Arctic Storm

Arctic Storm at Smith Cove

The Ship:

  • Type: Trawler/Processor
  • Owner: Arctic Storm LLC
  • Flag: USA
  • Hailing Port: Seattle, WA
  • Call Sign: WTQ5896
  • Length: 101.8 meters
  • Beam: 14.83 meters
  • Tonnage: 4,068 GT
  • Year of Build: 1943
  • Builder: Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corporation, Tacoma, WA
  • Yard Number: 12
  • Name History: USS Patapsco (AOG-1), 1943-79

The Story:

I n my mind, at least, i feel that this vessel exemplifies the reason for this site. At first glance, the Arctic Storm was just one of a dozen trawlers wintering at Seattle’s Smith Cove. It wasn’t until I got home and did a little research that I uncovered a tale of wartime adventures hidden beneath the skin of what is not just another trawler.

From via Wikipedia

The story starts almost 68 years ago and just 20 miles south of Smith Cove, at the yard of Sea-Tac Shipbuilding, where the first of the Patapsco-class of US navy gasoline tankers was launched. Within three months, she would depart the west coast, with wartime adventures to such infamous locales as New Caledonia, The Solomons, Ulithi, Palau, Saipan, and Guam.

Following as respite in reserve, the Patapsco was reactivated in 1950 to shuttle fuel to Midway, the Marshalls, Japan, and Korea in support of Korean War efforts. The same story was repeated in 1966 when she headed for southeast Asia and spent two years serving in the combat zone off the coast of Vietnam.

A calm for the next five years would lead to her 1974 retirement and 1979 sale to Mid Pacific Sea Harvesters Ltd. However, unlike her 22 sisters, sale from the Navy did not elad to her demise; instead, she only began a new adventure upon the wild seas of the Northern Pacific, to which she remains active and comitted today.

About Fairlane
Photographer, historian, nerd, engineer, thirty-something - Those are a few of the words that describe me. Though I have varied interests, one of my passions in maritime history, which I enjoy sharing. If you want to find out what I can tell, please follow my blog.

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