It would seem a pretty logical addition to a WWII battle group to have one of more tugs for the capital ships (heck, any ship), yet I don't see much evidence of that. Let me elaborate.
I was an Army officer for support company. If I recall correctly (it was a LONG time ago), we had several wreckers whose jobs was to retrieve tanks or other vehicles that had been disabled. A couple were fully armored and capable of towing the heavy tanks of the day (M60A3 and M1, just introduced) under fire if necessary.
I have been reading about several incidents in WWII involving US capital ships: Yorktown, Hornet, and Chicago. They were crippled and trying to make it to safer waters. Of the ships, only the Chicago was ever towed by a tugboat (the equivalent of my wrecker) and not at first. Without a tugboat, ships like the Yorktown could only be towed at 3-5 knots, but I hear of Navajo class tugs with speeds better than 15 knots. Under load I haven't been able to find a source but I would think it much better than 3-5 knots.
Considering how important capital ships were, especially carriers like Hornet and Yorktown, why wasn't there a tug or two handy in the event they became disabled? Seems like in the case of Yorktown especially, speedy evacuation could have saved her. In addition, using a tug would mean freeing another ship to continue the fight. Why weren't there tugs available at Midway, Santa Cruz or other confrontations where they might have been able to quickly take other ships to safer waters? TIA