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Mulberry might have all kinds of associations for you, but 

given the color and lines of this tugboat, it


refers not to the fruit or 

the children’s song. 

Mulberry was the code name for the artificial harbors created and transported to French beaches lacking harbor infrastructure to enable the landings at Normandy  70+ years ago.  If you’ve forgotten some of the details, what better day than today to refresh your memory here.   Corncobs, whales, gooseberries, and spuds were also involved, as in here. The first army ST by the name Mulberry, aka ST-488 and built in Brooklyn, is now a museum in LeHavre France. More on ST-488 can be found here.

This class of tugboats is named for significant US battles/operations.  For example, ST-911, three hulls earlier than Mulberry, and still in service, is called Enduring Freedom

Here’s video of ST-914 in service less than a decade ago. 

All photos, two days ago, WVD, who wonders why ST-914 was sold private although so new.  Mark Veterans Day today.

USAV LT-803, in the NYC tugboat races a few years back here, or one of that class, has also been sold into private hands.   See page 4 of the Marcon International summer 2021 newsletter,  here

Veterans of the uniformed, non-uniformed, and the clandestine services are everywhere.  Many prefer others not even suspect they served.  My hat’s off to you all.  Click here for “five facts to know” about the day.

Pondering what to post today, I came to these photos shared by an anonymous photographer from years ago, back when these ghost fleet ships, more here  and here, waited.  Unlike flesh and blood people, these vessels waited as if in quarantine, isolated here until they were returned to service or scrapped.  Veterans return and mostly blend back into the society from which they temporarily excluded themselves.


I never saw the ghost fleet on the Hudson, but being sequestered in rafts, these ships certainly caught attention of everyone who passed.

Thank a vet or vets today for their service.

Thanks to an anonymous photographer for having taken these photos.

My post from exactly a decade ago can be found here.

Thank you.  You know who you are.  Here was the first Veterans Day proclamation.

Not sure if USS Carter Hall (LSD-50) is in town for 11/11, but here’s the water side tribute.  Have any of the others of the Harpers Ferry-class visited NYC’s sixth boro?

Photo by Will Van Dorp, whose previous Veterans Day posts can be found here.

Why today?  It goes back to 1919, a century ago.  Here’s what the silence after the armistice sounded like and the bird songs were again audible.

If you want some veterans’ opinions, click here.

Thank a vet.  How many are there?  Answer follows.  But for me they are are a brother, a nephew, a cousin, some uncles, lots of friends and co-workers.  For you they might be the same or a sister, an aunt . . .  your boss.

Technically, this holiday has been around for 58 years;  before that, it was called  Armistice Day.

About the numbers . . . about 21 million, of which about 1.6 million are female.   Click here for more statistics.

But thanks for your service.  The sequence of fotos below I took a few years ago at the Staten Island Maritime Festival . . . at the salt pile.  I intend it with all respect:  the suit is a metaphor for military training, which transforms the trainee.

All fotos by Will Van Dorp. I took the top foto in Burlington, VT, but I could have taken it in eleven other locations.

Over 22 million . . . the number of living US veterans.  I salute you.

Having said that, I’m searching for former crew of this vessel, PC 1264, launched from a long-gone shipyard in the Bronx in November 1943.  Today this vessel, site of a social experiment, lies off

Staten Island, less than 15 miles from the old Consolidated Shipbuilding Company in the Bronx.  Today I’ve been reading Black Company: The Story of Subchaser 1264, published in 1972 by her first commanding officer,  Eric S. Purdon, later Commander.  Click here to read Purdon’s obituary.

A former crewman on PC-1264 was Samuel L. Gravely, Jr. , later Vice Admiral Gravely.

I took these fotos in August 2011.

Black Company tells a story largely forgotten and makes an interesting read.

The top foto comes from Purdon’s book and is used without permission.

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