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Napa AT-32


(AT-32: dp. 845; 1. 156'8"; b. 30'; dr. 14'7"; s. 13 k.; cpl. 44; a. 2 3", 1 mg.; cl. Bagaduce.)

Napa (AT-32), originally Yucca, was laid down as Napa, 5 March 1919, at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Wash. Launched 24 July 1919, and commissioned 5 December 1919, Lt. W. R. Giddens in command.

Following shakedown and an abbreviated tour on the West Coast, the ocean going tug sailed to CIuam where she served as a station ship from June 1919 until the spring of 1929. She then steamed to the Philippines, where she decommissioned, 7 June 1929, and joined the Inactive Fleet, berthed at Olongapo. Ordered reactivated as war in Asia loomed closer, Napa recommissioned at Cavite 15 August 1939, joined the Asiatic Fleet and for the next two years performed the services demanded of her type.

In the fall of 1941, when the possibility of war became a probability for the near future, the under-shipped and undermanned fleet assigned to defend and support the Philippines began to improve its defenses. Napa was assigned to net laying nnd maintenance activities in Mariveles and Manila Bays. Without previous training or experience and without the proper equipment, the crew of Napa, aided by 16th Naval District service craft, and, at times, by various available
minesweepers, gunboats, and Army craft, improvised with what they had. Between 8 October and 8 December they worked to install anti-torpedo nets across the entrance to Mariveles Bay. Continuing on after losing what little remained of their equipment during the Japanese air raid on Cavite 10 December, they kept up the work, completing 95% of the job by 14 December when they were ordered to cease operations. On the 17th and 18th, they moved two unsunk sections of the net to Manila, and then, on the 19th, reported for duty under Commander, Inshore Patrol, 16th Naval District. From that time on, until 9 April 1942, Napa, operating from Mariveles, performed various duties which included net tending, salvage, towing and patrol assignments in the Batsan Manila Bay area.

On 8 April the decision to evacuate Batsan was made. About 0130 on the 9th, the sinking of Napa was ordered. Most of the crew, with provisions, personal belongings and small arms, were transported, via small boats, to Corregidor Island. Napa was then towed 500 yards out from the beach. The skeleton crew opened the magazine flood valves and made 3 oponings through the hull in the fire and engine room. At 0500 Napa was abandoned. The CO, Ens. P. B. Wingo, and the remaining crew members proceeded to Corregidor. From that island they watched their ship remain afloat throughout the day and then, after nightfall, sink into the bay.

The crew of Napa then joined the crews of other similarly fated ships. Taking up small arms they were incorporated into the 4th Marine Regiment, in which they helped man the beach defenses until Corregidor fell, 6 May 1942.

Napa was awarded one battle star for her service in World War II.

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