Home      MULBERRY TUG LOGS

 MULBERRY TUG LOGS




EXTRACTS FROM THE ORIGINAL LOGS AND REPORTS OF TUGS INVOLVED IN THE MULBERRY HARBOUR OPERATION BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER D-DAY AND THE WEEKS FOLLOWING WHILST UNDER COTUG CONTROL.
 

THE ORIGINAL LOGS HAVE BEEN MADE AVAILABLE FOR COPYING AND INCLUSION ON THIS SITE BY SVITZER UK LTD. THE LOGS ARE COPYRIGHT TO SVITZER UK LTD AND MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED IN ANY FORM WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION.
 


BOARDING FORM



 
This is a copy of the boarding form questions that inspecting RN officers were expected to ask. It may help clarify some of the boarding forms shown below where the questions are not actually shown.

 

TUG LOGS

CLICK ON TUG NAMES TO VIEW LOGS


 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
TEMPORARY FILES
 
 
 
Not strictly connected with the Mulberry Harbour operations but illustrating the risks still being taken three months after D-day to get sufficient equipment to Europe to assist in the opening up and operation of ports like Cherbourg, Le Havre and Antwerp was the saga of :-
 
CONVOY NY 119
 
Convoy NY 119 departed from New York for the UK on 19-9-1944. The convoy comprised 14 steel railroad car floats, 12 wood cargo lighters [carried on the car floats], 12 large tugs, 15 small tugs intended for use only in sheltered waters, 1 Panamanian cargo vessel and two British net tenders. The escort comprised five USN destroyers, USS O’Toole, USS Bermingham, USS Edgar G Chase, USS Mason and USS John J Powers. The USN oiler USS Maumee also sailed with the convoy.
 
The make up of the tug part of the convoy was:-
 
LT581; LT63 towing ST676 and ST677; LT643 towing ST751 and ST750;  LT536 towing two car flats and ST748;  ABANAKI;  LT653 towing two car flats and ST747; LT537; LT784 towing two car flats and ST510;  LT651 towing two car flats and ST511;  LT580 towing two car flats and ST501;  LT538 towing two car flats and ST720; LT579; LT492 towing ST752, ST742, ST718 and ST719;
 
The convoy departed from New York on a dead calm sea but only managing a top speed of 4.5 knots. The tow of four ST tugs behind LT492 were yawing badly and on 26-9-1944 in 50 knot winds ST719 did not come back from a heavy starboard roll and was towed along on her starboard side and then commenced to sink. The crew of ST718 cut the line connecting with ST719 to avoid also being dragged under but the increased drag of ST719 had already stripped out all of LT492’s cable and disabled her towing winch. Meanwhile the twelve man crew of ST719 were all in the water with searchlights from the three drifting ST’s trained on them.  Most of them were eventually recovered by USS John J Powers and Abnaki but two men were lost. On the 28 September USS Maumee came alongside ST792, swung her towing winch on board, repaired it and then reinstalled it complete with new cable, allowing the tow to continue. From now on there was to be no let up in the bad weather or problems with the tows. At times it was necessary to transfer personnel to the car floats by rubber boat to repair towing bridles or pump out flooded compartments. It was also necessary to constantly supply the small tugs with five gallon cans of drinking water and food as none of them had useable water tanks or refrigerators. On 10-10-1944 one of the floats developed a heavy list and despite the best efforts of a salvage team had to be abandoned. However after expending a lot of 3inch ammunition the float still refused to sink completely and had to be left as a hazard to navigation. Another float in the same group also decided to sink and the ST also on tow broached in the trough of a large wave and rolled over throwing the crew into the water as she sank. USS John J Powers again came to the rescue, rolling violently to 55 degrees and discovering later eight broken frames and four longitudinals broken. Two of her crew went down scramble nets into the water but sadly only four of the twelve man crew were recovered. The wind was now at 90mph and on the 18 October  ST511 capsized with the loss of all but one of her crew and ST720 also sank. Only one of the tows was now intact with over 20 craft drifting around. A decision was now made by the convoy commander not to attempt to reconnect any tows and to order all craft that could to try and make their own way to sheltered waters. The first vessels, escorted by USS Mason, unable to use her radio because aerials had been carried away, began to arrive at Falmouth on the 18 October. LT492 arrived at Falmouth on 19-10-1944, a month after leaving New York, having traveled 3274 miles at an average speed of 4.26 knots. The journey had resulted in the loss of 19 crew, all ST crewmen, loss of ST719, ST720 and ST511, loss of eight steel car floats and five wooden lighters.  Delivered battered but still useable were six car floats and nine lighters.
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------