Kiowa II Str
(Str. dp. 4,500; 1. 261'; b. 43'6"; dr. 17'9"; s. 9 k; cpl. 62; a. 15", 13")
The second Kiowa (No. 1842) was launched 1917 by the American Shipbuilding Co., Cleveland, Ohio, taken over from the Atlantic, Gulf & West Indies S.S. Line 26 February 1918; and commissioned the same day, Lt. Comdr. A. Hopen in command.
Assigned to NOTS, Kiowa arrived Norfolk 25 March 1918, to transport coal along the Atlantic coast. She returned Hampton Roads during April to load mines for the North Sea mine-laying squadron. Kiowa 'sailed 30 April and arrived Obran, Scotland, 20 May. She made two additional cruises carrying mine equipment to NorthSea ports before clearing Norfolk 6 December with a cargo of coal for Bermuda. Kiowa returned Norfolk 22 December, and decommissioned there 16 January 1919 for simultaneous return to her owners.
For the rest of the war Kiowa operated along the Atlantic coast, towing and assisting disabled ships and also escorting Allied merchant ships to the convoy lanes. During late spring 1945, the tug commenced operations as a tanker, fueling a number of ships at sea. Following the war Kiowa arrived Argentia, Newfoundland, 21 December for duty in the North Atlantic. From 1946 to 1969 the ocean tug continued operations along the coast from the Canal Zone to Newfoundland, as she engaged in salvage, target and ship towing. These unheralded but vital assignments are a major contribution to the power for peace of the Navy.
Arriving Guantanamo Bay 9 April, Kiowa prepared for her assignment in the Caribbean. She cleared San Juan 26 May and took station off Antigua as recovery ship for what was to be the beginning of space flight. On 28 May the tug recovered the nose cone of a Jupiter missile which contained monkeys Able and Baker, the first U.S. space riders. Thus Kiowa played a major role lifting America into space.
From 1959 into early 1965 Kiowa continued her vital towing operations out of Norfolk, and also performed extensive services at Guantanamo Bay during the tense years since Castro made Cuba a Communist foothold in the Western Hemisphere. The latter part of June and all of July 1965 Kiowa operated as a unit of a task force patrolling the West Indies during the second Dominican Republic Crisis. Her primary task was to maintain the off-shore pump for petroleum products to beseiged Santo Domingo. En route to East Coast, the fleet ocean tug recovered experimental mines off San Juan, Puerto Rico, before arriving off her homeport, Little Creek, Va., early in August.
On 7 September Kiowa departed for the Mediterranean to join the 6th Fleet in more peace-keeping operations. Arriving off Rota, Spain, the 20th, she began her targettowing, diving, and salvaging duties which continued into 19M
From 26 January to 26 February 1966 the ship participated in the search for an H-bomb that fell into the Mediterranean off Palomares, Spain, following an Air Force bomber's collision with a air-tanker. Kiowa then returned home, via South Wales, England, and San Juan, arriving Little Creek 16 April. Kiowa spent the next 5 months towing targets in the Virginia Capes area before entering drydock at Norfolk 27 September.
Her overhaul completed by late January 1967, Kiowa returned to operations off the East Coast, cruising from Bermuda to Canada and back into late 1967.
Kiowa received one battle star for World War II service.