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This batch of photos is from 1958 from Steve, who has shared photos for at least 17 posts, and maybe more. I’m grateful Steve provides the captioning, because I was in second grade at the time.  Steve explains:  “I was just over 10 years old, and although being brought up on the water on my grandfather’s old 40’ cabin cruiser, I had never been on a tugboat—yet. When I came home from school at lunchtime, my mother told me to come home from school quickly at the end of the day so that I could get my homework done . . . because my aunt was picking me and my father up  to meet my uncle, Capt. Bob Munoz, on his tugboat to do a special job.”  More of that narrative follows at the end of this post.

Below, from that day, with Steve’s comments in quotes: “Diana L Moran alongside USS Franklin D. Roosevelt …”

I gather from records that the 1945-launched carrier had just completed a refit and overhaul at the time.   Diane L was Jakobson built and two years old at this time. If you’re not familiar with the sixth boro, that’s the Williamsburg Bridge and in the distance to the north, the Empire State Building.

Dalzellera pulling USS FDR-CV42-with assistance from Catherine Moran and Dalzellaird.”

This Catherine Moran, built in 1939, was mentioned in relation to Erie Canal work here, and may still be working as Sherry D in Napa CA.

Dalzellera pulling with assistance from Catherine Moran, Dalzellaird, and Fred B Dalzell.”

“Taken from the stern of Dalzellera alongside USS FDR.”

“USS Enterprise  (CV-6) at  Brooklyn Navy Yard.”

She participated in more major battles in WW2 than any other USN vessel.    Efforts by NYS to purchase and turn her into a memorial were unsuccessful.  Soon after Steve took these photos, she was sold for scrap, done subsequently at Kearny NJ.

“USS Independence (CV-62) at Brooklyn under construction.”

For this carrier as I saw her in 2010 in Bremerton WA, go to the end of this post.  In March 2017, she was towed out of Bremerton, 16000 miles around Cape Horn to be scrapped in Texas, which was completed in early 2019.  Anyone know who did this tow?

Barbara Moran in East River, heading east.”

This was the 1949, not the 1948, boat by that name.

Steve gave me a long version of his account of the day, but I’ve taken liberty to abridge it.  “Uncle Bob greeted us as we boarded the Dalzell Towing Company’s Dalzellera, flagship of the Dalzell fleet and converted from steam to diesel only 5 years earlier, was previously the Jersey Central RR steam tug Bethlehem. Dalzellera had a 1750hp diesel engine, a surplus WW II submarine engine coupled to a new unique drive system for NY harbor–a controllable pitch propeller.   When Dalzell was purchased by McAllister in 1965, she was renamed D. E. McAllister.

But that day our special job happened to be at the New York Naval Shipyard, Brooklyn Navy Yard, helping move the aircraft carrier USS FDR from its slip into the East River,  downriver,  and then  into the graving dock. It was a dead ship,  968’ long, 45,000 tons, in port for overhaul and repairs. The time for this move was selected to take advantage of the slack water in the early evening.  Dalzell had the contract with the US Navy to move the ship, but did not have enough of its own tugs available to do the job alone. Hence,  tugs from McAllister, Bronx Towing, Red Star, and Moran were also involved, for a total of 13 tugs.

Uncle Bob was the mate on the Dalzellera, but for this job he was one of several pilots assigned to control and monitor the movement of the ship and the tugs assisting the carrier. He was stationed up on the port bow on the flight deck.

Having the ship on a hawser allowed a unique vantage point as seen in the pictures.  And, it was uneventful. I was on the port side of the main deck with everyone else away from the after deck, just in case the line snapped. Then it happened. BANG!  I watched the line part and jump up toward the carrier’s bow. No one was on the after deck, so no one was hurt, no damage done.  Another line was lowered and the towing continued like nothing ever happened. As we got closer to the dock, Carol Moran got too close to one of FDR‘s overhangs on the port side and destroyed her mast, which fell onto her deck. Shortly afterwards the tug was relieved to allow it to head back to the yard before dark, since her mast lights were out.

Dalzellera was relieved of hawser duty just before the ship’s bow entered the graving dock and helped continue the push into the dock while the yard personnel started getting lines up to the ship to guide it into position. It was dusk when the task was finished. We picked up Bob at the end of the pier and headed back to our base.  After this day I was hooked on tugs.”

Thanks much, Steve.  As with the Enterprise, efforts by NYS to purchase USS FDR and turn her into a memorial were unsuccessful, and she was scrapped in Kearny NJ in 1978. Some photos of that last trip to the scrapyard can be found here.

For more tugboats of this decade, click here.

Finally, here’s USS Independence as I saw her in 2010 in Bremerton WA.


Here’s a link to the series.

Click anywhere on the photo below to see its provenance.  My question is .  . where and when was this photo taken?


Here’s a closer up of the top portion of the photo.  And if you haven’t clicked on the photo above, I’ll tell you the source is a fine book by Captain Bill Eggert called Gentlemen of the Harbor.


The image below comes from  an archived issue of Moran’s Towline magazine.  You have another chance to guess the date.  A difference here is that the photos above show the Class B boats and the one below the first two finishers of the Class A boats in this race.


And here is the answer.  Evidence of the location of this race is in this link, where you see vintage photos of the Edgewater Ford plant, which closed in 1955 and was demolished in the late 1980s.   Click here for some unusual Ford trucks built in Edgewater and used during WW2.

Back to the International Maritime Races,  click here for info on the winner Socony 11, who came back to race 54 years later!!  Photo at the end of this post.   For career info and photos of Carol Moran, click here.


Excuse the redundancy in the image below, also from the October 1953 issue of Towline.


Here’s a 9/13/1953 Brooklyn Eagle p. 22 version of the race.


Going back to the top photo, YTB-499 is still in USCG documentation, now as Marine Retriever, operating out of Coos Bay, OR.  C. Stewart Lee, originally built for the Navy as YT-134, is likely scrapped.  New York Central No. 25, disposition unknown,was built in Newburgh in 1908. Maybe someone else can add some info on what looks like Dauntless No. 2 and the boat beyond it.    And the two spectator boats?  I presume the larger one is a Circle Line vessel.

I hope I’m right about Dorothy Elizabeth being the reincarnation of Socony 11.   Unfortunately, in the photo from 2007, she was not far from the scrapper’s jaws. Click here (and scroll) to see how the same boat appeared in the movie Carlito’s Way.


taken by Will Van Dorp, September 2, 2007

Check out Eggert’s Gentlemen of the Harbor.


Last May I traveled willingly into around a corner in time . . . enjoyed it, and posted the “fifth dimension” series that ended with this post.    So I toying with the idea of strolling into another.  Sadly, about all I know about these photos –other than that they show the sixth boro as it was more than half century ago–is the dates and some names.  I hope someone can add some information.

NYPD, 1949.  Launch is named for Patrolman/Boatswain’s Mate 2nd class Robert Steinberg, who died in March 1945 while serving in the Navy.


1951 departing (for where?) troopship City of Keansburg.  Tug is unidentified.


1952.  Lehigh Valley Victor.  Notice the Woolworth Building near the left margin of the photo and the Singer Building –demolished 1968– near the center.  Is Victor considered a tug?


July 1952 . . . Carol Moran and two other tugs, near Haverstraw.


1953.  East River  . .  . tugboat is Manhattan, floating property of the Department of Docks but I’ve found nothing else.  The building partially shown along the left is 70 Pine–I think, and the building in the center of the photo is 120 Wall.


Photo taken by Allen Baker in April 2014 . . . last week . . . of a USS Slater,  launched and patrolling the oceans before the photos in this post were taken.  Obviously, I’d love to know more about all these vessels.


All these photos can be found in the NYC Municipal Collections.

Oh . .  if you recognize the “corner in time”reference in the first line . . . here’s the music, one of my all time favorites.

Click here to see what google delivers in response to the search term “twinkle express.”  Well, believe it or not, a serious crew works

on board the product tanker by that name.  But can you imagine working on a vessel by that name?  Sorry, I just can’t.  But here’s its schedule and its fotos.

Who comes up with these names?  And I wonder what gets “expressed” into the port as “twinkle.”  What if it were delayed?  Would there be VHF transmissions for bowsprite to eavesdrop on as follows:  “Twinkle Express, Twinkle Express, this is Warehouse 7.  Do you copy?  All bins are empty.  Do you hear the echo?   We need twinkle ASAP.  Repeat . . . twinkle ASAP, shortage is dire!  Without your delivery, eyes will appear dimmer.  So will the sky.  We need you, Twinkle Express.  Do you copy?”    And Bowsprite would wonder if she were sleep-deprived after hearing that transmission.

On a different note, if you recall some name abridging I followed last spring with Seoul Express,  I guess this orange vessel then would be TEX.  TEX or Twinkle . . . what should the vessel be called?

Unrelated:  Name the tall ship in the foto below  taken in mid-October 1972 at South Street Seaport.  The tall ship was arriving here from a European port of call.  Answer tomorrow.  By the way, the tug is Carol Moran.  Carol Moran was reefed in the late 1980s;  the tall ship is still afloat.  What is the tall ship’s name?

Last foto by Steve Lang.  All others by Will Van Dorp.

And the answer is . . . “Can’t stump me on this one either.  I witnessed this from Fort Wadsworth . . . the final departure from New York of  Queen Mary September 22, 1967.”  Harold . .  you win again.  Here’s a link to roughly corroborating evidence from videoal’s flickr stream. And  Another.. .  although in both these videoal give September 16 as the date.  ?    Like Harold, though, I come up with September 22, 1967 from this article.

This “tugster teaser”  calls attention to my selective vision of sixth boro traffic:  over half dozen cruise ships traverse the harbor weekly, but I had to go back to early summer for the most recent cruise ship foto I’d taken.  Norwegian Hussy, I think this vessel is called, given the meretricious lips on this vessel.  If I’d waited a split-second longer, the building onthe ridge would give a more convincing sense of being an oversize stack for Bart to wax eloquent about.


Don’t misunderstand . . . I like Norwegians.  And full disclosure, my only “passenger vessel” trips have been the length of the Red Sea and across a portion of the Med on what I chose as a cheap and scenic alternative to flying,  aboard Al-Makkah and another vessel whose name–egad!  I’ve forgotten.  I enjoyed seeing the sharks and flying fish.

Thanks to Dave Boone for use of this foto, which identifies as October 1957, with tugs Turecamo Girls, Newport, Carol Moran, and Diana L. Moran.  I’m wondering about the blimp.  In 1957 the Navy was experimenting with airships.   Might this event be honoring Snowbird‘s record-breaking flight, or is the blimp there to help fete some other honoree not depicted?  Anyone hazard a guess?

By the way, the current Turecamo Girls was launched in 1965.  Carol Moran was reefed off New Jersey in 1990.  Diana was scrapped in 2006.


I hadn’t intended this as the next Tugster Teaser, but I would like to know the event.  Airships, yeah, we see them . . . like here framed between the fins of the flying fish on Pier 66

aaastt1in summer over the harbor;  in fact, the one below I posted back in December 2006.  One of my favorites, I had taken it on an especially hazy summer day that summer.


I might not know what I’m choosing, but I’d love a long voyage in an airship.  Here are images of Hindenburg interiors.   Here are many more images:  scroll through to see my favorite is the bedroom called “deluxe cabin.” Might I get “re-honeymooned”  just for a spot for a voyage in this cabin!!  Wait . .  I never had a first honeymoon.

Maybe post-cheap-oil, we’ll return to this technology??

By the way, if you’re interested in seeing fotos of the final departure of another legend, check out “Surfing QE2’s Wake . . .”

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