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Arthur Tickle Engineering Works (ATEW) is now gone, but other marine service businesses (MSBs) remain.  I’ve long thought to do a series of posts about the MSBs like Caddells, GMD, Bayonne Drydock, Hughes Marine . . . and many others. 

A while back, Steve Munoz sent these along, and it’s taken me a bit to figure out how to place these photos, but that’s it . . . MSBs, a series I’d love to do, and I can start it here.  Steve’s father worked at ATEW for many years and until it closed in 1987. 

I’ll use Steve’s captions with my annotations in [  ].  Below   … “is a picture of the ATEW, established in 1904. Photo shows the delivery wagon and probably Arthur Tickle himself at the front door.  He died in 1945.”  [I wonder what the letters on the side of the horse wagon says, some precursor to FedEx?]

“This is the ATEW building housing the machine shop probably in the 1920s.”  [Is that a Ford?]

“Ship’s rudder being repaired in one of the shops.”

“This poster was published in the Maritime Activity Reports on November 15, 1945 showing the number and types of ships converted, repaired and altered, including some specific names, during the war. All of these repairs were completed along the Brooklyn waterfront. One of the conversions was the former MV Carnarvon Castle, a Union-Castle Line ocean liner before the war, requisitioned by the Royal Navy for conversion to an armed merchant cruiser and then converted to a troopship by ATEW in 1944.” 

[I looked up USAHS Aleda E. Lutz, USS Pontiac, USAT Colombie, USAT Kota Inten, USAT Cape Canso, MV Marechal Joffre, USADS Blemheim, and USADS Lock Knot. Some of those links have photos.]

“The steel yawl named Steel Sylph was built by the various shops at ATEW for Arthur Tickle, Jr. in the 1940-50s. I assume that it was launched in Brooklyn as the bow of a ship can be seen in the picture at the launching, but does not appear to be at Pier 4 as the BQE is not seen in the background.”  [Steel Sylph is listed as placing in the Newport to Annapolis race in 1947.]

[This is a very formal looking photo of an unidentified gent.  That would be a fun one to colorize.]

Steel Sylph was designed by Philip Rhodes.

“During WWII, ATEW leased a number of piers from the New York Dock (NYD) Company in Brooklyn south of the Brooklyn Bridge to repair military and commercial ships supporting the war. After the war, the ship repair business slowed down, but ATEW continued to repair ships into the 1960s at pier 4 such as the SS Comet Victory seen in this photo. Pier 4 was demolished sometime after the year 2000.”  [I presume this photo was taken from the promenade.  It might be fun to go there today and reframe/redo the shot of the skyline from 120 Wall to just south of the Staten Island ferry terminal.  Can anyone identify the tall rectangular building directly behind 120 Wall and obscuring most of 70 Pine?  In the foreground, that space is now Brooklyn Bridge Park, as seen from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.]

“A bronze propeller was cleaned and repaired in the foundry shop and

returned to the SS American Aquarius, probably as a spare.”  [On the frame of the flatbed I read W. J. Casey, a trucking firm that still exists, although they’ve moved from Brooklyn Bergen Street to New Jersey.  Here‘s their site, which has some antique trucks from their past fleet. ]

“The SS Cape Catoche in the Hudson River on a hawser behind the tug Dalzelloch and the tug Fred B Dalzell alongside. The ship was going to/from the Jones Point reserve fleet in the 1950s. In the 1960s many ships were taken from the reserve fleet to Brooklyn where ATEW had the contract to prepare the ships for the Vietnam sealift. For one ship the capstans and winches were opened in the machine shop for USCG inspection and because the components were in such bad shape the whole ship failed inspection and was subsequently sold for scrap. This occurred with a number of the ships. ”  [Looking at the dates here, there may have been more than one SS Cape Catouche, although I’m not certain.  Clearly, this move was made in winter.]

“ATEW repaired the ship’s turbine and reinstalled it in the engine room on the SS Pomona Victory. My guess is that the ship was docked at Pier 4 Brooklyn as ATEW leased this pier for years from the NYDock Company. Note at least one Liberty ship docked in Manhattan across the East River having gun tubs and the ship having the turbine installed had a gun tub and life rafts indicating that this picture was taken during WW II or very shortly after since I do not see any guns.”  [This view of the Manhattan side south of the Brooklyn Bridge shows a very different place than is located there today.  Someone more familiar with that stretch of riverfront might enjoy identifying which buildings are still there;  I recognize the Woolworth Building directly below the suspended turbine, and 120 Wall and 70 Pine buildings to the left.  That opposite shore would be the area of South Street Seaport today;  I’d love to find a photo of that same area from the Manhattan side, maybe looking down Fulton Street.]

Many thanks to Steve Munoz for his comments and use of his photos. 

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.

 

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