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If you’re new on this blog, for the past 27 months I’ve been posting photos from exactly 10 years before.  These then are photos I took in June 2010.  What’s been interesting about this for me is that this shows how much harbor activities have changed in 10 years.

Tarpon, the 1974 tug that once worked for Morania and below carries the Penn Maritime livery,  is now a Kirby boat.     Tarpon, which may be “laid up”  or  inactive, pushes Potomac toward the Gate.

North River waits over by GMD shipyard with Sea Hawk, and now also a Kirby vessel.   Sea Hawk is a slightly younger twin, at least in externals and some internals, of Lincoln Sea.

Irish Sea, third in a row, was K-Sea but now is also a Kirby boat.

Huron Service went from Candies to Hornbeck to now Genesis Energy, and works as Genesis Victory.

Ocean King is the oldest in this post . . . built in 1950.  She’s in Boston, but I don’t know how active she is.

Petersburg dates from 1954, and currently serves as a live aboard.  Here’s she’s Block Island bound, passing what is now Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Kristin Poling was built in 1934 and worked the Great Lakes and the Eastern Seaboard via the Erie Canal.

To digress, William Lafferty took this photo on 15 May 1966 at Thorold, Ontario, in the Welland Canal, same boat 44 years later.

And finally, she who travels jobs up and down the East Coast, the 1970 Miss Gill.  She’s currently working in the Charleston area.

All photos, WVD, who never thought a decade ago while taking these photos that I’d revisit them while in the midst of a pandemic.  June 2010 was a great month for photos, so I’ll do a retro a and b.

Note:  Tomorrow I may slip my post time a little; you’ll understand, I hope, tomorrow.  Mentioning hope, check out this link to learn about, among other things, an iron cow!!  Hope, SS Hope, was born of USS Consolation, AH-15.

Anyone know the US first hospital ship?   When did USNS Comfort last call in the sixth boro?  Answers follow below.

I used the photo below just over five years ago in a post about Red Cross ships;  tanker SS Rose City became USNS Comfort in 1985.  Study the photo and compare it to the current iteration.

I’m thrilled Mercy has been activated in the west and Comfort will arrrive here, but only a very short time ago there was serious consideration to mothball and maybe scrap at least one of these vessels. Also, as positive as they are, what they are not is panaceas. Mechanical, electrical, and other bugs need to be sorted out on the ships.  Crews need to resolve dynamics;  after all, even two months ago all those crews were happily working elsewhere, and as USNS ships, they have hybrid civilian/military crews.

And the US first hospital ship, establishing a “makeover” tradition, began life in Cape Girardeau, MO in 1859 as a Mississippi River steamer.  The Confederacy transformed it into a barracks, the US army captured it, and she was made into a hospital ship. I believe she carried the name Red Rover throughout all three lives.   Nursing staff on USS Red Rover were members of the Sisters of the Holy Cross.

Click here for a ketch used to evacuate wounded going back to 1803.  What were we involved with 217 years ago?

USNS Comfort made her last call in NYC was in September 2001, and I honestly didn’t recall that.  Does anyone have photos to share from that deployment?

Finally, I’ve mentioned it before, but back in 1980 SS Rose City had a young crewman named John Moynihan, who wrote a noteworthy account of his hitch aboard the vessel.  It’s a great book in itself;  his father was a senator from New York.

Long ago and faraway, I boarded this hospital ship on a tributary of the Congo River;  that it operated there at all is a scintilla of evidence that even a dictator can do good things by his subjected peoples.  I’m unable to learn the disposition of this ship, SS Mama Yemo, but a little researching did lead me to understand that it was developed by a US doctor, William Close, whom I’d love to learn more about.

SS Rose City photo thanks to William Lafferty;  sentiments and filtering of info by WVD, who thanks you for keeping your distance.

Hats off to the folks dredging USNS Comfort‘s berth even as we read.

And finally, a request . . .  if you get photos of her arrival tomorrow, consider sharing them with this blog.

 

 

Many thanks to William Lafferty, who has things to teach me about research.  He sent along this Agfa black&white photo version of

this photo below that I put up a few days ago . . .  Here’s what he writes:  ” the mystery vessel at Milwaukee is the Leona B., built by and for the Advance Boiler and Tank Company (founded in 1919 and still with us, although located in West Allis now).  I believe Advance still owns the property on Jones Island where you saw it.  It was used for welding repairs at Milwaukee and nearby harbors.  The image shows it while still afloat and operating, a mere forty years ago.  I believe it was purchased to be converted to a tug to shuttle coal barges in Milwaukee harbor, but proved unsuitable for whatever reason for the conversion.  The firm bought the Hannah tug Mary Page Hannah (third of that name) and renamed it Leona B. for the coal shuttle.

When I research Jones Island, I learned of a new (to me) ethnic group who settled here as a fishing village:  Kashubians.  Here’s something of Kashubians from an extraordinary obituary for a son of the island . . .

In my fishing tug post the other day, here was a photo of Islander.  William writes:  “Attached is a photograph (Agfachrome!) I took of the Islander in 1992 at Sheboygan while it was still working.  It appears to have been ridden hard and put away wet quite a few times.  The Islander, launched 16 November 1936 and took off for Washington Island two days later where it fished for Albert Goodmander,  was a product of the Sturgeon Bay Boat Works, earlier called the Palmer Johnson yard.  It had a 45-bhp Kahlenberg (and maybe still does).”

Looking at Islander 1992 and 2017, it’s hard to imagine the type of sport luxury yachts they produce today (in the Netherlands!)

One could spend lots of hours looking at and for the siblings (like Bascobel, which saw its end of the graveyard featured in Graves of Arthur Kill in Rossville) of John Purves, product of the shipyard in Elizabeth NJ across from Howland Hook.  William writes:  “The regal John Purves thirty-eight years ago at the Bultema dock (now Andrie) at Muskegon.  It was named for Captain John Roen‘s right hand man, and every owner afterwards kept the name out of respect for Mr. Purves, a Sturgeon Bay boy.”  Here’s more on Roen.

Finally, once more . . . I’m looking for more images of the McAllister boat below.  ” M. L. Edwards  was built at Chicago in 1923 as a 60-foot steel steam-powered coastal freighter for upper Lake Michigan service, and served for McAllister for about forever. ”

Credit for photos as attributed.

Thanks a lot, William.

 

Sixth boro fifth dimension posts are about vintage NYC harbor shipping culture photos.  This very welcome photo I received from frequent commenter/researcher William Lafferty.  This should be an easy question for many of you:  where was this photo taken?

Here’s what William says about the photo above:  “You don’t see classic New York harbor steam tugs in color often.  I acquired this red border slide years ago.  It shows Carroll Towing tugs docked, I’m guessing, in Greenpoint, between 1950 and 1955, very late in their careers.  You should be able to identify the location.  From left to right we have J. F. Carroll, Jr.Sally CarrollRichard S. Carroll, and Anne Carroll.  The J. F. Carroll, Jr. was built at Baltimore in 1911 by Spedden Shipbuilding Company as the Neptune for the Curtis Bay Towing Company there.  The Army Engineering Department got it in 1915 and renamed it San Luis operating it in the New York District.  After World War II Carroll obtained it, and it lasted until 1958, probably ending its days at Witte’s. [Note:  Witte’s today is known as Donjon Recycling.] The Sally Carroll was built by John H. Dialogue at Camden in 1906 as the Haverstraw for the Cornell Steamboat Company but the Lehigh Valley Railroad bought it in 1907 and renamed it Aurora.  After a stint in World War I as a minesweeper and later towing tug for the navy, it was returned to LV in 1919.  Carroll got it in the early ’50s but it, too, disappears by 1960.  The Anne Carroll was another Lehigh Valley carfloat tug, built by the Staten Island Shipbuilding Company at Port Richmond in 1910 as the Auburn, and dismantled at Staten Island in 1960.

My particular interest is the wooden Richard S. Carroll, since it was built on the lakes.  It was launched as Active 4 January 1919 at the Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, yard of the Leathem & Smith Towing & Wrecking Company, one of a number of small yards on the Lakes and East Coast to built standardized 100-foot wooden tugs for the Emergency Fleet Corporation.  Powered by a double cylinder vertical compound steam engine built by Chicago’s Marine Iron Works, it operated for the United States Shipping Board in New York harbor until 1925 when transferred to the navy as USS Active  YT 112.  Decommissioned by the navy in June 1946, Carroll bought it 21 July 1947 and renamed it.  It was dismantled at Staten Island in 1956 and its final document surrendered at New York on 20 February 1957.”

Besides the location question, does anyone have additional photos of any of these Carroll tugs, particularly Richard S.?

Many thanks to William Lafferty for this photo and information.

A photo of Anne Carroll appears in this post about the 1952 Hudson River tugboat race.

Here are previous posts in the series.

The next two photos come from Tugbitts vol. 16-1 Winter/Spring 2005 issue, pages 12 and 13.  In the accompanying article, “From Flash Gordon to Handsome,” Capt. Harold Rudd describes how he bought David (1936) as she looked below in 1968 in West Palm Beach, FL, and delivered her to Long Island and then rebuilt/transformed her into a conventional looking tug.

I’d love to find more photos of her–either in Louisiana, Florida, or New York–when she had this visibility-limiting appearance.  Anyone help?

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Photo by Harold Rudd

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Photo by Harold Rudd

The next two photos are the result of research by William Lafferty, much appreciated commenter on this blog.

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The image below comes from Ripley’s Believe it or Not.

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Dimensions on David were 54.4′ x 15.5.’  In Rudd’s 2005 report, he said that at that time, the tug had been sold to BAC Inc.  Does anyone know if she still exists and if so under what name?

Art deco streamlining, which –IMHO– did nothing to enhance the performance of the tug, had its manifestations in other boats like Kalakala and SS Admiral and certainly in land vehicles, some extreme examples can be seen here and here.

As I said above, some of these photos appeared in Tugbitts over 10 years ago.  Tugbitts recently announced it has decided to cease publication.  I think its demise is a great loss, but I have to admit I did very little to help sustain it, which I regret.  Click here for the announcement about the closing of the journal.

Here’s the index on previous second lives posts.  I use “second lives” for what land folk call “adaptive reuse.”  It strikes me that there may be more instances of repurposing re-design and -engineering on water than on land, but that’s may just be my opinion.

But first, I thought to call this “pre-boomed” to follow up on yesterday’s post and the wonderful backstory I got in email yesterday from William Lafferty, frequent contributor here.  Here also sent along the photo below, which shows Twin Tube in 1951, i.e., before I was born and I’m 63.

Twintube 1

Here’s part of what William wrote:  “It shows the Twintube just after it entered service in fall 1951.  Twintube was launched 28 August 1951, Captain Blount’s mother doing the honors, and built on Blount’s account.  He used it as a travelling “demonstrator” for his shipyard’s products (it was Blount’s hull number 6) but also used it to haul oysters.  Power plant originally was a rather rare 4-cylinder Harnischfeger 138-hp Diesel.  (Click here for a 1950 news article including a photo of a 6-cylinder marine diesel.)  Harnischfeger (the H in the mining equipment manufacturer P & H) had been set up in 1945 at Port Washington, Wisconsin, by P & H to exploit the workboat and yacht market.  P & H closed the division, then at Crystal Lake, Illinois, in 1963.  In spring 1952 Blount sold the vessel to the Staten Island Oil Company, who converted it to a tanker with a 40,000 gallon capacity in eight 5,000 gallon compartments within its “tubes.”  The rest is, as they say, history.”

By the way, reference to “Staten Island Oil Company” brings me back to one of my favorite articles by the late great Don Sutherland here.

Here’s the index for all my previous Blount posts.

All this repurposing leads me to the second half of this post.  A friend named Matt–former all-oceans sailor–is looking to write a serious history about Cross Sound Ferry vessel Cape Henlopen, ex- USS LST-510.  Note the 510 still carried on its starboard bow.  She was built in the great shipbuilding state of Indiana.

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Cape Henlopen preparing to depart Orient Point March 2014

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Here she passes Orient Point Lighthouse at the start of its 80-minute ride over to New London.

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Matt is interested in interviewing past and present crew and seeing old photos of the vessel in any of its previous lives:   Cape Henlopen, MV Virginia Beach, USS Buncombe County, or LST-510.  If you send your interest in participating directly to my email, I’ll pass it along to Matt.

Many thanks again to William Lafferty for the Twintube story and photo.  I took the photos of Cape Henlopen in March 2014.  Here’s a version of the vessel by bowsprite.

 

 

I’m not sure I’d ever noticed this building before, Hell’s Kitchen .  . 49th street about 1000 feet from the North River.  Obviously, it’s associated with the Red Cross, where I spent a day earlier this month for First Aid/CRP/AED certification.

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Excuse the informality of these photos, but inside the Red Cross building were these great collages I thought to share.  Mary Weiss boarded

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this vessel–click here for a better version–to do Red Cross work in Europe.

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A few generations later, Magaly Polo boarded a Red Cross vessel named Comfort to assist with Red Cross relief work in the her native Haiti.  Comfort also appeared here . . . scroll.

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The photo taken below, taken by William Lafferty, shows tanker Rose City, later Comfort unloading at San Pedro, California, USA, in February 1980. Rose City was launched 12 February 1976 at San Diego, CA, by the National Steel &SB Co**. as hull no. 396 for the Northwest Shipping Corp., New York.  Vitals are 861.8’ x 103.8 x 57.9; 44875 gt, 35072 nt; twin GE steam turbines geared to a single shaft, 245000-sup.  Between 1984 and 1987 she was converted to USNS Comfort T-AH-20  a hospital ship for the U. S. Navy: 69360 tons displacement.

Rose City

A few weeks ago, Comfort‘s sister vessel Mercy appeared here.

Many thanks to William Lafferty for sharing that photo.

Tangentially related:  Note the two asterisks (**)after the shipyard for Rose City.  Also produced there were these TOTE vessels, trailerships.  I’d love to hear how these have worked out.

 

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