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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Samoset (YT-5) (1920 - 1944)
Samoset (Harbor Tug No. 5) (1897 - 1920)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Bravo - Echo - India
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - World War I Victory Medal
Bottom Row - American Defense Service Medal - American Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal

District Harbor Tug:
  • Built by Norfolk Navy Yard, Norfolk, VA
  • Authorized, 02 March 1895
  • Laid down, 13 January 1895
  • Launched, 20 March 1897
  • Placed in service as Samoset (Harbor Tug No. 5), summer 1897
  • Sailed from Philadelphia to Key West towing coal barge Edith Howes, 11 - 18 March 1898
  • Operated out of Key West as despatch boat during Spanish-American War, March - August 1898
  • Stationed rest of career at Philadelphia, assigned to Fourth Naval District, 1898 - 1945
  • Designated District Harbor Tug (YT-5), 17 July 1920
  • Name dropped, date unknown (probably 1943 to prevent confusion with tanker of same name)
  • Redesignated District Harbor Tug Medium (YTM-5), 15 May 1944
  • Placed out of service, 1945
  • Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
  • Transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal, 09 January 1947
  • Sold to Norfolk Dredging Co., Norfolk, VA and renamed Oscar F. Smith (ON 255235), 1947
  • Sold to Winslow Marine, Falmouth, ME and renamed Alice Winslow, 1965
  • Registered to Sheepscot Pilot, Inc., Bath, ME, 1970s
  • Sold to Milton Gomez and put under Dominican Republic flag (IMO 5265930), 1989
  • Final disposition, total loss after grounding on reef with tow, tank barge Gran Tor, at Nisibon Beach, NE coast of Dominican Republic, 15 February 1989
    Two men died in service aboard and remain on duty

    F1c Joseph Lawson Robinson USN, Philadelphia Navy Yard, 09 November 1918
    Sea1c Clifford H. Hagwood USN, Delaware River, 09 January 1928

    Displacement 225 tons
    Length 92'6" waterline
    Beam 21' 0"
    Draft 8'9" (mean)
    Speed 12 knots
    Complement unknown
    Armament none
    Propulsion steam, single screw, 450ihp

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    Samoset (also Somerset, c. 1590–1653) was an Abenaki sagamore (sub-chief) and the first American Indian to make contact with the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony. He startled the colonists on March 16, 1621 by walking into Plymouth Colony and greeting them in English, which he had begun to learn from fishermen frequenting the waters of Maine.

    Samoset was visiting Wampanoag chief Massasoit at the time of the historic event. He entered the settlement at Plymouth, greeted the colonists in English, and asked for beer. He spent the night with the Pilgrims on that occasion, then returned at another time with five other Indians who brought deer skins to trade. It was a Sunday and the colonists declined to trade that day, but they offered the men some food. Samoset came back on March 22, 1621 with Squanto, the last remaining member of the Patuxet tribe. Squanto spoke much better English than Samoset, and he arranged a meeting with Massasoit

    In 1624, English Captain Christopher Levett entertained Samoset and other Indian leaders in the harbor of Portland, Maine. Samoset is believed to have died around 1653 in Bristol, Maine.

    The name Samoset is probably inaccurate, a selective mishearing by the Englishmen, who interpreted it as "Somerset," a busy fishing port.

    "Interview of Samoset with the Pilgrims," engraving from an unspecified 1853 book via Wikipedia.

    Dave Wright
    Samoset (YT-5)
    302k President William McKinley boards USS Raleigh (Cruiser No. 8) at Philadelphia, 01 May 1899, to greet the returning heroes of Admiral Dewey’s fleet from the Philippines following the Spanish-American War. Tug Samoset is moored to the camel alongside at left.
    Naval History & Heritage Command photo NHF-090.01, from the Lieutenant Charles Dutreaux Colelction.
    Dave Wright
    42k Samoset (YT-5) assists USS Antares (AG-10) as she departs Philadelphia Navy Yard, bound for Panama, 01 March 1923.
    Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 759
    Robert Hurst
    166k Cropped detail of above photo showing Samoset in closeup. Dave Wright
    967k Samoset (YT-5) moored at Pier 1, Philadelphia Navy Yard, 05 June 1926.
    Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 43689
    Dave Wright
    56k Samoset (YT-5) at Philadelphia during the mid-1930s. Dave Wright
    Commercial Service
    99k Alice M. Winslow moored at Boothbay Harbor, ME, 1979. Dave Wright

    Samoset (YT-5 / YTM-5)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    National Association of Fleet Tug Sailors

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    This page was created by Gary P. Priolo and is maintained by David L. Wright
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    Last Updated 17 December 2021