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NavSource Online: Army Ship Photo Archive

USED Towboat Somervell
USED Towboat Attu (1944 - 1955)

  • Built in 1943 for the Defense Plant Corp (DPC 604) by Jeffersonville Boat and Machine, Jeffersonville, IN.
  • Launched in 1943
  • Leased by Inland Waterways Corporation chartered to American Barge Lines, Co. in 1943
  • Assigned to the US Army Engineers New Orleans District in 1946
  • Christened, commissioned and placed in service as USED Towboat Attu in 1946
  • Reassigned to US Army Engineers Memphis District, date unknown
  • Renamed USED Somervell in 1955
  • Somervell served on the Red River
  • Retired from US Army service, date unknown
  • Final Disposition sold in 1964 and dismantled
    Displacement 1016 t.
    Length 180'
    Beam 52'
    Hull Depth unknown
    Draft 11'
    Speed unknown
    Crew unknown
    two reciprocating steam engines
    two propellers

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    Size Image Description Source
    USED Attu
    Attu - The Battle of Attu Island was fought 11-29 May 1943. Admiral Kinkaid’s amphibious task force under Rear Admiral Francis W. Rockwell put the U.S. Seventh Infantry Division ashore in heavy fog. For 18 days the Americans battled the Japanese garrison out of the usual prairie dog complex of bunkers and underground shelters. Only 29 of the 2,500-man garrison were captured; the rest died fighting or killed themselves. U.S. losses were 561 killed and 1,136 wounded of the 12,000 men engaged, a costly price for the taking of an island written off by the Japanese High Command.
    Photo - Soldiers unload landing craft on the beach at Massacre Bay, Attu, 13 May 1943. LCVPs in the foreground are from USS Zeilin (APA-3) and USS Heywood (APA-6).
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # 80-G-50921
    Map - Map showing the recapture of Attu in 1943
    Tommy Trampp
    66k USED Attu underway, date and location unknown
    University of Wisconsin-Madison LaCrosse Historic Steamboat Photographs
    John Spivey
    USED Somervell
    Somervell - Brehon Burke Somervell (9 May 1892 – 13 February 1955) was a general in the United States Army and Commanding General of the Army Service Forces in World War II. As such he was responsible for the U.S. Army's logistics. Following his death, The Washington Post lauded him as "one of the ablest officers the United States Army has produced" In December 1940, Somervell became head of the Construction Division of the Quartermaster Corps, and was promoted to the temporary rank of brigadier general, 29 January 1941. His immediate concern was the construction of a series of camps—which were scheduled for completion by April 1941—to house the large numbers of draftees who were then entering the Army. The best known of these projects was the Pentagon, an enormous office complex to house the War Department's 40,000-person staff together in one building. (Wikipedia)
    U.S. Army photo from Wikipedia
    Tommy Trampp
    68k USED Somervell underway near Memphis, TN., 6 October 1955.
    US Army Corps of Engineers Digital Library
    John Spivey
    88k USED Somervell bound upstream with quarterboats and material barges of the Memphis Engineers District Bank Protection Party No.6, passing under the Memphis-Arkansas Bridges at the beginning of the 1959 revertment work season. Hopefield Point, Arkansas on the left bank approximate Mississippi River mile 734.5 above the Head of Passes. US Army Corps of Engineers Digital Library
    92k USED Somervell upbound towing revertment plant of the Memphis Engineers District. to the seasons first worksite in 1963. The large vessel in center is the quarterboat used for working at isolated points along the river. Barges for fuel and material make up the rest of the tow. US Army Corps of Engineers Digital Library

    There is no history available for USED Towboat Attu / Somervell at NavSource

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    Last Updated 8 September 2023