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Thank you all for reading and commenting. Let me pass along some of what I’ve learned. Also, check out frogma’s latest.
Below, from Jeff S: “The passenger vessel with the lifeboat on deck is the famous New Bedford built at Bethlehem-Quincy in 1928. See hull # 1417. She was loaned to Britain in WW 2 and served as a hospital ship at Normandy landings.”
According to the link above, Op Neptune involved more than 6000 vessels. It’s interesting to imagine the fate of all those 6000. Here’s a Normandy crossing tug I wrote about in 2007. I wonder if any Brooklyn-built boats have remained in France? Jeff goes on to say, “Earlier in the war New Bedford participated in ”decoy” convoy RB-1. I think she has been at Wittes since about 1967. ”
Here’s another fabulous story: YOG-64 was delivered to the US Navy in May 1945, arrived in the Pacific just after the end of the “9th inning,” served in various capacities at Bikini Atoll during Operation Sandstone, judged decontaminated and decommissioned, spent two decades hauling fuel as M/T Francis Reinauer, and has rested here since the mid-1980’s. Anyone know of a foto of Francis Reinauer?
An as-yet unidentified tug whose upper portion of the house has now slumped back into eternal oblivion.
A very strange comment I got by email asked why I had sunk the red tugboat in yesterday’s post. I’m innocent. Nor did I have anything to do with with sinking.
A mile or so south of Witte’s yard is another graveyard aka tidal reef. Most prominent there is this ferry: Astoria, sister of Ferry Maj. General Wm. H. Hart, formerly docked at South Street Seaport. Here’s a foto of Astoria I took last summer.
Here frogma documents entropy.
Here’s a favorite quote from a Rebecca Solnit essay: “To erase decay …and ruin is to erase the understanding of the unfolding relation between all things. To imagine [creation and destruction] together is to see their kinship in the common ground of change, abrupt and gradual, beautiful and disastrous, to see the generative richness of ruins and the ruinous nature of all change. … Ruins stand as reminders. Memory is always incomplete, always imperfect, always falling into ruin; but the ruins themselves, like other traces, are treasures; our links to what came before. … A city without ruins or traces of age is like a mind without memories.”
Serendipitous during our paddle “north” was a glimpse of W. O. Decker headed “south.” We debated calling them but decided that we would cross paths if that was intended. By the way, if the identification of Ned Moran in Graveyard 1 is correct, then Decker and Ned Moran date from the same year! Maintenance IS everything.
On our return, we saw Decker waiting (haulout?) at the yard in Tottenville. Decker is older than Bloxom and Hila and fortunate to have staved off ruin, traces of aging, and entropy as well as it has. May she bob and pitch for many more years.
I wish I’d taken the profile of this vessel . . . . From this frontal shot, it looks a lot like Day Peckinpaugh. Jeff identified it as “canal tanker Michigan. Built by McDougal Duluth S B in 1921 as Interwaterways Line Incorporated 105, shortened to ILI-105 in 1935 before becoming Michigan. She carried caustic soda, vegetable oil , liquid sugar and such on the Erie and Welland canals. Twin screw.” For the record, Day-Peckinpaugh was ILI-101–the prototype–built in the same year. Thanks much, Jeff. See an image of ILI-105 in her prime here.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp.
Rossville itself has an interesting history spanning Raritan Indians, Ross Castle, Blazing Star tavern, and the Underground Railroad.