USS Colquitt (AK-174)
|Namesake:||Colquitt County, Georgia|
|Ordered:||as type (C1-M-AV1) hull, MC hull 2147|
|Builder:||Froemming Brothers, Inc., Milwaukee, Wisconsin|
|Launched:||21 January 1945|
|Sponsored by:||Mrs. Fred Zillman|
|Acquired:||17 August 1945|
|Commissioned:||22 September 1945|
|Decommissioned:||24 September 1945|
|Struck:||20 March 1946|
|Fate:||transferred to the US Coast Guard, 24 September 1945|
USCGC Kukui (WAK-186) underway, date and location unknown.
|Acquired:||24 September 1945|
|Commissioned:||24 September 1945|
|Decommissioned:||29 February 1972|
|Identification:||Hull symbol: WAK-186|
|Fate:||Transferred to the Republic of the Philippines, 1 March 1972|
|Acquired:||1 March 1972|
|Identification:||Hull symbol: TK90|
|Fate:||Deleted by the Philippines Navy, 7 June 2001|
|Class and type:||Alamosa-class cargo ship|
|Tonnage:||5,032 long tons deadweight (DWT)|
|Length:||388 ft 8 in (118.47 m)|
|Beam:||50 ft (15 m)|
|Draft:||21 ft 1 in (6.43 m)|
|Propulsion:||1 × propeller|
|Speed:||11.5 kn (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph)|
USS Colquitt (AK-174) was an Alamosa-class cargo ship commissioned by the US Navy for service in World War II. She was responsible for delivering troops, goods and equipment to locations in the war zone.
Colquitt was launched 21 January 1945 by Froemming Brothers, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, under a Maritime Commission contract, MC hull 2147; sponsored by Mrs. Fred Zillman; transferred to the Navy 17 August 1945; and commissioned 22 September 1945, Lieutenant Commander F. E. Miner, USCG, in command.
US Navy service
Colquitt was transferred to the US Coast Guard two days later and served until decommissioned 11 March 1946, on which date her transfer to the Coast Guard became permanent. She was renamed and reclassified Kukui (WAK-186), by the Coast Guard.
Coast Guard history
Transfer and conversion
The Coast Guard at that time needed a large cargo vessel to supply the equipment and personnel needed for the construction and logistical support of the Pacific LORAN chain. Her name was changed to Kukui, a name taken from a buoy tender that had just been decommissioned, and was given the designation WAK-186. She was converted to Coast Guard specifications at the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay, Maryland. During her Coast Guard career she was based out of Honolulu, Hawaii.
Philippine LORAN system
Through 1960 she was responsible for constructing the entire Philippine LORAN system. All construction of this system was done by sailors of Kukui. Their dual role as seamen and construction workers was one of the most unique assignments in the armed forces. She carried on her decks two LCMs to ferry men and equipment to shore and also had three bulldozers, several trucks and a few jeeps stashed in her holds.
Seven months a year she was underway providing necessary logistic support to members of the Coast Guard LORAN chain throughout the western Pacific. During this time she delivered "everything from toothpicks to antenna poles; from a can of pepper to a Quonset hut." She also carried the complex electronic equipment necessary to set up the LORAN system. As a Coast Guard public affairs release noted: "The men and officers of the black-hulled cutter were a versatile group. They not only sailed the ship but they operated bulldozers, landing craft, trucks and jeeps."
A typical voyage would cover over 18,000 nmi (33,000 km; 21,000 mi) and Kukui would deliver 2,500,000 short tons (2,300,000 t) of cargo to the many Coast Guard operated LORAN stations throughout the western Pacific. In all she would make over 20 stops at various stations and ports, including Yokosuka, Japan and Manila Harbor in the Republic of the Philippines. On 15 June 1953 she rendered medical assistance to a civilian workman injured at Batan LORAN station. In 1957 the crew of the Kukui observed a lack of books in the Philippine school districts they visited. The following year they got up a collection of 400 books to give to needy schoolchildren. Through hard work and perseverance they increased the total to 45,000 books within the next three years. She also delivered relief supplies to the island of Batan after it was hit by Typhoon Elaine.
On 1 December 1969, French Frigate Shoals LORAN Station was hit by a tidal wave, forcing the crew to evacuate and destroying much of the station. Kukui was sent to the island the following month and was responsible for her reconstruction and rehabilitation. On 24 June 1970 she collided with the M/V Myoriki Maru No. 25 six miles from Yokosuka, Japan, with both vessels receiving minor damage.
In January 1972, the Kukui received word that as part of a move to reduce Coast Guard spending, she would be decommissioned. She later received word that upon her decommissioning in Honolulu on 1 March 1972, she would be turned over to the Navy who in turn would give her to the Philippine Navy.
Philippine Navy history
Awards and decorations
- American Campaign Medal
- Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
- World War II Victory Medal
- National Defense Service Medal
- "Colquitt". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Navy Department, Naval History & Heritage Command. Retrieved 16 November 2016. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- "C1 Cargo Ships". www.ShipbuildingHistory.com. 28 August 2009. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
- "USS Colquitt (AK-174)". Navsource.org. 15 May 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
- "Kukui, 1946" (PDF). US Coast Guard. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Colquitt (AK-174).|
- Photo gallery of Colquitt (AK-174) at NavSource Naval History