T/V KINGS POINTER'S Original Appearance


The T/V KINGS POINTER was built at the Gulfport Boiler and Welding Works at Port Arthur Texas. Her keel was laid on November 27, 1943. Originally, she was designated as a rescue tug and given a wartime name of ATR 126. After six months of construction, it was decided to reclassify the vessel as an "auxiliary ocean tug" and her "name" changed to ATA-199.

With her crew of 41 enlisted personnel and 5 officers, the ATA-199 proved to be a stalwart workhorse for the remainder of the war years. She spent most of these years in the Pacific theater engaged in long and dangerous tows.

Her most famous tow was of the Destroyer USS HADLEY which was engaged in action in the spring of 1945 off of the Okinawa group of islands. ATA-199 was standing ready in the battle to assist damaged vessels. After a fierce battle ensued, the USS HADLEY was crippled and would have been completely abandoned were it not for the gallant efforts of the ATA-199.

ATA-199 not only towed her clear of the battle, but over the next few months, she towed the USS HADLEY over 7000 miles across the Pacific. The journey carried the vessels through dangerous enemy waters and through fierce typhoons. Despite the challenges, the USS HADLEY was towed safely to San Fancisco. This tow has been called "one of the most difficult towing assignments in maritime history."

When peace finally came to the Pacific, the ATA-199 was renamed the UNDAUNTED because of her heroic wartime performance. She was transferred to the custody of the Maritime Administration in 1948, but she remained on the Navy list until January, 1963.

In 1963, the UNDAUNTED began a new career with the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries (part of the present day NOAA) as a research vessel based out of Miami, Florida. Over the next several years, UNDAUNTED wandered the world's oceans engaged in studying the habits and migrations of fish. At the end of the decade, Commercial Fisheries leased the vessel to Cape Fear Technical Institute as a research/training vessel.

On September 21st 1971, the M/V UNDAUNTED began yet another distinguished career when she was transferred to the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York. She was rechristened the T/V KINGS POINTER and was given the assignment of helping to train future mariners by acting as a floating laboratory for seamanship, navigation, and ship handling classes.


In an effort to improve the overall capability and quality of the vessel, efforts were begun in 1980 to fully certify the vessel according to U.S. Coast Guard and American Bureau of Shipping regulations. The project required substantial work to upgrade the vessel to inspection standards. This work was completed in the Spring of 1983.

Since 1983, the T/V KINGS POINTER has been maintained as a certified training ship holding a U.S. Coast Certificate of Inspection. This certification entitles midshipmen to use time aboard the vessel and to apply it toward required sea time for their third mate or third assistant engineer's license.


The Department of Waterfront Activities was created in 1985 to coordinate all waterfront programs at the Academy into one department. With this change, the T/V KINGS POINTER joined the Department and became the flagship of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Sailing, Power, and Crew Squadron.

Back to The City of Midland 41 Pictorial History.

Courtesy of Thom Hawley, Lake Michigan Carferry.