Allied Warships

USS Cherokee (AT 66)

Fleet tug of the Navajo class

NavyThe US Navy
TypeFleet tug
PennantAT 66 
Built byBethlehem Steel Corp. (Staten Island, New York, U.S.A.) 
Ordered15 Aug 1938 
Laid down 
Launched10 Nov 1939 
Commissioned26 Apr 1940 
End service29 Jun 1946 

Redesignated fleet ocean tug (ATF-66) on 15 May 1944
Decommissioned on 29 June 1946 and transferred to the United States Coast Guard the same day and commissioned by them as USCGC Cherokee (WAT-165)
Redesignated medium endurance cutter WMEC-165 in 1965
Decommissioned by the Coast Guard at an unknown date
Returned to the USN
Stricken in 1991
Sunk as a target


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Notable events involving Cherokee include:

24 Jun 1944

Convoy GUS 44.

This convoy departed Port Said on 24 June 1944.

On departure from Port Said the convoy was made up of the following transports / tankers; Baron Herries (British, 4574 GRT, built 1940), British Governor (British (tanker), 6840 GRT, built 1926), British Tradition (British (tanker), 8443 GRT, built 1942), Cardinal Gibbons (American, 7191 GRT, built 1942), Fernbrook (Norwegian, 4633 GRT, built 1932), George K. Fitch (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Jan Slievens (Dutch, 7178 GRT, built 1942), John Fitch (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Lewis Emery Jr. (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Malvina (Dutch (tanker), 8249 GRT, built 1932), Meonia (Danish, 5214 GRT, built 1927), Oscar Underwood (American, 7207 GRT, built 1944), Sampford (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943), Sherman O Houghton (American, 7207 GRT, built 1944), Wayne Macveach (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and William M. Meredith (American, 7180 GRT, built 1943).

On departure from Port Said the convoy was escorted by the frigate HMS Shiel (Lt. H.P. Crail, DSC, RNR, with Cdr. J.T. Jones, RD, RNR, (S.O. 49th Escort Group) no board) and minesweeper HMS Sharpshooter (Lt.Cdr. W.L. O'Mara, DSC, RN).

On 25 June 1944 the following transports joined the convoy coming from Alexandria; Empire Lionel (British, 7030 GRT, built 1942), Fort Meductic (British, 7134 GRT, built 1943), Nathaniel Macon (American, 7177 GRT, built 1943) and Samphire (British, 7219 GRT, built 1943). They were escorted by the corvettes HMS Gloxinia (Lt. D. Perry, DSC, RNR) and HMS Primula (T/Lt. E.N. Wilding, RNVR) which also joined the convoy.

On 28 June 1944 the following transports / tankers departed Augusta to join the convoy; Beaconsfield (British, 4635 GRT, built 1938), Beckenham (British, 4636 GRT, built 1937), Charles A. Warfield (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Cistula (Dutch (tanker), 8097 GRT, built 1939), Edward N. Hurley (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943), Edward Richardson (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943), Edwin L. Godkin (American, 7198 GRT, built 1943), Empire Cobbett (British (tanker), 9811 GRT, built 1942), Empire Harbour (British (tanker), 797 GRT, built 1943), Empire Nugget (British (tanker), 9807 GRT, built 1942), Empire Stength (British, 7355 GRT, built 1942), Empire Wordsworth (British (tanker), 9891 GRT, built 1942), Fort Clatsop (British, 7157 GRT, built 1943), Furnifold M. Simmons (American, 7177 GRT, built 1943), Hopestar (British, 5267 GRT, built 1936), Houston Volunteers (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), Joseph T. Robinson (American, 7196 GRT, built 1943), Kola (British, 1538 GRT, built 1924), Louis McLane (American, 7176 GRT, built 1942), M.M. Guhin (American, 7180 GRT, 1943), Mactra (British (tanker), 6193 GRT, built 1936), Madras City (British, 5080 GRT, built 1940), Moray Coast (British, 687 GRT, built 1940), Moses Rogers (American, 7181 GRT, built 1942), Pronto (Norwegian, 2201 GRT, built 1920), Regent Lion (British (tanker), 9551 GRT, built 1937), Sun (American (tanker), 9002 GRT, built 1928), Thomas Hart Benton (American, 7187 GRT, built 1943), Thomas Sumter (American, 7177 GRT, built 1942), Trondheim (Norwegian (tanker), 8258 GRT, 1939), Walter E. Ranger (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) and Zaanstroom (Dutch, 1646 GRT, built 1920).

The following transports / tankers were detached to August where the arrived on 28 June 1944; British Tradition, Empire Lionel, Fort Meductic, George K. Fitch, Jan Lievents, Malvina, Oscar Underwood, Sampford and Samphire.

On 29 June 1944, the transport Robert Newell (American, 7176 GRT, built 1943) joined the convoy coming from Malta.

On 30 June 1944, the transport Meonia arrived at Tunis after having been detached from the convoy.

On 30 June 1944, the transports Baron Herries , Empire Harbour, Furnifold M. Simmons and Hopestar arrived at Benghazi after having been detached from the convoy while the following transports / tankers joined the convoy coming from Benhazi; Haakon Hauan (Norwegian (tanker), 6582 GRT, built 1935), Jobshaven (Dutch, 3528 GRT, built 1916), Murena (Dutch (tanker), 8252 GRT, built 1931), Neritina (British (tanker), 8228 GRT, built 1943) and Tarleton Brown (American, 7191 GRT, built 1943).

Also the current escort, which arrived at Bizerta on 30 June 1944, was relieved by a new escort which was made up of the AA cruiser HMS Caledon (Capt. R.F. Nichols, RN), the cutter USCGC Ingham (Cdr. K.O.A. Zittel, USCG, with COMTASKFOR 65, T/Capt. W.R. Headden, USN on board) and the escort destroyers USS Price (Lt.Cdr. J.W. Higgins, Jr., USNR, with COMCORTDIV 58, T/Cdr. E.E. Garcia, USN on board), USS Stanton (Lt.Cdr. P.J. Tiffany, USNR), USS Strickland (Lt.Cdr. A.J. Hopkins, USNR), Forster (Lt. J.N. Clayton, USNR), Stockdale (Lt.Cdr. R.W. Luther, USNR), Hissem (Lt.Cdr. W.W. Low, USNR), USS Otter (Lt.Cdr. D.M. Kerr, USNR, with COMCORTDIV 62, T/Cdr. J.F. Bowling, Jr., USN), USS Hubbard (Lt.Cdr. L.C. Mabley, USNR), USS Hayter (Lt.Cdr. H.J. Theriault, USNR), USS Varian (Lt.Cdr. C.W. Petrie, USNR), USS Scroggings (T/Lt.Cdr. H. Kriloff, USN) and USS Jack W. Wilke (T/Cdr. R.D. Lowther, USN).

Around 0037B/1, the destroyers USS Madison (T/Cdr. D.A. Stuart, USN) and USS Livermore (T/Cdr. H.E. Siedel, Jr., USN) joined for jammer duty (against German radio controlled bombs).

Around 0415B/1, the transports Beaconsfield, Kola and Pronto were detached to Bone. Later the Jobshaven was detached to Philippeville.

Around 0550B/1, the rescue tugs HMRT Mindful and HMRT Aspirant joined the convoy.

Around 0643B/2, the transports / tankers Beckenham, British Governor, Fort Clatsop and Zaanstroom as well as HMRT Mindful were detached to Algiers.

Around 0715B/2, the transports / tankers Bourgogne (French (tanker), 9357 GRT, built 1937), Empire Dickens (British (tanker), 9819 GRT, built 1942), Empire Falcon (British, 4970 GRT, built 1918), Fomalhaut (French, 5795 GRT, built 1936) and Peribonka (British, 5673 GRT, built 1937) joined coming from Algiers.

Around 0410B/3, HMS Caledon parted company with the convoy to proceed to Gibraltar.

At 0620B/3, USS Madison and USS Livermore parted company to proceed to Oran Bay taking the transports Edward N. Hurley, Edward Richardson, Edwin L. Godkin, Joseph T. Robinson, Louis McClane, M.M. Guhin, Moses Rogers, Tarleton Brown, Thomas Hart Benton and Thomas Sumter with them. Around the same time the following transports joined from Oran Bay; Belgian Airman (Belgian, 6960 GRT, built 1942), Gulfcoast (American, 7140 GRT, built 1937) and Samhope (7210 GRT, built 1944). Also joining were the naval tanker USS Merrimack (T/Capt. R.A. MacKerracher, USN), stores ship USS Polaris (T/Cdr. C.R. Miller, USN) and the tug USS Cocopa (Lt. J.C. Hutcheson, USNR) which was towing the damaged destroyer USS Laub (T/Cdr. A.C. Roessler, USN).

Around 0815A/4, the following transports Empire Strength, Moray Coast and Peribonka were detached to Gibraltar.

At 1740A/4, the following tankers Haakon Hauan, Neritina and Trondheim were detached to Casablanca escorted by the minesweeping sloop La Boudeuse and the patrol vessels L'Eveille and USS PC-482 (Lt. D.W. Hunter, USNR).

Around the same time the transports Hopecrest (British, 5099 GRT, built 1935) and Sambanka (British, 7219 GRT, built 1944) as well as the tug USS Cherokee (Lt. L.G. Johnson, USN) which was towing the damaged destroyer escort USS Barr (Lt.Cdr. P.T. Dickie, Jr., USNR) joined coming from Casablanca. They had been escorted to the rendezvous by the same escorts that were now escorting the above listed vessels to Casablanca.

On 6 July 1944, all escorts fuelled from USS Merrimack.

Around 0400O/9, USS Menges parted company to contact the ships joining from the Azores. Around 0800O/9 she returned with the tanker Norsol (Norwegian (tanker), 8236 GRT, built 1941) as well as the tug USS Carib (Lt. A.T. Terrio, USN) which was towing the damaged destroyer escort USS Menges (Lt.Cdr. F.M. McCabe, USCG). These ships had been escorted to the rendezvous by the A/S trawler HMS Paynter (T/Lt. T.B.S. Brown, RNVR). HMS Paynter did not join the convoy.

Around 0615Q/16, when in position 35°31'N, 65°40'E, USS Merrimack parted company with the convoy to proceed to Bermuda. To escort her to that place the escort destroyers USS Jesse Rutherford (Lt.Cdr. B.M. Henry, USNR), USS Traw (Lt.Cdr. J.T. Kilbreth, Jr., USNR) and USS Leland E. Thomass (Lt.Cdr. L.E. Rosenberg, USNR) had joined. They arrived at Bermuda around 2130Q/16.

Around 1320Q/16, the three tugs with their tows were detached to Bermuda. To escort them the escort destroyers USS Price and USS Stockdale. They arrived at Bermuda around 2000Q/17. The two destroyer escorts remained out patrolling of Bermuda and arrived at Bermuda around 0600Q/18.

Around 1900Q/16, the ' Chesapeake Bay Section ' of the convoy made up of 15 transports / tankers parted company. They were escorted by the destroyer escorts USS Hubbard (which now had COMCORTDIV 62 on board), USS Hayter, USS Scroggings and USS Jack W. Wilke. The ' Chesapeake Bay Section ' entered Chesapeake Bay in the morning of the 17th. The four destroyer escorts then proceeded to New York.

Around 0800Q/17, the ' Delaware Section ' of the convoy, which was made up of thee tankers (Gulfcoast, Norsol and Sun), parted company escorted by USS Varian. Around 0348Q/18, the tankers entered the swept channel and USS Vervain parted company to proceed to New York where she arrived in the afternoon.

The bulk of the convoy arrived at New York in the morning of 18 July 1944.

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