USS ''Ogala''

  • World War II
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

At first part of The State of Maine Steamship Company (1907) and The Eastern Steamship Company (until 1917), The SS ''Massachusetts” was sold to The US Navy in 1917 for Service in World War I. Re-christened USS ''Oglala” (after The Northern Great Plains Native American Tribe), she was refitted as a Coastal Mine Layer. “Oglala” was sent to The North Atlantic to lat such Mines against German U-Boats. She was credited with laying over 3,000 Sea Mines. After The War, “Oglala” served in Boston Harbor and was later deployed to Cuba. She would make history “towing” a captured German U-Boat to establish Air Combat (Torpedo) abilities for the next generation of Naval Dive Bombers.


Serving dual duty as a Seaplane Tender, “Oglala” was sent to The Pacific Fleet then stationed at San Diego, California. She too, would be redeployed to Pearl Harbor, Hawaiian Territory. She was an “Old Lady” at nearly 40 years old, when The Imperial Japanese Navy attacked The Fleet on December 7th 1941. Moored outboard of The Destroyer USS ''Helena”, she caught a Torpedo and was strafed repeatedly by Japanese Aircraft. Her Crew remained at their stations, trying to start her damaged pumps. “Oglala” would sink partially and roll over. Amazingly, none of her Crew were killed, and they would not leave their Ship until ordered too. She was eventually re-floated in 1942 after several failed attempts.


By 1944, USS ''Oglala” was refitted and reassigned as a floating Engine Repair Ship. She served throughout the remainder of The War in 1945. Mothballed at first back at Pearl Harbor, “Oglala” was transferred to The Pacific Fleet's Inactive Berths at San Diego. She was sold for scrap in 1946. She was one of the few Naval Service Repair Ships to bear on her Conning Tower - The Purple Heart, WWII Victory Medal and several other Service Awards.