From: Dictionary of American Fighting Ships

USS Hidatsa (ATF-102)/ ARC Rodrigo de Bastidas (RM-74)

Hidatsa: An Indian group of the Sioux Tribe of North Dakota, now living on the Fort Berthold Reservation.

(AT - 102: dp. 1,240; l. 205'; b. 38'6"; dr. 15'4"; s. 16 k.; cpl. 85; a. 1 3", 2 40mm.; cl. Cherokee)

Hidatsa (AT-102) was launched 29 December 1943 by the Charleston Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Charleston, S.C.; sponsored by Mrs. Dorothy S. White; and commissioned 25 April 1944, Lt. Carroll F. Johnson in command. She was reclassified ATF-102 15 May 1944. After shakedown in Chesapeake Bay, Hidatsa departed Norfolk 3 June 1944 with two floating destroyer workshops in tow and reached Manus Island, Admiralties, via the Panama Canal, Bora Bora, and Espiritu Santo 4 September. On 20 September Hidatsa towed two pontoon barges to Morotai to be used in docks assembled on that newly taken island. Next she towed seven more barges to Mios Woendi. Then as the long Pacific campaign moved steadily northward, the fleet tug departed Mios Woendi 13 October with a gasoline barge, a crane barge, and a PT drydock in tow, for use in the invasion of the Philippine Islands. As Hidatsa reached Leyte Gulf, scene of the initial landings, 25 October she could observe gun flashes from the Battle of Surigao Straits, part of Japan's desperate attempt to deny America the Philippines. But for brief voyages to Manus and Hollandia, Hidatsa remained at Leyte on fire fighting, towing and salvage assignments until 3 January 1945. That day she sailed to participate in the initial landings at Lingayen Gulf where she remained 9-18 January during the vicious Japanese kamikaze attacks.

Hidatsa next participated in landings at Zambales and Grande Island, where she was active in salvage and towing work. On the morning of 17 February, while returning from the initial assault landings at Corregidor, the tug struck a mine in Mariveles Harbor killing 8 of her crew and injuring another 12. Towed to Subic Bay 18 February, Hidatsa remained there for repairs and trials until she sailed 2 August 1945 for Manus Island, where she received the welcome news of Japan's surrender. Although the war was over, there was much work to be done, and the fleet tug remained in the Philippines for salvage operations until 7 April 1946.

Reaching San Pedro, Calif., via Eniwetok and Pearl Harbor, 13 June, Hidatsa engaged in training operations. She returned to the Pacific in 1947 for salvage and towing operations, primarily at Eniwetok and Kwajalein. Hidatsa departed Mare Island for Alaska 28 August 1947 and spent most of the next 2 months operating in the northern waters. Operations along the California coast, with a February 1948 cruise to Pearl Harbor, occupied Hidatsa until she decommissioned and went into reserve at Long Beach, Calif., 5 May 1948.

In 1962 Hidatsa was transferred to the Maritime Commission, National Defense Reserve Fleet at Suisun Bay California, where she remains.

Hidatsa earned two battle stars for her service in World War II.