CGC Comanche WMEC-202

Please visit the Comanche 202 Association website here


WMEC202Comanche18Apr78a.jpg (152167 bytes)  WMEC202Comanche16Nov71.jpg (236088 bytes)

The Comanche was the former Navy Sotoyomo-class auxiliary ocean tug USS Wampanoag (ATA-202).  She was laid down on 24 August 1944 at Port Arthur, Texas, by the Gulfport Boiler & Welding Works.  She was launched on 10 October 1944 and commissioned on 8 December 1944. 

The auxiliary ocean tug completed her shakedown training during the latter half of December 1944 and proceeded via the Panama Canal to the Pacific.  On 12 January 1945, she reported for duty with the Pacific Fleet and, by late April, had joined Service Squadron (ServRon) 10 in support of the Okinawa campaign.  Late in May, she moved to Okinawa itself for a brief tour of duty and returned to her base at Ulithi in mid-June. It is reasonable to assume that her round-trip voyage to the Ryukyus was for the purpose of towing battle-damaged ships back to Ulithi for repair.  She continued her duty with ServRon 10 through the end of the war, returned to the United States in September, and began nine months of duty in the 11th Naval District at San Diego.  She was reassigned to the Atlantic Reserve Fleet's Texas Group in March 1946 and actually reported to Orange, Texas, in July.  On 27 February 1947, the tug was placed out of service there and berthed with the Texas Group, Atlantic Reserve Fleet.  ATA-202 was named Wampanoag on 16 July 1948.

Wampanoag remained in reserve until 25 February 1959 at which time she was loaned to the Coast Guard.  The Coast Guard placed her in commission as the cutter Comanche on that date although it was not until a little over 10 years later, on 1 June 1969, that the Navy permanently transferred her to the Coast Guard, at which time her name was struck from the Navy list.  

She was first home-ported at Morro Bay, California, where she was assigned to law enforcement and search and rescue patrols as well as the re-supply of remote light stations and lightships.  In 1961 she transferred to Sausalito, California.  From 1962 to 1967 she was stationed at San Francisco, California.  

On the morning of 23 March 1963, the 523-foot converted tanker SS Cottonwood Creek radioed "Disabled and fire in engine room off Mile Rock.  Request Coast Guard assistance"  The Comanche responded and towed the disabled vessel to a safe anchorage.  The Comanche, along with other Coast Guard units, responded to a distress call from the Japanese freighter Kokoku Maru on 4 June 1963 after the freighter collided with another vessel off the Farallon Islands.  The Comanche reported that the Kokoku Maru was struck on the starboard side just aft of the bridge, leaving approximately a 30-foot wide by 40-foot high gash in the side of the freighter.  The engine room, boiler room and No. 3 hold flooded.  One seaman was killed and the other 43 crewmen abandoned their ship and were rescued by the Comanche.  Commercial tugs towed the freighter to Richmond harbor.  On 4 August 1965 she stood by the disabled fishing vessel Mark Christopher near Half Moon Bay, California, while awaiting a tug.  On 26 September 1966 she helped fight a fire on a barge in San Francisco harbor.  

From 1967 to 1969 she stationed at Corpus Christi, Texas.  On 7 January 1968 she towed the disabled fishing vessel Mermaid from 70 miles southeast of Port Aransas, Texas, to that port.  On 9 October 1968 she rescued three from the motor vessel Elsie 15 miles south-southeast.  She returned to the west coast and was stationed at Eureka, California in 1969 where she remained based out of for the remainder of her Coast Guard career.  In 1978 she issued "the first notice of violation" ever given to a foreign fishing vessel in the California, Oregon, and Washington trawl fisheries.

She was decommissioned on 30 January 1980 and her crew cross-decked to the CGC Clover.

Wampanoag (ATA-202) was awarded one battle star during World War II.


Jeff C.jpg (98037 bytes)    Comanche.jpg (131271 bytes)

Above: Jeff Creighton aboard the Comanche c. 1978

Below: Photos Bruce Painter

143s in San Diego 1977.jpg (159079 bytes)  Comanche (Bow).jpg (127089 bytes)  

Comanche in Coos Bay.jpg (152563 bytes)  Comanche Superstructure.jpg (132034 bytes)  Comanche-Modoc-Feb77b.jpg (138669 bytes)  Comanche Change of Command 1977.jpg (119987 bytes)

Comanche-San Diego-1977a.jpg (155121 bytes)  Comanche-San Diego-1977c.jpg (144054 bytes)  Modoc in Coos Bay.jpg (113613 bytes)  Modoc-San Diego-1977.jpg (147446 bytes)

Comanche in DD.jpg (155007 bytes)  Comanche in DD1.jpg (136544 bytes)  Comanche-San Diego-1977b.jpg (136337 bytes)

Photos of Comanche in Tacoma this year (2006)

-04-06 1 Comanche on the Hylebos.JPG (219258 bytes)     Comanche on Foss 9-18-05.JPG (115694 bytes)

4-09-06 flags flying from boat deck davits.JPG (175894 bytes)     4-04-06 3 Comanche leaving bridge.JPG (121764 bytes)

View Video of CGC Comanche being moved by Foss Tug, (1.6 Mb)

Main Generator start up video, (4.7 Mb)

4-09-06 flags flying (from bow shot).JPG (138901 bytes)    4-9.005 engine room amidship looking aft..JPG (238914 bytes)   4-9.006.3.JPG (222781 bytes)


4-9.004 valves at fwd bulkhead engine room deck; looking to port.JPG (265347 bytes)   4-9.006.5.JPG (269300 bytes)   4-9.015.1 screw motor controls strbd side.jpg (101699 bytes)


4-9.013 amidship looking fwd from reduction gear area.jpg (251019 bytes)   4-9.037.1 steering motor area under deck looking aft.jpg (261729 bytes)


4-9.039 shaft alley looking to port.jpg (190464 bytes)   4-9.001.1 Comanche stern from dock.JPG (187231 bytes)

4-9.090.1 wheel house interior.JPG (206878 bytes)   4-09-06 ladder up from engine room .053.jpg (99143 bytes)   4-9.062.7 chief eng. qts strbd.jpg (80994 bytes)

4-16-06 Galley on Comanche.JPG (78337 bytes)   4-9.060.5 tow cable looking aft.jpg (311525 bytes)   4-16-06 Compass in wheel house c1943.jpg (63768 bytes)

4- twoing machine facing to port aft.jpg (115980 bytes)   4-9.070.2 port side of QM exterior.JPG (161835 bytes)

4-9.090.6 ladder down to qt deck from wheel house on port side (note the fance work from the cg days) on right would be chart room and radio room.JPG (212362 bytes)   4-16-06 Mess Deck Comanche.jpg (91798 bytes)

4-16-06 from Comanche to anchored ship in bay.JPG (85929 bytes)   4-16-06 Union Jack from wheel house port.JPG (84795 bytes)

4-16-06 flags at main mast USCG, USN, early Union Jack.jpg (76934 bytes)

dave howard.JPG (50826 bytes)  4-19-06 Joe at Comanche wheel.JPG (48774 bytes)  

Dave Howard                       Joe Peterson (CGTA Member)



     Joe Peterson, Stan Bibby, Randy Corrigan on Comanche 4-21-06.JPG (740568 bytes)
         Joe Peterson, Stan Bibby, Randy Corrigan

Randy Corrigan in XO qtrs Comanche 4-21-06.JPG (112673 bytes)   Comanche dry dock 2 1977 RCorrigan pic.jpg (136951 bytes)   Comanche in dry dock 1977 RCorrigan pic.jpg (123565 bytes)

Left - Retired CG CAPT. Randy Corrigan and former Comanche XO stands in former XO's quarters.

Photos of Comanche in dry-dock - Photos R. Corrigan


202 fwd from A-frame.JPG (196426 bytes)      202 fantail from A-frame.JPG (224040 bytes)

Crow's Nest view of Comanche 2006


5-11-06 from Thea Foss Park.jpg (67690 bytes)  Ted on Comanche ATA 202 Tacoma 5-11-06.jpg (95003 bytes)  5-11-06 getting anchor ready.JPG (232739 bytes)

Comanche anchored off The Foss Waterway Park - Ted Lailer, former BM3 on Modoc, at the bow on Comanche


5-16-06b Scott Larsen and Joe Peterson on ATA 202 Comanche bridge.jpg (101167 bytes)  5-16-06c sunset on 202.jpg (78203 bytes)
Scott Larson and Joe Peterson on bridge - Comanche at anchor



Engine Room Video (About 5 megs)

Our thanks to Joe Peterson of Tacoma WA. for providing these fantastic photos from the Comanche   


Ex-ATA 202 USCGC WMEC Comanche's move under her own power on 
Wednesday (1/31/07) went perfect with a crew of nine!  Beautiful sunny day, 
left at 1100 on the flood tide for a boost south through the Tacoma Narrows.  Both 
mains on idle with only the port engine on line for about 5 to 6 knots (8 knots with tide boost
at the Narrows.) Arrived at Port of Olympia docks at 7:00 pm for a flawless
eight hour run (about 45 to 50 miles.)  I was the only former Coastie to
make it however, due to the short notice and mid-week run. I took the helm
from the anchorage to under the Tacoma Narrows bridges. She handled
wonderfully, much like Modoc (electric steering, 11 foot rudder, single 4
blades, 9' screw.)    Great day all around!  COMANCHE is tied up to a great 
dock at the Port of Olympia... time to clean 'er up, paint, etc.  

Joe in Tacoma 
(ex-USCGC Modoc 1966-69 - sister to Comanche.)

Comanche Move

1-31-07 Comanche tied up in Olymia after its 8 hour run from Tacoma.JPG (92211 bytes)  1-31-07 Comanche wake  passing Tacoma Narrow Bridges .JPG (121840 bytes)

1-31-07 flags under the bridge Tacoma Narrows.JPG (304635 bytes)

1-31-07 Dave Howard on helm with Marty Peterson.JPG (316094 bytes)  1-31-07 fantail fwd port side line handlers.JPG (391743 bytes)

1-31-07 Joe Peterson (ex-USCGC Modoc) on helm taking Comanche out of Commensment Bay Tacoma..JPG (283901 bytes)  1-31-07 passing under Tacoma Narrows double bridges headed south.JPG (333974 bytes)