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Naval Theater is dedicated to the ships upon and under the waves, and the people who crewed them. A new piece of maritime history is posted every day at 11:00 AM EST.

ARA Alférez Sobral (A-9)

Salish, c1956. Photo in the collection of the National Fleet Tug Sailors Association.

Laid Down

USS ATA-187 was a Sotoyomo-class tugboat, laid down in August, 1944. Commissioned that December, she was assigned to the Pacific, and operated mainly between Guam, the Philippines, and Okinawa until the end of the War. ATA-187 shot down a Japanese bomber off Okinawa in May, earning her one Battle Star for the War. She supported the nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll in 1946, before transferring to New Orleans in November. ATA-187 was given the name Salish in 1948, and spent the next two decades in towing and cable laying operations in the Atlantic and Caribbean. She was damaged by Hurricane Ginny in 1963, but repaired, and remained in service for another nine years. The Argintines purchased the tug in 1972, and commissioned her as ARA Alférez Sobral (A-9). During the Falklands War, Sobral was attacked by helicopter-launched Sea Skua missiles on 3 May, 1982, and was heavily damaged, with eight crew killed and another eight wounded. She managed to limp back to port, and was repaired, placed back into service, and remained part of the Argentine Navy until decommissioned in 2018.