Nov 122013

Some pictures from the Anchor Dedication at Quapaw Museum, Quapaw Oklahoma. 7 November 2013.

Click images for larger views.

Jan 282013

Hey Shipmates,
Been a while since I contacted you so thought I would share the first online version of the Association News Letter with you.  Also, for those of you that may not have heard, the Quapaw sank at the pier in Richmond, CA late last year.  She was refloated and has since been turned over to a salvage yard and dismantled.  There are many pictures in the newsletter showing the work to get her afloat one last time as well as her and the Moctobi in dry dock being dismantled.

The ship lives on though.  You will find an article o the USS Hoga, a WWII tug that will be turned into a museum, she received a Water Tight hatch from the Quapaw.  I remember how hard it was in the 80’s to get parts for those doors and hatches.  I did some trading with the New Jersey for a few parts then just began manufaturing my own from newer parts that did not fit properly.  The Hoga was a good recipient for transplant as her crew used the Hoga to help my Dad and Uncle along with the rest of the USS Nevada crew on 7 December 1941.  The association was also able to secure the bow anchor from the ship.  The anchor with a shot of chain was delivered to the Quapaw Tribe Museum in Quapaw, OK. where it will be displayed in the courtyard in front of their museum.  There should be a dedication ceremony later this year.

The association currently has 85 paying members, 57 for 2013 and 28 from 2012.  We have maintained our dues at $10 per year, that is enough to cover newsletter publication and mailings as well as our donation to the Tug Museum in the name of deceased members.  The association has also been able to place a plaque at the Navy Memorial Foundation in memory of the Quapaw and will be having a brick placed at a WWII memorial in memory of the ship.  The majority of our members are WWII and Korean War era shipmates.  In the last year we have lost half a dozen members as they passed over the bar.  There are only a couple of us from the Decom years of the ship that are active but I would love to see more of us in the association.  I doubt it will be too long and we will be needing new Officers (younger) to maintain the association as our older members need to step down or pass on.

Please consider joining us as members and we will be able to carry the memories of the USS Quapaw for many years to come.  I haven’t made a reunion yet (darned having to work to pay the bills) but I do hope to make the dedication of the anchor this year.  I will try to let you know when it will be done, maybe some of you can make it out as well and we can get together again.

Drop me a line, I would love to hear from you all.

pdfQuapaw Association Newsletter

Oct 252012

Just received this photo via Freda:

USS Quapaw - photo taken at Cam Ranh Bay in April 1969

USS Quapaw – photo taken at Cam Ranh Bay in April 1969

Gary wrote:

This snapshot was taken at Cam Ranh Bay in April 1969.  At that time, I was a BM3 aboard USS Albatross MSC 289. Albatross had just  completed a Market Time patrol and made a brief stop as we steamed north to  our home port of Sasebo, Japan. I remember being impressed enough with her  size to snap the photo. I thought you and members of the Quapaw  Association might enjoy seeing it. Best wishes.

Gary  Whitcutt
Camano Island, WA

 Posted by at 11:28
Apr 182012

All hands,
I just received these notes regarding USS Quapaw’s involvement in Operation Frequent Wind:

Hi: Thanks for your email. I have forwarded this email on to Hugh Doyle.
Yes, I can confirm that your ship was in Operation Frequent Wind 29 & 30 April 1975 but was involved with the rescue of the Vietnam Navy and about 30,000 refugees 1-7 May 1975

Paul H. Jacobs
Captain USN Retired
CO USS KIRK1087 {74-76}

 I read the Captain’s note to you (above) and I think he omitted one word.  USS QUAPAW was most certainly a part of the 50+ fleet of ships gathered for Operation Frequent Wind, but your good ship QUAPAW was not one of the ships that escorted the remnants of the Vietnamese Navy from Con Son Island to Subic Bay.  The ships were KIRK (with CDS-23 embarked), COOK, TUSCALOOSA, ABNAKI, DELIVER, and LIPAN.  In addition, we received logistic support from time to time during the transit from a number of ships, such as MOBILE, FLINT, and a couple others.

A few years back, we had to pester the Navy to review their own records (and correct them) so that KIRK would be recognized as one of the Frequent Wind units.  It took them a while, but we were finally successful (Captain Jacobs was the key “mover and shaker” in untangling that administrative and bureaucratic mess.)  As a result of that effort, our KIRK Frequent Wind shipmates were finally recognized and authorized the award of the “Vietnam Service Medal.”  You might want to have someone in your USS QUAPAW Association double check with the Navy’s “Awards Manual” (it’s online) and confirm that your good ship is on the list as a part of that large force back in 1975.  And if you need some help rattling the Navy’s cage, please let us know and we’ll give you our “lessons learned” when we had to do it.

Hugh Doyle
Vice President, Secretary, Historian (and Jack of the Dust!)
USS KIRK (DE/FF-1087) Association

What I find interesting is the strong rescue/salvage support in the immediate group mentioned above:
USS Lipan ATF-85
USS Abnaki ATF-96
USS Deliver ARS-23

Bravo Zulu to all involved in Operation Frequent Wind.

And many thanks to Paul Jacobs and Hugh Doyle for the information!

Thor Hansen BM 2/c


 Posted by at 06:05
Mar 162012

I received this e-mail:


Yes the tug that sank at Richmond, Calif. She is now back up. Still looks proud.

She is now owned by the City of Richmond, Richmond Harbor as the old owners from Turkey walked away. The Harbor-master Michael Williams said both Quapaw and Moctobi are going to be scrapped. He can be reached at

I wanted one or both to make static displays out of, putting one in Mare Island, and one maybe in SF. The Harbor will not let them go, they want the scrap money.

How can we force the City Harbor to stop the scrap plans of such historic vessels? Some kind of injunction or law suit, a *cease and desist* order or request to halt activity? I don’t know law, I was a CM.

This must be stopped, this is an outrage to destroy such historic items. I love these ships and would like to find a way.

Kindest regards,


Any ideas shipmates?

 Posted by at 17:45
Mar 152012

I received the following e-mail regarding “Operation Frequent Wind” and “The Lucky Few”:

Dear USS Navy veterans,

As your ship was involved in “Operation Frequent Wind” in 1975, I wanted to let you know of an event taking place on April 21, 2012, at the Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove, California.  It’s called “Vietnamese Americans, The Lucky Few”, and it will pay tribute to the US and Vietnamese Navy personnel who were a part of the fleet of Navy ships during “Operation Frequent Wind” in 1975, saving the lives of two hundred thousands of Vietnamese refugees.

This event expands upon the
success of a 2011 event which included a screening of the Navy documentary, “The Lucky Few”.

Amongst the speakers will be Vice Admiral Adam M. Robinson, Jr. (Ret) (36th Surgeon General of the Navy), Capt. Paul Jacobs (Ret) (USS Kirk, DE/FF 1087), along with entertainment (see flyer).

Please forward this information to your shipmates who may be interested.

We are looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Best Regards,

Sharon Nicholas


 Posted by at 16:54
Feb 062012

The latest on the Quapaw from Al Anderson:

The ship has been refloated and all the holes in the hull have been plugged. The Richmond California Port Authority (Which now owns the ship) has issued this statement:

The ships (Quapaw and Moctobi) will be slated for immediate destruction by the awarded contractor.

This is all the information we have. We do not know when, where, or by whom the Quapaw will be dismantled. We will keep you posted on any changes as we become aware of them.

Quapaw Afloat

Quapaw Afloat



 Posted by at 05:42
Dec 132011

To the former crew of the USS Quapaw,
I am a United States Coast Guard Chief currently tasked to remove all of the oil and hazardous materials from the USS Quapaw after she sank 11DEC11 at the old shipyard in the Port of Richmond, California. I have attached a few photos of the vessel as she currently sits firmly grounded inside the dry dock. As the situation develops I will send more photos to you if you would like.
Chief Kyle Chapman
United States Coast Guard

 Posted by at 08:32
Dec 122011

Dear Webmaster,

… From what I have been able to determine, the tug that sank at Richmond, Calif., today (12-12-11) that is called “Tiger” is the Quapaw. It began sinking this morning, after springing a leak, and apparently now is under water. U.S. Coast Guard and a cleanup company are working to contain the oil and other fluids. It was described as being cleaned in richmond before being taken to a salvage yard where it would be broken up and recycled. From what I’ve heard, it will be pulled from the bottom of San pablo Bay and demolished. At this time, that’s all I know.

Thanks for any help you can give. I got its history from your site and others.

Yours truly,
Donna Beth Weilenman
Staff reporter

Benicia Herald

 Posted by at 04:09
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