Dominion is one of 61 Miki class tugboats originally commissioned by the United States Army during World War II. She was built by the Grays Harbor Shipbuilding Company of Aberdeen, WA in 1944.
Originally named LT-366, it was renamed to honor war-hero, PVT. Romeo LeClair, an Army WWII medic who saved many lives in the Rapido River Massacre in Italy.
Only three Miki class tugboats are known to be in existence today. She is powered by her original 45 ton Enterprise engine. A direct drive, turbocharged 32,000 cubic inch diesel. She is one of two with original power. Dominion is currently under restoration to become a maritime training platform.
As the Patricia Foss (1958-1980), it is believed that Dominion was the last working Miki, and the last surviving West Coast built Miki in the world. Only two other Miki's exists today of the original fleet of 61. Most historians consider Dominion the most original example of a Miki. This class of tugboat has been well documented in books, such as John Benthien’s ″The Forgotten Fleet of 61″. In that record, all Miki's were tracked through their unique journeys through history. They were locally designed, and most were locally built; attesting to the ingenuity and maritime legacy found in the Northwest.
The Patricia Foss worked along the Northwest Coast and in Alaska for the Foss Company and after many years of service was placed in stand-by until August 1976 when she was placed in lay-up. She was sold in 1980 and renamed Dominion by owner, Stan Langaker.
Owned by A. Murphy 1985-1992, Owned by Floyd J. Waite 1992-2007, Owned by Jeff Behren 2007-2014.
Current Owner Dave Clark, moved Dominion from Ballard to Bremerton Marina on July 8th 2014, where it currently is located.
Dominion’s history compliments her neighbor the Vietnam Era Navy destroyer Turner Joy at the Port of Bremerton. It is likely that the Dominion herself has towed or maneuvered war ships like the Turner Joy during her early years of service.
Today the Dominion serves as a mobile maritime museum and community development platform with an educational focus. This vessel in many ways acts as an ambassador, representing its home port and regional partners in festivals and events while being an example of safety and responsibility in the historic tug boat community.
The relevance of the Miki Class, and the provenance of Dominion specifically, quite possibly makes it one of the most unique vessels around. Dominion is a world-class example of a very large ocean going tugboat of wooden construction.