WYT / WYTM-60
An Algonquian Indian term applied to any object of reverence, meaning “spirit.”
Builder: Coast Guard Yard, Curtis Bay, Maryland
Beam: 26' 5"
Draft: 11' 6"
Displacement: 328 tons
Commissioned: 15 February 1943
Decommissioned: 19 November 1980
Machinery: 1 electric motor driven by 2 Elliot Electric Company generators driven by 2 Ingersoll Rand 8-cylinder diesel engines; 1,000 SHP; single propeller
Performance & Endurance:
Max: 12.7 knots (1945)
Cruising: 10.0 knots; 2,000 mile range
Complement: 16 (1945); 20 (1965)
Armament: 2 x 20mm/80 (1945); none after the war
Electronics: SO-8 radar (1945); SPN-11 (1963)
Fire-fighting Equipment: 2 fire monitors; 2 fire main tanners capable of pumping 1,500 gallons per minute; P-60, CO2 and foam fire extinguishers.
The Manitou was one of two 110-foot tugs built and launched by the Coast Guard Yard in 1942, the other being Kaw. They differed from the Arundel-class 110-foot tugs only in their machinery installation. The Arundel-class (and consequently the Kaw and Manitou) were a follow-on to the 110-foot Calumet-class tugs and were capable of breaking ice up to three feet thick. These tugs were officially referred to in the Coast Guard Description of Cutters document as a "Harbor Cutter." Manitou was commissioned on 15 February 1943 and was immediately assigned to CINCLANT (DESLANT). She was based at Boston, Massachusetts and saw considerable service on the Greenland Patrol. Her primary mission was to break ice to keep open the shipping channels to the many Allied bases on Greenland.
In March, 1945, she was transferred to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was assigned to law enforcement, port security, search and rescue, fire-fighting and light icebreaking duties. These included outer harbor and anchorage patrols, customs boardings, transportation, vessel boarding and motorboat inspection, waterside surveillance, quarantine boarding, providing support for local Coast Guard commands, and towing assistance. She transferred to New York, New York in 1949, where she remained for the rest of her Coast Guard career. Here she also aided the City of New York and State of New Jersey agencies with "waste and sludge disposal." On 24 May 1957 she assisted a sightseeing boat that was aground off the Statue of Liberty. On 8 July 1966 she helped fight a fire at the Hess Oil Plant at Perth Amboy, New Jersey. On 7 September 1966 she helped fight a fire on the German liner Hanseatic in New York.
In June of 1972 the tankers Sea Witch and Esso Brussels collided in New York Harbor and subsequently caught fire. The Manitou responded with rescue and fire-fighting equipment. In October, 1972 she helped fight a fire when the barge Ocean 80 exploded at the GATX Terminal in Arthur Kill, New Jersey. In March and April of 1978 she broke ice on the Kennebec River. During the famous New York sanitation workers' strike in May of 1979, Manitou "came to the rescue." For 88 days she assisted in towing garbage scows from Manhattan's Gansevoort Street Marine-Transfer site to Fresh Kill. On 12 February 1980 she helped fight a fire on board the tank-cleaning vessel Peter Frank one mile east of the Bayonne Bridge. On 1 September 1980 she assisted the disabled dredge Hyde near Rockaway Inlet after the dredge beached during high tide. When Hyde hit, a large hole was made in the center channel of the dredge, causing her to take on water. Manitou's crew spent long hours rigging pumps to keep the dredge afloat.
Manitou was decommissioned at a ceremony that took place on the afternoon of 19 November 1980 at Governors Island. At that time she was under the command of CWO Ronald W. Hunt.
American Campaign Ribbon
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Ribbon
World War II Victory Ribbon
Cutter History File. USCG Historian's Office, USCG HQ, Washington, D.C.
Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Washington, DC: USGPO.
Robert Scheina. U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft of World War II. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1982.
Robert Scheina. U.S. Coast Guard Cutters & Craft, 1946-1990. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1990.