Navy Tugboat model
USS Sioux (AT-75) was a Navajo-class fleet
tug of the United States Navy that saw service
during World War II, and in the Korean and Vietnam
The ship was laid down on February 14, 1942 at
Mare Island Navy Yard in California and
commissioned on December 6, 1942.
During the periods November 1 to 15 December 1943
and 25 December 1943 to 4 February 1944, Sious
accompanied six reinforcement echelons to Cape
Torokina on Bougainville in the Solomons. In January
and February 1944, Sioux was active in support of
the Kavieng and Rabaul raids. She was an element of
the support unit for the ships engaged in the Battle
for Leyte Gulf in late October 1944 and for the 3rd
Fleet during the major portion of the following
Sious supported the Fast Carrier Task Force (Task
Force 58) during its air strikes on Japan in
mid-February 1945 and during the Iwo Jima assault
later in the month. From March into June, Sioux was
assigned to the Okinawa invasion support group; and,
in July, she again supported carrier strikes on the
Japanese homeland. On the afternoon of 14 May 1945,
while on station in the waters between Okinawa and
the Western Carolines, Sioux took her place beside
her big sisters in the battle fleet when her gunners
spotted a Kaiten, a Japanese two-man, suicide
submarine, and sank it with 40 millimeter gunfire.
Following the war's end, USS Sious did towing
duty in the Surigao Strait and between Leyte and
Okinawa. From January until September 1946, the tug
was in the Marshall Islands supporting "Operation
Crossroads", the atomic bomb tests conducted at
Bikini Atoll. On 2 December 1946, Sioux began
inactivation procedure at Terminal Island Naval
Shipyard, Long Beach, California. She reported to
the Commander, San Diego Group, Pacific Reserve
Fleet on 22 April 1947 and was decommissioned the
next day. She entered the Pacific Reserve Fleet and
was berthed at San Diego.
Sioux recommissioned at San Diego on 15 October
1952, Lt. T. B. Hurtt in command. She was assigned
to Service Squadron 1 at San Diego Naval Station.
From recommissioning until 1965, her deployments
were fairly evenly divided between the northern
Pacific and western Pacific, with non-deployment
periods taken up by routine operations along the
Pacific coast of the United States.
In 1954, Sioux participated in her second series
of nuclear tests in the Pacific and returned again
for the third series in 1956. Her deployment in 1958
was to the Aleutian Islands in the northern Pacific.
In 1959, she deployed both to the Far East and to
the northern Pacific, operating out of Adak, Alaska.
In December 1962, she returned to the western
Pacific, remaining until May 1963. Two months after
her return to San Diego, she underwent a three-month
overhaul; then resumed towing duties along the west
coast. On the second day of 1964, she deployed to
Adak again and remained until March, returning to
San Diego, via Seattle, on the 25th. She resumed
west coast operations and continued in that
employment throughout the remainder of 1964 and for
the first four months of 1965.
The tug's schedule of deployments changed after
1965 as a result of the escalation of the Vietnam
War. Her overseas movements, from that time forward,
were restricted to the western Pacific. On 10 May
1965, she departed San Diego for the Far East. While
there, she visited Da Nang, South Vietnam, in July
after towing YOG-196 there from Subic Bay; then, on
7 July, departed for a two-week tour of duty
performing surveillance in the South China Sea.
Sioux returned to operations out of Subic Bay until
10 September when she commenced another 18 days of
surveillance in the South China Sea.
For the next seven years, Sioux alternated
between deployments to WestPac and routine
operations out of San Diego. Between 1965 and 1972,
1969 was the only year during which she saw no
service in the western Pacific. During each of her
Far East tours, she entered the war zone around
Vietnam, visiting Da Nang several times, Cam Ranh
Bay at least once and other, less well known places
such as Qui Nhơn and Vũng Tàu.
On 4 March 1972, upon her return to San Diego
from her last WestPac cruise, Sioux commenced west
coast operations again. This employment lasted until
October when preparations were made for the transfer
of Sioux to the Turkish Navy on lease.
The transfer took place on 30 October 1972, and
Sioux was renamed Gazal (A-587). In August 1973,
Sioux was transferred back to the United States,
then retransferred, by sale, to Turkey. All of this,
including the striking of her name from the Navy
List, occurred on 15 August 1973.