New York Shipbuilding Co., Camden, N.J. Ladies Who Launch - Ship Christening Photographs exhibit at Philadelphia's Independence Seaport Museum
    Sonoma 158k Sonoma fitting out, 28 June 1912, at New York Shipbuilding Co. of Camden, N.J.
    US National Archives, RG-19-A-31, Photo # 19-N-20-28-4 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Mike Green
    Sonoma 130k Sonoma under way during builderís trials off New York Shipbuilding Co. at Camden, N. J., circa August, 1912. Sonoma was commissioned, 6 September 1912.
    US National Archives, Photo # 19-N-10555 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Sonoma 44k USS Sonoma under way, date and location unknown. Photo by Muller from "Jane's Fighting Ships 1914." Robert Hurst
    Sonoma 211k USS Sonoma entering port at Bermuda from the Azores, 1919.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 49822
    Darryl Baker
    Sonoma 216k USS Sonoma entering port at Bermuda, 1919.
    US Navy photo
    Darryl Baker
    USS Sonoma (AT-12)
    Sonoma 318k USS Sonoma moored pierside, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo.
    Jim Kurrasch
    Battleship Iowa Pacific Battleship Center
    Sonoma 100k USS Sonoma under way, location unknown, after World War I, possibly during the 1920s. US Navy photo courtesy Mike Green
    Sonoma 224k USS Sonoma (AT-12) ship's officers and crew, photographed by Vernon M. Haden, San Pedro, California, 1934.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # 85836 Courtesy Ted Stone
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    USS Sonoma (ATO-12)
    Sonoma 142k USS Sonoma (ATO-12) on fire after being hit by a Japanese kamikaze bomber, 24 October 1944, at San Pedro Bay, Leyte Gulf. USS Chickasaw (ATF-83) and USS LCI(L)-72 are assisting in the fire fighting futile effort while USS LCI(L)-337 is coming alongside to help evacuate casualties.
    US National Archives, Photo No. 80-G-325818, a US Navy photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Mike Green

    USS Sonoma (AT-12 / ATO-12)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CHBOSN. Darrington, William6 September 1912 - 26 September 1916
    02LT. Brandt, Edmond Seldon Randolph26 September 1916 - 21 August 1918
    03LT. Tarbell, George Elliott21 August 1918 - 22 September 1921
    04LT. Trayer, James Sheldon22 September 1921 - 4 December 1923
    05LT. Evans, George Blaine, USN4 December 1923 - 16 April 1926
    06LT. Strohte, Frederick16 April 1926 - 1 January 1828
    07LT. O'Connor, Maurice Ambrose1 January 1928 - 6 April 1928
    08LT. Strohte Frederick6 April 1928 - 4 June 1932
    09LT. Guerensey, Elmer Bishop4 June 1932 - 12 May 1934
    10LT. Grandfield, Francis Joseph12 May 1934 - 17 July 1937
    11LT. Hawkins, John Sylvester17 July 1937 - 14 May 1938
    12CHBOSN. Garland, John Dexter14 May 1938 - April 1941
    14LT. Pingley, John Francis1 May 1942 - 1 April 1943
    15ENS. Nelson, George Irwin1 April 1943 - 9 June 1941
    16LCDR. Ouellet, Joseph Alhonse, USN9 June 1941 - 10 September 1941
    17CHBOSN. Nelson George Irwin, USN10 September 1941 - 10 October 1941
    18LCDR. Ouellet, Joseph Alhonse, USN10 October 1941 - 31 May 1942
    19ENS. Pingley, John Francis, USN31 May 1942 - 1 April 1943
    20ENS. Nelson George Irwin, USN1 April 1943 - 16 July 1944
    21LT. Wurzler, Robert Wurzler USNR16 July 1944 - 24 October 1944 Sunk by Kamikaze
    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
    USS LCI(L)-337 Anti-Aircraft Action Report 24 October 1944, Leyte Gulf Philippines (Page 3)

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 3 March 2023