Studies in the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, have demonstrated that a substantial fraction of double-strand break repair following acute radiation exposure involves homologous recombination between repetitive genomic elements. We have previously described an assay in S. cerevisiae that allows us to model how repair of multiple breaks leads to the formation of chromosomal translocations by single-strand annealing (SSA) and found that Rad59, a paralog of the single-stranded DNA annealing protein Rad52, is critically important in this process. We have constructed several rad59 missense alleles to study its function more closely. Characterization of these mutants revealed proportional defects in both translocation formation and spontaneous direct-repeat recombination, which is also thought to occur by SSA. Combining the rad59 missense alleles with a null allele of RAD1, which encodes a subunit of a nuclease required for the removal of non-homologous tails from annealed intermediates, substantially suppressed the low frequency of translocations observed in rad1-null single mutants. These data suggest that at least one role of Rad59 in translocation formation by SSA is supporting the machinery required for cleavage of non-homologous tails.