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This page is provided by the USS Abnaki Sailor’s Association. Every effort has been made to provide an accurate, although very brief, summary of the Abnaki's activities during the thirty-five years she served the United States Navy. Those of you who served aboard her are encouraged to be alert for discrepancies and bring them to our attention.

There are hundreds of stories associated with the times, dates, and places mentioned in the following pages. Hopefully, something in these pages will trigger you to recall a good story about something that happened while you were aboard. PLEASE! Jot it down while it is still fresh in your mind and send it to us. We always try to have a couple of stories, from people like you, in our newsletter. These stories are the REAL Abnaki history!

Forward
Written by:  Pete Pilgrim, ENFN (1946-1949)
BTCS USN (RET)

The following is a “Thumbnail Sketch” of the history of the USS Abnaki (ATF 96) and is based on a document found in the “Dictionary of American Naval Ships,” James L. Mooney, Editor. For whatever reason several large gaps in time, activities, and minor errors existed in the original document. For that reason additional information has been inserted in appropriate places and some of the original text was deleted in an effort to provide a more accurate account of the ship’s history.

This additional information is from the personal diaries of Joe Schienberg (1946-1948) and Don Fries (1950-1954) and from my own personal recollection. All changes will appear as Italic. Further changes will be made as errors and omissions are identified. For a complete copy of the Diaries mentioned above contact Pete Pilgrim. All Hands are encouraged to summit corrections or additions to…. Corrections or Additions

As stated before this is only a “Thumbnail Sketch” and as we all know, no history is complete with out knowing, not just the movements and ports of call, but also the stories of daily activities as remembered by those who were there. We are in the process of collecting just such stories that will, hopefully span the entire thirty-five years (1943-1978) the Abnaki served the United States Navy. You are encouraged to send YOUR story, No matter the subject, we would like to hear it. These stories are published in the Abnaki Courier, a newsletter published three times per year.

Other Contributors
George Roberts ENFN (76-78)
Mike Holland BMCM (74-76)
Roy Johnson DC3 (68- 69)

 

History
USS Abnaki (ATF 96)

Laid down on 28 November 1942 at Charleston, S.C., by the Charleston Shipbuilding & Drydock Co.; launched on 22 April 1943; sponsored by Mrs. James Mayon Jones; and commissioned at the Charleston Navy Yard on 25 November 1943, Lt. Dewey Wally in Command.

The fleet tug completed shakedown in Chesapeake Bay on December 10 and began operating with the Atlantic Fleet. She conducted towing operations up and down the eastern seaboard of the United States until the spring of 1944. On 28 May of that year she got underway from Norfolk Va. bound for Oran, Algeria. on 4 June, however, while in the vicinity of the Azores, Abnaki received orders to rendezvous with Rear Admiral Daniel V. Gallery's Task Group (TG) 22.3 built around Guadalcanal (CVE-60). The task force had just succeeded in capturing the German submarine U-505 and Abnaki was to tow her to Bermuda. She arrived there with the prize on 19 June and remained 10 days before shaping a course for New York.

The tug spent the early days of July in New York and stood out to sea on the 11th, towing barges in an Oran-bound convoy. She returned to New York on 19 August having towed the French warship Senegalaise from Oran. From 19 September to 5 December 1944 Abnaki made a round-trip voyage to Great Britain. During that mission she towed barges and tank landing ships. On the return leg of that voyage the ship made stop at Reykjavik, Iceland; and Argentia, Newfoundland before returning to Norfolk. During January and February 1945 she again steamed to Oran and returned to Norfolk for repairs in preparation for duty with the Pacific Fleet.

On 24 April 1945 Abnaki passed between Capes Henry and Charles on her way to her new assignment. She arrived in the Canal Zone on 9 May, transited the canal, and continued the voyage from Balboa on the 16th with an Army dredge in tow. The tug arrived in San Diego, California on 2 June and remained for five days. On the 7th she took the dredge in tow once again and weighed anchor for the central pacific. After a stop at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii the tug entered the lagoon at Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands on 25 July and discharged her tow.
The following day she got underway again and proceeded to Eniwetok Atoll, also in the Marshalls. Abnaki remained there through the end of hostilities. Soon afterward Abnaki shifted north to join the force occupying Japan.

The Abnaki arrived in Japanese waters prior to the official signing of the surrender on the 2nd of September. She did numerous towing and other operations from both Yokohoma and Yokosuka. Some of her duties included towing several war damaged ships to sea for target practice by the fleet. On several occasions she was mistaken for the target, luckily she was never hit. She also had the pleasure of escorting the ship that transported the first American dependents to arrive in Japan. That mission lasted through the end of 1945 and the first six months of 1946. On 6 July the tug departed Japanese waters and proceeded to China. Following a stop at Okinawa en route, she arrived at Shanghai on 16 July. Approximately 10 days later she proceeded to Tsingtao and began operations in support of American forces in That Area. On 19 October she departed Tsingtaowith the ARD 31 in tow bound for Guam via Okinawa arriving at Naha, Okinawa on the 25th. After some local operations she departed Okinawa on 9 November bound for Guam with the ARD 31 in tow.

After several days the Abnaki found herself in the middle of a typhoon, The tow cable parted on the 18th leaving the ARD dead in the water. Onthe 19th she began recovery operations during which she was rammed by the ARD and suffered considerable hull damage. Despite the damage she managed to recover the tow and proceed toward Guam. On November the 22nd the Moctobi ATF 105 arrived and provided assistance. They arrived at Guam on the 26th and shortly afterward the Abnaki went into the ARD 31 for temporary repairs. On January the 8th the Abnaki departed for Saipan with YF 977 in tow. The Abnaki performed several towing operations between Guam, Saipan and Tinian before departing Guam on January 24th, 1947 bound for Manus, Island.

The Abnaki arrived at Manus on January the 28th and began preparing a convoy consisting of several liberty ships, manned by Japanese crews, tasked with towing sections of floating drydocks back to San Francisco via Pearl Harbor. She Departed Manus on February 12, escorting six liberty ships and their tows. Arriving at Pearl Harbor on March 26th.

She left Pearl Harbor on March 31st 1947 with the same convoy and sighted the Golden Gate Bridge on April 15th where the Abnaki was tasked with towing the AVS 4 to Drakes Bay, about twenty miles north of San Francisco. She left Drakes Bay the next day and arrived in San Francisco in time for liberty, the first on the mainland since the 6th of June 1945.

On the 3rd of May 1947 she left San Francisco headed for Bremerton. After unloading ammunition at Bangor on the 6th she arrived in Bremerton and began a much-needed yard period on the 7th. Upon completion of the yard period Abnaki left Bremerton on July 15. After picking up the AFDL-12 in San Francisco she arrived in San Pedro on July 21st where she remained until October the 3rd when she departed San Pedro and arrived in San Diego the same day. On October the 10th she departed San Diego for Pearl Harbor but was forced to return to San Diego for two medical emergencies. (One was the Captain who fell down a ladder seriously injuring his back) On October the 28th she headed for Pearl Harbor and arrived there on the 5th of November where she once again began local operations.

On December the 23rd she departed Pearl Harbor to assist a merchant ship (Alcan) that had lost its screw in the vicinity of Midway. Took the Alcan in tow on the 27th and arrived back at Pearl Harbor on the 4th of January 1948, where she again began local operations.

On March the 13th she headed for Yokosuka, Japan, via Midway, escorting the Incredible (AM 249), Mainstay (AM 26), Pirate (AM 275), and pledge (AM 277) arriving in Yokosuka on the 28th where she once again began local operations. Abnaki Departed Yokosuka the 7th of July, exactly two years and one day after leaving for China two years earlier, rendezvoused with the Lipan ATF 85 on the 9th and arrived in Tsingtao on the 11th.


(I have no dates for the following, which is my recollections of the Ships activities until the summer of 1949 at which time I was transferred prior to her return to the Western Pacific).
Hopefully someone with a better memory than mine will fill in the blanks. Pete


After routine operations in the Tsingtao area the Abnaki slowly made it way back to the States via Pearl Harbor after towing a very large concrete water barge to Kwajalein Atoll. She arrived back in the States in the fall of 1948 and after a short stay she headed for the Aleutians where she did local operations for several months. In the spring of 1949 she left Adak and headed for Bremerton for another much needed yard period. Upon completion of the yard period she moved to San Diego. During the late summer of 1949 she, once again, headed for operations in the Western Pacific.

The tug continued to operate in Far Eastern waters while the communist tide swept over the Asian mainland engulfing not only China and Manchuria but also the northern half of Korea where the Soviet occupation forces has established a puppet regime under Kim ll Sung on 1 May 1948. Just over two years later that event led to the invasion of South Korea by communist forces from the north late in June 1950. Through American units, under the auspices of a Soviet-boycotted United Nations moved into the breach quickly. Abnaki did not enter the zone of combat operations for over a year. In July 1951, however, she joined Service Division (ServDiv) 31 in providing mobile logistics support to the United Nations naval task force engaged in the conflict

On May 21st 1951 Abnaki left Pearl Harbor with both the YRDA B2 and the YRDM-2 in tow. They arrived at Guam on June 7th. They left Guam for Yokosuka, Japan, towing the AO 73 on June 13th and arrived in Yokosuka on the 23rd.

They left Yokosuka on July the 3rd and headed for Korea arriving at Wosan on the 6th. For the next few weeks the Abnaki operated between Koera and Japan and operated in such places as Wosan, Chosen, and kaiwan in Korea and Sasebo and Nagasaki in Japan.

They left Sasebo on August 24 with a load of buoys that were to be laid in the Hon River in Korea. After rendezvousing with the USS Grasp near Inchon they then proceeded on to the Hon River, arriving there on August the 26th. After laying buoys in the mouth of the river they proceeded up river to Song Mo Sudo. They left Korea for Sasebo, Japan on September the 1st for another load of Buoys and returned to the Hon River for a repeat performance.

The Abnaki left Korea on September the 12th and did local operations at such Japanese ports as Sasebo, Yokosuka, and Nagasaki, until November the 8th when she once again headed for Wonsan, Korea and arrived there on The 10th.

The Abnaki continued to operate on both coast of Korea, with the exception of a couple of overnight visits to Yokosuka, and Sasebo, Japan until January the 27th, 1952 when she arrived in Sasebo. Her last job in Korea was to assist a disabled merchant ship near Pusan on the 25TH of January.

Abnaki departed Sasebo, Japan on the 16th of Feburary and arrived at Pearl Harbor on the 28th where she did local operations until, once again, on April 17th she headed for Johnston Island with YCV-17 and YWM-4 in tow arriving there on the 23rd. She returned to Pearl Harbor on May the 2nd.

Between May 26th and October the 20th Abnaki performed towing, escort, patrol and scientific research duties between such places as Midway, San Diego, Long Beach, Guam, Saipan, Anataham Island, Subic Bay, and Pagan Island. After her arrival back at Pearl Harbor on October the 20th 1952 she carried out local operations until November the 28th when she began a much needed yard period.

The yard period ended on January 29th 1953. Upon completion of sea trials and underway training exercises Abnaki headed north on March the 23rd and arrived in Adak on the 30th. From that time until November 12th Abnaki sphere of operation extended from the Alaskan main land to the farthermost Aleutian Island.

Upon her arrival back at Pearl Harbor on November 12th Abnaki once again began local operations and service to the fleet. This continued until April the 3rd 1954 when she headed toward San Diego with the ARD 28 in tow arriving in San Diego on the 18th. She immediately began local operation, including Long Beach, until her arrival back in Pearl Harbor on the 15th of May. On June 10th Abnaki once again headed for the Western Pacific.

Save for an overhaul or two at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, her service in the Far East and in the waters of the Central Pacific continued unbroken until 1955. After participating in the evacuation of Nationalist Chinese troops and civilians from the Tachen Islands in March of that year, the tug served in the Orient for a little more than three months more. On 15 July 1955 she got underway from Sasebo, Japan, for Hawaii. En route to Hawaii the fleet tug encountered an Army ship, FS-179, in distress and took her in tow. The two ships arrived at Pearl Harbor on 1 August. For the next 17 months, Abnaki operated from that base in the mid-Pacific operating area, voyaging only as far as such outlying islands is Midway and Johnston.

Her itinerary changed late in February 1957 when she steamed to San Francisco, California to take Springfield (CL-66) in tow for the first leg of her journey to the east coast for her conversion to a guided missile cruiser. The two ships departed San Francisco on 2 march and arrived at Rodman in the Canal Zone on the 29th. There Abnaki turned her charge over to Nipmuc (ATF-157) and headed back to Oahu for operations in Hawaiian waters through the summer. On 17 September the fleet tug set sail for the Far East and provided support services for units of the 7th fleet until returning to Pearl Harbor on 27 February 1958 and resumed mid-Pacific operations. On 18 November she stood out of Pearl Harbor for another deployment with the 7th fleet in the Western Pacific.

Upon her return to Hawaii midway through 1959, Abnaki took up the familiar chore of towing various types of vessels between locations in the islands and to the more distant Midway and Johnston islands. On 6 February 1960 she stood out of Pearl Harbor and shaped a course just a few degrees west of north. The tug arrived at Adak, Alaska, on the 14th and assisted in the salvage of Kodiak (LSM-161) before sailing for Oahu on 5 May. Arriving in Pearl Harbor on 12 May the ship resumed her mid Pacific duties.

On 3 April she embarked upon another deployment to the western Pacific. After four months of towing duties between such ports as Sasebo and Yokosuka in Japan, Ream in Cambodia, Naha and Buckner Bay at Okinawa, And Subic Bay in the Philippines, Abnaki returned to Pearl Harbor on 8 August, 1960.

Following a leave, upkeep, and repair period she once again began mid-Pacific duties early in September and continued the task through the year's end. On 24 January 1962 she departed Pearl Harbor and arrived in Adak on 1 February. The fleet tug conducted local operations in the Aleutians until 20 April when she shaped a course for Seattle, Washington. Following a six-day lay-over there, Abnaki headed for Oahu on 4 May and arrived on the 12th. That summer between 23 July and 7 September, she again deployed to the Aleutians. A return to the mid-Pacific operations came early in September and lasted until she moved to the western Pacific on 21 may 1963.

That four-month tour of duty consisted of the normal rounds of port visits and of towing service to units of the 7th fleet. Similarly, her return to Pearl Harbor brought the familiar towing and salvage operations in the mid-Pacific operating area. That routine was broken only once, during late January and early February 1964 when she made a round trip voyage to San Francisco. Abnaki spent much of 1964 in operations out of Pearl Harbor and concluded the year preparing to deploy to the western Pacific.

During the latter part of 1964, American involvement in the civil war in Vietnam began to escalate as the result of the Gulf of Tonkin incident. That development heralded a change in the nature of Abnaki's western Pacific deployments over the ensuing eight years. She departed Pearl Harbor with a barge in tow on 4 January 1965 bound for Johnston Island. After delivering the barge she picked up a dredge and headed for Yokosuka, Japan. The dredge sank on the 19th and she was then diverted to Subic Bay in the philippines. She operated locally out of Subic Bay until 5 March when she sailed for Vietnam. The tug served in Vietnamese waters as a tender for a squadron of minecraft and conducted patrols. She completed that assignment on 31 March and headed back to Subic Bay. where she arrived on 4 April.
After eight days of upkeep at Subic Bay she put to sea for a second tour of duty in Vietnamese waters. That mission concluded, Abnaki shaped a course to Hong Kong on 30 April for a liberty call from 3 to 8 May. Following a visit to Yokosuka from 14 to 20 May, the ship began the voyage back to Hawaii and arrived at Pearl Harbor On 1 June. After a 16-day leave and upkeep period, she resumed mid-Pacific operations out of her home port.

Following a three month overhaul, three weeks refresher training and about two months of local operations, Abnaki departed Pearl Harbor on 29 March, 1966 for the western Pacific. She stopped at Guam along the way before arriving in Nagasaki, Japan late in April. The fleet tug towed an Army power barge from Nagasaki to Naha, Okinawa for 12 days of upkeep. She departed that port on 19 May and arrived in Danang, South Vietnam on the 22nd. Between 23 May and 20 June, Abnaki operated in the South China Sea in support of the fleet ships assigned to Yankee station and made an over night stop in Danang on 20 and 21 June before getting underway for Hong Kong. The ship remained in the British Crown Colony from 25 June to 2 July and then headed for Subic Bay for an upkeep period which occupied her for the bulk of July. On 26 July she put to sea for Yokosuka and after a stop at Buckner Bay, Okinawa arrived at that port on 5 August. The tug stood out of Yokosuka a week later towing (L.S.S.L. 102), and moored at the Army pier at Sattahip, Thailand on the 29th. She remained in Thailand, making one liberty call at Bangkok, until 22 September. Getting underway that day the fleet tug shaped a course for Kaohsiung, Taiwan. After nine days of upkeep at Kaohsiung, she set sail for Guam on 8 October and picked up her final tow of the deployment there on 16 October before steaming on toward Vietnam. She anchored off Vung Tau on Navy Day 1966, transferred her charge, and then got underway on 28 October to return home via Sasebo and Yokosuka.

The beginning of 1967 saw her resume local operations between Hawaii and the outlying islands. During the first three weeks in May the fleet tug made a round trip voyage to Seattle, Washington. After returning, Abnaki carried out mid-Pacific towing duties until mid-August. On the 18th she exited Pearl Harbor on her way back to the Far East. following stops at Guam and Subic Bay, the ship arrived at Danang on 15 September, took up duty as trawler surveillance patrol on Yankee Station, and spent most of the following month shadowing the Soviet trawler Amperinetr.

Relieved on 15 October, Abnaki proceeded to Kaohsiung, Taiwan. On the way however, she encountered typhoon "Carla"and had to detour. Later she went to the assistance of an Army tug towing a crane.
When the Army vessel suffered mechanical difficulties that forced her to cut loose the crane to save herself, Abnaki brought the crane in safely. Next she spent six days of rest and relaxation at Hong Kong before returning to Subic Bay for a three week upkeep period.

Abnaki departed Subic Bay on 25 November and set course for Vietnam. On the 27th the fleet tug joined Bolster (ARS-38) and Ute (ATF-76) near Duc Pho, South Vietnam, to assist in salvaging Clark county (LST-601). After much labor, they re-floated the tank landing ship on 1 December. On 7 December she relieved Chanticleer (ARS-7) as trawler surveillance unit. Relieved of that mission on the 27th and shaped a course for Sasebo. The tug stopped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan from 6 to 19 January 1968 to have the patch on the hull of the barge she was towing replaced. Continuing on, Abnaki towed her charge into Sasebo on the 24. On 30 January she stood out of Sasebo on her way back to Pearl Harbor.

The ship re-entered her home port on Lincoln's Birthday and began over a month of post deployment stand-down. From 18 March to 8 July, the ship resumed her familiar mid-Pacific duties. On 8 July she entered the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard for an overhaul which lasted until 25 October. For the next month she completed refresher training and preparations for overseas movement.
On 26 November, Abnaki returned to sea, again bound for the Far East. The voyage west brought stops at Guam and Subic Bay - where Abnaki delivered floating crane (YD-127) - before she re-entered the combat zone off Vietnam. The tug arrived at Danang on the last day of 1968. She departed Danang to pick up garbage lighter (YG-52) at Subic Bay. The ship arrived there on the 3rd, departed the next morning with her charge in tow, and delivered it at Danang on the 8th before heading back toward Subic Bay that same day. En route, she received orders to Naha, Okinawa to assist in the salvage of a grounded tank landing ship. She completed the mission on 19 January, 1969 and re-entered Subic bay on the 24th, and headed back to Danang on the 29th. The ship arrived there on the 31st and, on 1 February put to sea for a 21-day tour of duty on Yankee Station. Late in the month, she towed Ashville (PG-84) from Camranh Bay to Yokosuka. In March she visited Tsoying, Taiwan, to train the Taiwanese Navy in salvage techniques. After a liberty call at Hong Kong early in April, the ship returned to Subic Bay until late in the month. She got underway On the 26th bound for Guam with (AFDM-5) in tow. She and her charge reached Apra Harbor on 15 May, and on the 16th Abnaki, continued on toward Hawaii.

The fleet tug arrived in Pearl Harbor on 28 May and began post deployment stand-down and a restricted availability. She commenced local operations on 1 July and that assignment continued until 1970. Late in January of that year, Abnaki headed for the western Pacific and arrived in Subic Bay toward the second week in February. Although most of that deployment was devoted to operations out of Subic Bay followed by visits to Sasebo and Hong Kong, the fleet tug made a voyage into the combat zone when she visited Danang late in may. In mid-June she headed back to Pearl Harbor where she arrived at the end of the month for operations out of that port into the spring of the following year.

On 29 April she pointed her bow westward once more to deploy with the 7th Fleet in the far east. She made a stop at Guam before arriving at Subic Bay in mid-May. Later in the month ,she voyaged to Vung Tau, South Vietnam, apparently to deliver a tow, because she departed the Vietnamese port on the same day she arrived. The Vietnam conflict does not appear to have played a major role in her 1971 deployment since she made only a few brief stops there-mostly at Vung Tau. She spent a large proportion of her time in and around Subic Bay and made port visits to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Ream Cambodia. Late in September, Abnaki stood out of Subic Bay for Apra Harbor, Guam on her way back to Pearl Harbor. After an eight-day layover at Apra Harbor, she continued her voyage to the Oahu base where she arrived on 20 October to resume Hawaiian operations.

Towing and training missions occupied her time until she put to sea on 21 August 1972 to re-join the 7th fleet in the western Pacific. Towing one Philippine minesweeper, escorting another, and making stops at Midway and Guam, Abnaki took over a month to make the voyage to Subic Bay. She arrived there on 28 September and remained until 3 October when she returned to sea to tow a floating crane to Vietnam. She arrived in Danang on 7 October, delivered her charge, and began duty as the standby salvage ship there. The duty involved staying in Danang Harbor during the day to provide salvage services and putting to sea each night because of the threat posed by the Viet Cong sapper-swimmers. She concluded that assignment on 20 October and then visited Hong Kong and Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The tug returned to Subic Bay in mid-November and then ended the year visiting such ports as Ream, Singapore, and Bangkok.

During the latter part of this deployment, Abnaki made no voyages to Vietnam. Instead, she operated exclusively out of Subic Bay, breaking that routine but once during the second half of January 1973 for a mission to Kaohsiung and Tsoving in Taiwan. On 20 February, she departed Subic Bay to return home. Along the way the fleet tug made a stop at Guam and Kwajalein before re-entering Pearl Harbor on 13 March.
Renewed operations out of Pearl Harbor lasted until 25 June 1973 when she get underway for a new home port, San Diego, California. The ship stood into her new base on 13 July and spent the remainder of the year either in port at San Diego or making tows to various points along the California coast. That employment continued into the new year 1974. On 19 February, the ship entered the Fellows and Stuart Shipyard for a seven-month overhaul.

Abnaki completed the overhaul on 19 September and returned to San Diego the next day. Refresher training followed in October, and at the beginning of November, she resumed west coast operations out of San Diego. During December 1974 and the first part of January 1975, she prepared for overseas duty. On the 11th the fleet tug weighed anchor to begin her voyage to the Far East. She made only one stop--at Pearl Harbor 20 to 22 January--before arriving in Subic Bay on 9 February. Two days later, she got underway to participate in Readex I-75 conducted in the South China Sea. Following this exercise, Abnaki visited Yokosuka and Sasebo in Japan. In March, she made a four day liberty call at Hong Kong followed by a visit to Singapore. She returned to Subic Bay early in april but, on the 10th got underway for Vung Yau where she salvaged a cargo door of a C-5A cargo plane. After participation in operation Frequent Wind"-- the evacuation of Saigon-- Abnaki returned to Yokosuka on 15 May for three weeks of upkeep before heading for the Marianas on 8 June. The fleet tug arrived at Guam 18 May, loaded supplies destine for natives of the Marshall Islands, and put to sea again on the 16th. After dropping the supplies off at several of the smaller atolls in the Marshalls, she continued on via Pearl Harbor to San Diego where she arrived on 13 July.

Operations along the coast kept the tug busy until the beginning of October when she began an extended restricted availability in San Diego. The New Year began with the ship still in port in San Diego. However, she embarked upon her first tow on 2 January 1976 and remained active-- shuttling tows between various California ports for the first seven months of 1976. On 7 August the ship left San Diego to join a Fijian minesweeper at Seattle, Washington, for the voyage to Fiji. The two ships got underway on 16 August and set a course for Pearl Harbor where they arrived on 24 August and remained a week for repairs to the minesweeper's communication equipment. En route to Suva, Fiji, Abnaki assisted a civilian auxiliary sailboat grounded on a reef at Palmyra Island and towed it to Christmas Island. Abnaki and the Fijian minesweeper arrived at Suva, Fiji, on 17 September. The American ship remained at Suva until the 21st when she got underway for Subic Bay. En route, she stopped at Kapingamarangi, Atoll to drop off cargo for the natives and at West Fayo island to investigate a suspected violation of territorial waters by a Japanese trawler. She finally arrived in Subic Bay on 4 October.

The fleet tug conducted operations out of Subic Bay over the following month. On 7 November, she stood out of Subic Bay bound for Borneo. She made a five day visit at Kuching (during their stay crew members volunteered to donate blood for the blood bank at a local hospital) then got underway on 16 November for Puerto Princessa on Palawan in the southwestern Philippines. Abnaki returned to Subic Bay on 22 November and remained there until the 26th when she shaped a course for Hong Kong. The three-day transit from PI to Hong Kong was made more adventurous given that a typhoon had previously traversed the waters. Thirty to forty degree rolls were not uncommon during that trip, with several crew members insisting that the clinometer on the mess decks had reached forty-five degrees on numerous occasions. At the Crown Colony from 29 November to 9 December , she combined business with pleasure, serving as station submarine service ship while portions of her crew enjoyed liberty ashore. The ship returned to Subic Bay on 11 December and remained until the 19th. On that date she shaped a course for the Marianas. Abnaki arrived at Guam on Christmas Eve day 1976. Spirits were running high and the crew was on edge being away from their loved ones for the holidays. After several crew member scuffles, tensions eased and on 29 December, she headed for Kwajalein. There she was to embark Rear Admiral Carroll, Commander, Naval forces Marianas, for transportation to Kusaie Atoll for it's independence celebration. the round trip voyage from Kwajaiein to Kusaie took from 2 to 6 January 1977. On 8 January, Abnaki sailed to Guam where she picked up two yard craft to tow to Pearl Harbor. Departing Guam on 12 January 1977 she dropped off her charges at Pearl Harbor on 13 February, resumed her voyage to the west coast the following day, and reached San Diego on 22 February.

Abnaki spent the remainder of her career operating along the west coast. following post-deployment stand-down and an extended availability, in May, she resumed towing and other operations along the California coast including surveillance operations, other fleet services and training evaluations. During that stretch Abnaki was called on to tow two 185' aluminum-hulled patrol gunboats (PGs), in tandem, from San Diego to Bremerton, WA. On the night of June 7, in heavy seas, one of the PGs broke free and was loose on the open sea, bobbing like a cork. A crew was assembled and deployed in the motor whaleboat in an effort to retrieve the stray. This evolution required that several from the rescue party, board the PG and rigging a temporary towline. After several hours, the PG was retrieved and Abnaki set a course for San Francisco to complete repairs to the bridle before heading up to Bremerton. In early 1978, Abnaki towed a cable-laying ship to Panama. During that voyage, she also made a call at Esmeraldas, Ecuador before returning to San Diego on 12 February 1978. Normal operations along the west coast occupied her time mid-February until April. The first week in April brought fleet exercises followed by fleet services. During the first half of June, Abnaki participated in another series of fleet exercises and the resumed her usual west coast missions.

On 15 August 1978, Abnaki began preparations for decommissioning and transfer to the Mexican Navy. She was placed out of commission on 30 September 1978 and was simultaneously transferred to the Mexican Navy. Her name was struck from the Navy list the same day, and was commissioned in the Mexican Navy as Yaqui (A-18), Lt. Guttierez in command.

Abnaki earned three battle stars for service in the Korean conflict and 10 battle stars during the Vietnam war.
Note: The former Abnaki remains in the Mexican Navy but has been re-named; Ehecatl (A-53)