The Scoop Deck

Anchor honor: Former crew pays tribute to ship, and its namesake tribe, in Okla.

An anchor was presented to the Quapaw tribe earlier this month in a ceremony attended by 18 sailors who served on the ship of the same name. The fleet ocean tug earned battle stars during World War II, Korea and Vietnam. (Photo by Luke Anderson)

An anchor was presented to the Quapaw tribe earlier this month in Oklahoma in a ceremony attended by 18 sailors who served on the fleet ocean tug of the same name. The Quapaw earned Battle Stars during World War II, Korea and Vietnam. (Photo by Luke Anderson)

The Navy commissioned the fleet ocean tug Quapaw in 1944. The 205-foot ship served in the Pacific theater near the close of World War II, aided warships off Inchon during the Korean War and added to its collection of Battle Stars during Vietnam.

A Quapaw tribal elder receives items, including a commissioning pennant, from the former fleet ocean tug of the same name Nov. 7 in Quapaw, Okla. (Photo by Luke Anderson)

A Quapaw tribal elder receives items, including a commissioning pennant, from the former fleet ocean tug of the same name Nov. 7 in Quapaw, Okla. (Photo by Luke Anderson)

Decommissioned in 1985, it came to a less-than-glorious end, sinking at a Richmond, Calif., dock in 2011 and eventually being scrapped earlier this year.

But the USS Quapaw Association had one last chapter in mind. Members asked Allied Defense Recycling officials whether they would donate one of the tug’s bow anchors to the Quapaw Tribal Museum in Quapaw, Okla.

Earlier this month, 18 former Quapaw crew members joined with members from the Quapaw tribe (loose translation: “downstream people“) at the museum to dedicate that anchor, as well as a bronze plaque provided by the association.

“As a 17-year-old kid, I painted that anchor,” former crew member Orrin Tucker told FourStatesHomepage.com. “I don’t know how many times, but it’s a good job this time and it’s right where it belongs.”

While the sailors shared sea stories, the tribe members shared a sense of pride in the ship. The vets were given a tour of tribal facilities and a traditional dinner, and even got a write-up in the tribe’s newsletter.

Eighteen former crew members from the fleet ocean tug Quapaw attended a ceremony earlier this month where an anchor from the scrapped ship was presented to the Quapaw Tribal Museum in Oklahoma. Photo by Luke Anderson)

Eighteen former crew members from the fleet ocean tug Quapaw attended a ceremony earlier this month where an anchor from the scrapped ship was presented to the Quapaw Tribal Museum in Oklahoma. (Photo by Luke Anderson)

 

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Comments

  1. Harry Jaeger Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Thank you for the coverage. I wish everyone interested could have experience the joy of being there.