USCGC Tamaroa (WMEC-166)

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USCGC Tamaroa WUEC-166 1990.jpg
USCGC Tamaroa (WMEC-166) in 1990, formerly USS Zuni (ATF-95).
Career (U.S.)
Name: USS Zuni (ATF-95)
Operator: U.S. Navy
Builder: Commercial Iron Works
Laid down: 8 March 1943
Launched: 31 July 1943
Commissioned: 9 October 1943
Decommissioned: 29 June 1946
Struck: 19 July 1946
Nickname: “The Mighty Z”
Fate: Transferred to US Coast Guard
Career (U.S.)
Name: USCGC Tamaroa (WAT-166)[when?]
USCGC Tamaroa (WMEC-166)
Operator: U.S. Coast Guard
Commissioned: 29 June 1946
Decommissioned: 1 February 1994
Fate: Reef or scrap to be determined
General characteristics
Class and type: Navajo
Displacement: 1,731 long tons (1,759 t)
Length: 205 ft 6 in (62.64 m)
Beam: 39 ft 3.25 in (11.9698 m)
Draft: 18 ft (5.5 m)
Propulsion: 4 × General Motors model 12-278 diesels with diesel-electric drive: 3,010 shp (2,240 kW)
Speed: 16.1 kn (29.8 km/h; 18.5 mph) maximum
8.0 kn (14.8 km/h; 9.2 mph) economical
Range: 15,000 nmi (28,000 km; 17,000 mi) at 8 kn (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) (1990)
Complement: 10 officers, 74 enlisted (1990)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Radar: SPN-25 (1961); no sonar.
Armament: WWII:


For other ships of the same name, see USCGC Tamaroa.

USCGC Tamaroa (WAT/WMEC-166) was a United States Coast Guard cutter, originally the United States Navy salvage tug USS Zuni (ATF-95). Following the USCG custom of naming cutters in this class of ship after Native American tribes, she is named after the Tamaroa tribe of the Illiniwek tribal group.

She was one of 70 built in her class for the US Navy. She saw action in World War II, including the Marianas, Philippines, and Iwo Jima operations. After the war she was transferred to the USCG. She was involved in the landmark tort case, Ira S. Bushey & Sons, Inc. v. United States, 398 F.2d 167 (2d Circ. 1968), in which the United States was held vicariously liable for the damage caused by the Tamaroa to a dry dock after an intoxicated seaman opened dry dock valves, causing the ship to list and slide off its blocks.

The bulk of her USCG career was spent patrolling, working in drug interdiction, and fisheries protection. She was the first Coast Guard Cutter to arrive at the sinking Andrea Doria. She is perhaps most famous for a rescue described in the book The Perfect Storm (by Sebastian Junger); she rescued both the crew of the yacht Satori, as well as the crew of a downed Air National Guard helicopter.[1]

After she was decommissioned from the USCG, she was donated to the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City. She was noticed tied up next to the Intrepid in 1994 by a former crewman who began a campaign to restore her. After several unsuccessful attempts, he hooked up with others interested in her fate and thus was formed what has become the Zuni Maritime Foundation, a newly formed non-profit organization in Richmond, Virginia. The foundation attempted to preserve the ship in an operational condition, and use her to educate the public. She is currently sitting in Norfolk, VA waiting to be turned into an artificial reef.


  1. ^ "U.S. Coast Guard Cutter History: Tamaroa (WMEC-166)". U.S Coast Guard Historian. Retrieved 2011-04-20. 

External links[edit]

Media related to USCGC Tamaroa (WMEC-166) at Wikimedia Commons