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MULBERRY HARBOUR

BRITISH, FRENCH AND DUTCH TUGS

The following named vessels took part in the various operations concerned with the construction of the Mulberry harbours. As in the Dunkirk section of this site, for the sake of completeness I have listed vessels other than those based on the River Thames. Thames based vessels have their  name shown in blue, with a guide as to where their details may be found elsewhere on this site. Details of other tugs will be expanded in due course.
 
page last updated 22-4-2009

 

ABEILLE 20
 
French Commercial tug. Allocated SNO Selsey to tow Phoenix and Whale units.

Built 1924  by J.P. Rennoldson & Sons, South Shields. L107.2'. B23.1'. D13.5'. 179grt. 550ihp 3cylTE engine by builder.  ON167845 Callsign MKBD.
 
11- 1924 Delivered to Cie de Remorquage et de Sauvetage Les Abeilles, Le Havre. 1940 Req by  Ministry of War Transport, managed by  Overseas Towage & Salvage Co Ltd, Southampton. 1945 Returned to owners.  1957 Sold to Loucas Matsas & Sons Shipping Co Ltd, Piraeus , renamed Aghios Nicholaos. Re-engined with 500bhp 6cyl MAN Diesel. 1966 Still in service.
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ABEILLE 21
 
Photo RGR Colln
 
French Commercial tug. Allocated  to SNO Portland to tow Bombardon units.
 
 Built 1925 by J.P. Rennoldson & Sons Ltd., South Shields. YN 325. L117'. B26'7". D12'11".  260grt. 4nrt. 1100ihp 3cylTE engine by builder. ON144010. Callsign GMQV.
 
3-1925 Delivered to Cie de Remorquage et de Sauvetage Les Abeilles, Le Havre. 19-8-1940 Req by  UK  Ministry of War Transport, managed by Overseas Towage & Salvage Co Ltd., London for coastal towing duties. 14-9-1944 Transferred to  Admiralty service as rescue tug. 20-12-1945 Returned to owners.
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 ALLEGIANCE W50
 
 British RN Tug. Allocated SNO Selsey to tow Phoenix and Whale units.
 
Built 1943 by Cochrane & Sons Ltd., Selby. Assurance class. L156'6". B35'. D16'6 630grt. 1350ihp 3cylE oilfired engine by C  D Holmes Ltd, Hull. Bunkers 250 tons. BP13.5T.
 
6-1943 Delivered to UK Admiralty.  1945 Chartered to Whampoa Dockyard Co Ltd Hong Kong. ON 191430, c/s VRKS. 1949 Renamed Allegiance 2.  1-7-1954 Missing in typhoon.
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ANTIC W141
 
British RN Tug. Allocated to SNO Selsey to tow Phoenix and Whale units
 
Built by Cochrane & Sons Ltd.,  Selby. Assurance class tug. L156'6. B35'. D16'6". 630grt.  1350ihp 3cylTE oil fired engine by C D Holmes Ltd., Hull. Bunkers 250 tons. BP13.5T.
 
24-3-1943 Launched for UK Admiralty, named Ant
26-6-1943 Delivered  UK Admiralty,re- named Antic 1943 Loaned  to Dutch Navy  managed by L. Smit & Co's Internationale Sleepdienst. 1946 Transferred to UK Ministery of Transport, managed by J.D. McLaren & Co.   ON 169288, c/s MWDW. 26-1-1948 Transferred to UK Royal Navy  as tender to HMS Excellent. 1956 Transferred to CD Portsmouth. 1959 Transferred to Portland. 1959 Transferred to Rosyth  12-11-1969 Sold for scrap to Hughes Bolckow Shipbreaking Co Ltd, Blyth. 14-11-1969  Towed to Blyth  by tug Ironsider.
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ARROMANCHES
 
A mystery at the moment although definitely mentioned as a tug in the log of Empire Jonathan off the beaches on June 23rd 1944. Research ongoing!!
 
ASSIDUOUS
 
Allocated to SNO Selsey to  tow Phoenix and Whale units.See under William Watkins, managed tugs section.
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ATTENTIF W68
 
Photo RGR Colln
 
French Naval Tug. Allocated SNO Portland for towing Bombardons.

 Built 1938 Forges et Chantiers de la Gironde,  Bordeaux. L114.75’. B27.75’.  672grt. 1000ihp 3cylTE steam engine. Armament 1x20mm AA, 2xMG.
 
1938 Delivered to French Navy. 2-7-1940 Req by RN. Served Aberdeen, Milford Haven and Harwich. 7-8-1945 Returned to French navy, pennant A671. 1946-7 Renamed Locmine. 6-3-1964 Laid up at Brest.
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BANDIT W69

 British RN Tug. Allocated SNO Selsey for towing Phoenix and Whale units.

 Built 1938 by Fleming & Ferguson Ltd., Paisley. YN 545.  Brigand class tug. L175’. B34’. D17’. 840grt. 1190disp. 3000ihp 2x3cylTE oil fired steam engines. Twin screw. Single rudder. BP30T. Bunkers 390 tons Crew RN 43. Yard 30. Armament 1x3”AA, 1x20mm AA, 2xMG.
 
15-2-1938 launched. 1938 Delivered to the UK Royal Navy.1939 Fleet Target Service with Home Fleet. 1947 Renamed Briton, transferred to Simonstown. 17-1—1956 BDO Plymouth transferred to AS Devonport. 1958 Laid up Pembroke Dock. 20-4-1960 Sold to Jos de Smedt, Antwerp for scrap.
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 BAT
 
British commercial tug. Allocated to SNO Selsey for towing Phoenix and Whale units.

 Built  1937 Cochrane & Sons Ltd., Selby. YN1192. L106'. B25'1". D13'2". 208grt. 850ihp 3cylTE 14.5"x26"x41"x27"s 210psi steam engine  by C D Holmes Ltd., Hull. ON165694 Callsign GFGC.
 
1-1938 Delivered to United Towing Co Ltd., Hull, named Brahman. 26-8-1939 Req by RN, renamed Bat. Based at Rosyth.
1941 Despatched from Rosyth to assist HMS Kelly, damaged during evacuation of Norway. 27-1-1945 Returned to owners, renamed Brahman. 1961 Sold to J H Piggott and Sons Ltd., Grimsby, renamed Lady Vera.  1969 Sold to W E White Ltd, London, renamed Lash White. Reengined 923bhp diesel.  1973 Sold to Thames Services Ltd, Gravesend, renamed Turbulent. 1974 Scrapped in Holland.
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BUCCANEER W49
 
British RN tug. Allocated to SNO Selsey to tow Phoenix and Whale units.
 
7-9-1937 Launched by Fleming & Ferguson Ltd., Paisley. YN 539. Brigand class tug. L175'. B34'. D17'. 840grt. 3000ihp 2x3cylTE oil fired steam engines. twin screw. single rudder.  BP30t.  Bunkers 390 tons. Crew RN43. Yard 30. Armament 1x3" AA. 1x20mm AA. 2xMG
 
1937 Delivered to UK Admiralty. 1939 Fleet Target Service tug with Home Fleet.  26-8-1946 Whilst towing target off Portland hit by 4.5 in dummy shell fired by destroyer HMS St James at range of six miles. Holed and sank slowly with no casualties. Crew taken off by destroyer.
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CHAMPION W35
 
Photo RGR Colln

French naval tug. Allocated to SNO Portland to tow Bombardons.

Built 1939 by Forges et Chantiers de la Gironde, Bordeaux. L114.75'. B27.75'. 672disp. 1000ihp  3cylTE steam engine. Armament 1x20mm AA. 4xMG.
 
1939 Delivered to French Navy. 7-1940 Req by RN, based Dundee as rescue tug. 31-12-1944 Departed Antwerp convoy ATM25. 1-1-1945 Arrived Southend. 1945 Returned to French Navy, based Toulon. 1961 Scrapped.
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CHARING CROSS
 
British commercial tug. Allocated to SNO Portsmouth to tow two barges from Littlehampton.
 
1913 Built by J.P. Rennoldson & Sons, South Shields. YN 282. L106'. B22'1". D13.5'. 153grt 67nrt. 700ihp 2cyl 20"x42"x27"s 180psi  Compound steam engine by builder. ON128826. Callsign MBVP.

3-1913 Delivered to Tees Conservancy Commissioners, Middlesbrough, named Joseph Constantine.  2-5-1917 Req by UK Admiralty  as rescue tug based Scilly Isles. 15-2-1919 Returned to owners. 24-5-1934 Sold to Tees Towing Company, Middlesbrough [1500]. Renamed Charing Cross. 28-8-1939 Req by Admiralty for contraband service, later coastal towing.
17-1-1945 Returned to owners. 22-8-1957 Sold to  Lawson-Batey Tugs Ltd., Newcastle for 6,500, renamed Westsider. 1-1959 Chartered to Tyne Tugs Ltd., Newcastle. 1-1960 Sold to British Iron and Steel Corp for 1375 and scrapped by J J King Ltd, Gateshead.
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CHEERLY W153

 US Naval tug operated by RN through lend/Lease agreement. Allocated to SNO Selsey to tow Phoenix and Whale units.

Built 1943 by Levingston Shipbuilding Co., Orange, TX. YN311. L143'. B33'10". D13'6". 835disp. 2x GM 12-278A diesel-electric engines, single screw, 1,500 SHP .
 
Launched 23-7-1943. 18-1-1943 Delivered to  US Navy as ATR-95. Made available to RN via lend/lease act. 18-1-1944 Commissioned by RN, renamed Cheerly.  26-6-1944 Departed Seine Bay in Convoy FTM19. 27-6-1944 Arrived Southend. 3-7-1944 Departed Seine Bay with Convoy FTC25. 4-7-1944 Arrived Southend. 30-8-1944 Departed Seine Bay with convoy FTC83. 31-8-1944 Arrived Southend. 18-12-1944 Departed Southend with convoy ON273 noted as rescue tug Gibraltar. 2-1946 Returned to US Navy. 1948 Sold for commercial service.
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CONTEST
 
Allocated SNO Portland for towing Bombardons. See Ship Towage pages.
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DANUBE VI
 
Allocated SNO Selsey to tow Phoenix and Whale units. See TC&D page.
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DESTINY W115

US Naval tug made available under lend/Lease act. Allocated to SNO Selsey to tow Phoenix and Whale units.
 
Built 1942 by Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, Michigan. YN197 L160'. B36.1'. D14.7'. 556grt.  1900bhp 2x General Motors 12-278 V12cyl diesel engines. Electric drive. twin screw. Bunkers 186 tons.Speed 14 knots. ON172827 IMO5127413.

1942 Delivered to the US Navy named BAT-9. 1943 Transferred to the UK Royal Navy under lend/lease act, renamed Destiny. 1948 Sold to Moller's Towage Ltd., Hong Kong, renamed Frosty Moller. 1950 Renamed Christine Moller. 1951 Sold to NV Holland, Haarlem renamed Oceanus. 1952 Rebuilt by Holland Nautic, Haarlem. 6-1953 Owners L. Smit & Co's Internationale Sleepdienst, Rotterdam, renamed Gele Zee. 1955 Modernised. 11-1963 Sold to Loucas Matsas & Sons, Piraeus, renamed Atlas. 1975 Owners K.M. Corporation SA, Greece, renamed Atlas II. 1977 Owners Guilan Production Co, [Managers Sachinis Shipping], Piraeus. 2005 Still in service.
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DEXTEROUS W111
 
British RN tug operating as Dutch commercial vessel. Allocated to SNO Selsey to tow Phoenix and Whale units.
 
Built 1942 by Cochrane and Sons Ltd., Selby. YN1247. Assurance class tug. L156'6". B35'. D16'6". 630grt. 1350ihp 3cylTE oil fired steam engine by C D Holmes Ltd., Hull. Bunkers 250 tons. BP13.5t. ON167032 Callsign MALJ

3-4-1942 Launched. 9-1942 Delivered to UK Admiralty. 3-1943 Chartered under Dutch flag to L. Smit &Co's Internationale Sleepdienst, Rotterdam, [managers J.D. McLaren & Co., Leith], as convoy rescue tug. 7-1945 Returned to UK Ministry of Transport. 23-1-1945 Sold to Overseas Towage & Salvage Co Ltd., London. 1957 Owners BP Tanker Co Ltd.,  London, renamed Zurmand. 1966 Owners Tsavliris Salvage & Towage Co Ltd., Piraeus. 1968 Renamed Nisos Ikaria. 1969 Scrapped  at Perama.
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 DONAU
 
Dutch commercial tug. Allocated to SNO Selsey to tow Phoenix and Whale units.
 
Built 1910 by Wilton's Machinefabriek en Scheepswerf,  Rotterdam. YN 217. L115.3'. B22.9'. D11.2'. 239grt. 500ihp 3cylTE 12.25"x20"x33"x25"s 180psi steam engine by builder. Callsign PDRN.
 
1910 Delivered to Internationale Sleepdienst Maatschappij, Rotterdam. 1912 Owners NV Sleepboot Donau, [O.A. Horstmann], Rotterdam. 1914 Req for Research service with Dutch Royal Marine. 1918 Returned to owners. 194? Req by UK Admiralty for war service. 1945 Returned to owners. 1946 Scrapped by Frans Rijswijk's Industriele Ondernemingen, Hendrik Ido Ambacht.
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DUNDAS
 
British commercial tug. Allocated to SNO Selsey to tow Phoenix and Whale units.
 
Built 1919 by De Groot & Van Vliet, Slikkerveer. L119'. B23.1'. D12.3'. 264grt. 750ihp 3cylTE 15"x24"x40.5"x24"s steam engine by
H versteeg, Hardinxveld. ON130129. Callsign MBFN.
 
1919 Delivered to NV Mij Atlantic [Baggermij L. Kalis & Co], Dordrecht, named Atlantic. 1925 Sold to Grangemouth & Forth Towing Co Ltd., Grangemouth, renamed Dundas. 21-10-1942 Requisitioned by RN for coastal towing, based Rosyth. 6-1944 Damaged and beached following  collision with US vessel off Normandy beachhead. 7-1944 Salved from beach but believed subsequently scrapped. 
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EBRO
 
Dutch commercial tug under RN control but flew Dutch ensign. Allocated to SNO Selsey to tow Phoenix and Whale units.

Built 1931 by NV Machinefabriek & Scheepswerf van P. Smit Jr., Rotterdam. YN 475. L116.6'.  B24'. D12'.  268grt. 33nrt. 550ihp 3cylTE 12.5"x21"x35"x26"s  200psi coal fired steam engine by builder. Callsign PDUH.
 
2-1931 Delivered to NV Internationale Sleepdienst Maats., Rotterdam. 24-8-1939 Req by Dutch Navy. 17-5-1940 Evaded German control and sailed  from Vlissingen to serve under Admiralty control. 1943 Serving  at Garlieston, carrying out  trials of  Mulberry Harbour components. 1945 Returned to owners. 11-8-1947 Converted to oil fired boiler by Niehuis & van de Berg. 11-1-1958 Ran aground assisting  s.s. Lindekerk and foundered on the Banjaard near Westkapelle during storm. 13-1-1958 Declared CTL. 2-10-1986 Raised by Smit-Tak group sponsoring an organisation with a view to preservation and beached at Vlissingen. The attempt at restoration was to prove unsuccessful. 1989 Scrapped.
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 EMINENT W116

US Navy tug made available to RN under Lease/Lend Act. Allocated to SNO Selsey to tow Phoenix and Whale units.
 
Built 1942 Defoe Shipbuilding Co., Bay City, Michigan USA. YN198. L143'. B33'3". D13'6". 534grt. 783dwt. 1875bhp 2 x General Motors diesel engine. Electric drive. Twin screw. Bunkers 186 tons. Speed 14 knots.
 
12-8-1942 Launched. 14-9-1942 Completed for US Navy named BAT-10. 1942 Made available to RN under lease/lend act, renamed Eminent. 2-2-1943 Departed Gibraltar towing damaged HMS Marne. 25-2-1943 Arrived Swan Hunter, Tyneside with tow. 1947 Sold to China Merchants SN, Hong Kong, renamed Ming 105. 1949 Renamed Ming 305. 1992 Deleted from register.
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EMPHATIC W154
 
US Navy tug made available to RN under lease/lend act. Allocated to SNO Selsey to tow Phoenix and Whale units.
 
Built 1943 by Levingston Shipbuilding Co., Orange, Texas USA. YN312. L143'. B33'10". D13'2". 534grt. 783dwt.  1500shp 2 x General Motors  12-278A diesel engines, electric drive single screw. Speed 13 knots. Crew 45. Armament 1 x 3" AA.
 
18-8-1943 Launched. 27-1-1944 Delivered to US Navy named ATR-96. Made available to RN under lease/lend act.  1946
returned to US Navy. 7-1948 Sold to Republic of the Philippines Navy, renamed BRP Ifugao [AQ-44]. 1979 Deleted from register.
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EMPIRE AID
 
British commercial tug. Allocated to SNO Corncob, Oban,  for towing/escorting Gooseberry's. 
 
Built 1943 by Clelands (Successors) Ltd., Willington, Tyneside. YN69.  Englishman class tug. L136'. B30.1'. D15.3'. 479grt. 1250ihp 3cylTE 16.5"x27"x46"x30"s  oil fired steam engine by  George Clark [1938] Ltd., Sunderland. Boiler dia 16.5'. Boiler length 12.5'. 215 psi. Heating surface 3,575sq.ft. 125rpm Prop Dia 11.5'. Pitch 10.75'. Bunkers 340 tons. BP15 tons. Speed 10 knots. ON169180. call sign MGQJ. 
 
27-11-1943 Launched. 17-4-1944 Completed for MoWT. Managers Overseas Towage and Salvage Co Ltd., London. 1952 Sold to  Overseas Towage and Salvage Co Ltd.,  London, renamed Marinia. 1954 Sold to Kuwait Oil Co Ltd., London, renamed Huda.
1965 Sold to Hussain Hassan Deeb, Kuwait. 1967 Reported towed to Basrah minus boiler, engines and superstructure and  considered by Lloyd's Register dismantled.
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EMPIRE BASCOBEL
 
US tug made available by lend/lease act, operating as British commercial tug. Allocated to SNO Selsey to tow Phoenix and Whale units.
 
Built 1919 by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp. Ltd.,  Elizabethport, New Jersey. YN 2136. L142'. B27.8'. D14.8'. 460grt. 1000ihp 3cylTE 17"x25"x43"x30"s oil fired steam engine by builder. ON168234. Callsign BCPZ.
 
30-8-1919 launched. 19-11-1919 Delivered to United States Shipping Board named Bascobel1920 Operated by France & Canada Oil & Transport Co., New York. 192? Operated by Gulf Coast Transportation Co., New Orleans. 193? Operated by Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad Co., Birmingham, Alabama. 1935 Owners restyled United States Shipping Board Bureau.
26-10-1936 Transferred to the  US Maritime Commission. 12-7-1941 Transferred via lease/lend to the MOWT [ managed by Overseas Towage and Salvage Ltd] renamed Empire Bascobel. 1946 Returned to United States Maritime Commission.
1948 Renamed Bascobel. 1949 Sold to L. & B. Olsson., New York. 1954 Sold to Universal Tank Cleaning Corp.,  New York.
1958 Sold to Standard Tank Cleaning Corp.,  New York. 18-12-1961 Sank alongside hulk at Mariner's Harbour, New York.
15-1-1962  Declared a CTL. but salved and resold by insurers back to owners. 1962 Sold for scrap to New York shipbreakers.
1963 Reduced to a hulk, considered scrapped by LR. 1982 Still existing at Rosscille, Staten Island. 1991 Derelict and semi-submerged at Rossville. 
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EMPIRE BELLE
 
British commercial tug allocated to SNO Selsey to tow Phoenix and Whale units.

Built 1943 by J Crown and Sons Ltd., Sunderland. YN211 Modified Warrior class tug. L105.9'. B30.1'. D12.4'.  257grt. 1000ihp 3cylTE 16.5"x27"x46"x30"s oil fired steam engine by Walker Bros. [Wigan] Ltd., Wigan. Boiler dia. 16'. length 11.5' 200psi ON180129. Callsign MDCN

13-10-1943  Launched.  3-2-1944 Completed for  MoWT, Townsend Bros. Ferries Ltd., London, managers.  11-1944 Managers Overseas Towage & Salvage Co Ltd., London. 2-8-1945 Transferred to  UK Admiralty, dispatched to Bombay.  10-1945 Arrived Bombay. 16-11-1945 Sailed for Singapore. 31-5-1947 Permanently allocated to UK Admiralty. 1956 Renamed Elf. 1959 For sale 'as lies' at Singapore.  11-4-1960 Sold to Imprese Marittime Augustea SpA.,  Palermo for 17,300, renamed Mare Jonio.
 20-4-1971 Sold to the Italian Navy  renamed Ercole [ A 5388]. 1990 Scrapped.
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EMPIRE BETSY
 
Allocated SNO Corncob for towing Gooseberrys. See William Watkins/managed Tugs page.
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EMPIRE DORIS
EMPIRE FOLK
EMPIRE HENCHMAN
 
EMPIRE HUMPHREY
 
Allocated SNO Corncob for towing Gooseberrys. See William Watkins/managed Tugs page.
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 EMPIRE IVY

EMPIRE JESTER
 
Allocated SNO Portland to tow Bombardons. See William Watkins pages as Napia
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EMPIRE JOHN
 
Allocated SNO Oban to tow Gooseberrys. See William Watkins pages.
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 EMPIRE JONATHAN
 EMPIRE LARCH
EMPIRE MEADOW
EMPIRE PIXIE
EMPIRE RACE
EMPIRE RUPERT
 EMPIRE SARA
EMPIRE SERAPH
 EMPIRE SILAS
EMPIRE SINEW
 EMPIRE SOPHIE
EMPIRE VINCENT

 EMPIRE WINNIE
 
Allopcated SNO Oban to tow Gooseberrys. See William Watkins pages as Zealandia [2].
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EMULOUS
 EUSTON CROSS

 FAIRPLAY I 
 
Allocated SNO Selsey to tow Phoenix and Whale units. See William Watkins/managed Tugs page.
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FLAUNT
FREEDOM
GOLIATH
GOOLE X
GRIPER
GROWLER
HUDSON
KINGS CROSS
KROOMAN
LARIAT

LYNCH
 
Allocated SNO Portsmouth to tow one barge from Littlehanpton. See William Watkins/Managed Tugs page.
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MAMMOUTH
PRIZEMAN
QUEENS CROSS
RESOLVE
SABINE
SAINT MARTIN
SAINT MELLONS
SAMSONIA
SAUCY
SEA GIANT
SEAMAN
SEINE
SESAME
 
STOKE
 
Allocated SNO Selsey to tow Phoenix and Whales units. See Elliott S. T. page as Security.
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STORMKING
SUPERMAN
THAMES
TID 33
 
WATERCOCK
 
Employed at Selsey pumping out and refloating parked Phoenix units. See Ship Towage [2] page.
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TID Tugs.
It is thought that some TID class tugs took the tows over from the larger tugs when they reached the Mulberry B site off Arromanche, and carried out the actual positioning and assembly of the various units. Completion dates and other information can narrow the numbers of the TID's that MAY have been used to :-
TID1-TID7: TID11-TID12; TID14-TID16. TID18-TID50; TID52-TID83.
The only TID so far definitely established as being present was TID33 which foundered off Arromanche in heavy weather during the storm of 19th June 1944 which severely damaged the US Mulberry A. There is a photo in existence however that shows at least two TID's were present. If you have any info PLEASE CONTACT ME.