USS Cocopa (ATF-101)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
USS Cocopa moored dockside. U.S. Navy photo, date and photographer unknown.
USS Cocopa (ATF-101) at Sasebo, Japan, likely 1969 or 1972.
Career (United States)
Name: USS Cocopa
Builder: Charleston Ship Building and Drydock Company, Charleston, SC
Launched: 5 October 1943
Sponsored by: Miss Z. Williams
Commissioned: 25 March 1944
Decommissioned: 30 September 1978
Struck: 30 September 1978
Motto: Service - Salvage - First and Finest
Honors and
awards:
1 battle star (Korean War); 5 campaign stars (Vietnam War)
Fate: Sold to Mexico, 30 September 1978; recommissioned as ARM Seri (RE-03).
Status: Serving with Mexican Navy as of 2009
General characteristics
Class & type: Abnaki class Fleet Ocean Tug
Displacement: 1,240 long tons  standard
Length: 205 ft (62 m)
Beam: 38.5 ft (11.7 m)
Draft: 15.33 ft (4.67 m)
Propulsion: Diesel-electric, single screw, 3,600shp
Speed: 16.5 kn (19.0 mph; 30.6 km/h)
Complement: 85 officers and men
Sensors and
processing systems:
Radar
Armament: 1 × 3"/50 dual-purpose gun; 2 x twin 40mm antiaircraft guns; 2 x 20mm single antiaircraft guns

USS Cocopa (ATF-101) was an Abnaki class fleet ocean tug that served on active duty with the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1978, seeing action in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. After thirty-four years of service, she was sold to the Mexican Navy, where she continues in service to this day (2009).[1]

World War II[edit]

Cocopa was named after an Arizona Indian tribe. She began her naval career with the Atlantic fleet during the waning months of World War II, making two passages across the Atlantic with barges in tow, followed by a third passage to Trinidad. Cocopa was next ordered to the Pacific theater, witnessing the final days of the war between July and August of that year. V-J day found the ship in Leyte, Philippines.[2]

Interwar service[edit]

Following World War II, Cocopa shuttled between the Philippines, Shanghai, Okinawa and Hong Kong on occupation duty, before returning to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in January 1947 for an overhaul.

In June 1951, Cocopa accepted what some writers have termed the last Japanese surrender from World War II, when Lt. Cmdr. James B. Johnson accepted the capitulation of nineteen Japanese soldiers who had been living on the island of Anatahan, in the Northern Mariana Islands. The ship repatriated these men and their personal effects to Guam, from whence they were ultimately returned to Japan.[3] However, other Japanese holdouts continued to surrender over the next few decades, though in much smaller numbers.

Korean War[edit]

Returning to Pacific ocean service, The Cocopa saw action in the Korean War during the summer of 1953. During this period she served off both Korean coasts; in one operation, she towed the HMCS Huron, a Canadian destroyer that had run aground on the island of Pang Yang-Do, just off the North Korean coast well north of enemy-held Wonsan harbor. At the time of the armistice, she went to Wonsan to aid in the removal of a Marine garrison occupying a small islet at the harbor's mouth. During the Korean War, the USS Cocopa received one battle star for her service.[4]

Operation Castle[edit]

In March 1954, Cocopa was one of the ships tasked to support Operation Castle, a series of high-energy (high-yield) nuclear tests by Joint Task Force SEVEN (JTF-7) at Bikini Atoll. Official reports indicated that crewmembers suffered the highest doses (2.2 rem) of radiation endured by any of the navy ships present at this operation.[5]

Vietnam War[edit]

USS Cocopa in Vietnamese waters in 1967.

During the Vietnam War, Cocopa would see service in five campaigns: Advisory (1963), Vietnam Defense (1965), Counteroffensive Phase II (1967), Summer-Fall 1969, and Ceasefire (1972). In 1967, Cocopa hosted Detachment Charlie of Beach Jumpers Unit One, Team Twelve, operating as the "Yankee Station Special Surveillance Unit". This outfit consisted of one officer and five enlisted men, whose mission was to jam Soviet electronic intelligence trawlers monitoring U.S. operations in the Gulf of Tonkin. Team members utilized random wave jamming with noises (including bagpipe recordings) to counteract Russian SIGINT activities. Cocopa also assisted in towing, recovery and similar operations throughout her tours in Vietnam.[6]

Awards[edit]

Cocopa was awarded the appropriate service medals for World War II (including the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal), Korea and Vietnam. She was also awarded a battle star for her Korean service, and five campaign stars for her Vietnam service. She was also granted the Navy Occupation Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.[7]

Mexican Navy service[edit]

On September 30, 1978, the Cocopa was decommissioned and sold to Mexico under the Security Assistance Program, where she was recommissioned in the Mexican Navy as the ARM Seri (RE-03). As of 2009 the ship remains on active duty with that force.[8]

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "USS Cocopa (ATF-101) at NavSource.Org". NavSource.Org. 30 January 2009. Retrieved 26 November 2009. 
  2. ^ "The last surrender of World War II". CNMI. Retrieved 27 November.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. ^ "The last surrender of World War II". CNMI. Retrieved 26 November.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4. ^ "Cocopa at the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships". Naval Historical Center. Retrieved 26 November.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  5. ^ "Analysis of Radiation Exposure for Additional Naval Personnel at Operation CASTLE-Supplemental Report". Retrieved 27 November.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  6. ^ "CUS Navy Beach Jumpers". Psywarrior.com. Retrieved 26 November.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  7. ^ "Cocopa". Retrieved 27 November.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  8. ^ "USS Cocopa (ATF-101) at NavSource.Org". NavSource.Org. 30 January 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 

External links[edit]