'Liberty' vessels and Aircraft-carriers
In the beginning of 1960 the United States Maritime Administration started its programme of disposing of obsolete warbuilt vessele in the reserve fleet and offered for sale 10 vessels in the Brunswick River near Wilmington. In the first half of July the Administration announced the receipt of a bid from an American firm, for the purchase of these 10 Liberty vessels for scrapping in British yards. The deal was approved and so it represented the first block sale of United States reserve fleet units to Britain. With the sale of these 10 units the reserve fleet was reduced to about 2020 vessels laid up in different areas.
Some of the obsolete warbuilt vessels in the reserve fleet near Wilmington, U.S.A.
Wijsmuller secured the contract for the towage of these 10 Liberty
vessels from Wilmington to different ports in Great Brittain. The 1200 IHP motor tugs
"Cycloop", "Friesland" and "Titan" sailed to Wilmington and
in the lastfour months of 1960 were engaged in towing the 7200 gross ton vessels from the
US-Eastcoast across the Atlantic to England.
Some tows met heavy weather in the Atlantic and the St. Gearge Channel. On november 2th, 1960, when the "Cycloop" was towing the "Benjamin Carpenter"and the "Titan"had in tow the "William Terry Howell", both tugs reported that the towing connections parted during a W.S.W. gale, force 10 to 11 (storm to violent storm). Our expert crews succeeded in reconnecting with the steamers in no time. All ten Liberty-ships were safely delivered after voyages of nearly 4,000 miles and about 30 days at sea.
Tug "Cycloop" towing the Liberty-ship "Benjamin Carpenter" towards the open sea
The towing wire has been let out to the required length for an ocean towage
Arrival off Troon, Scotland, after a 30 days voyage. The "Cycloop"has shortened
her towrope and is about to enter the harbour.
During the last half of 1960 and the first half of 1961, the three diesel-electric tugs "Noord-Holland", "Zeeland" and "Utrecht"were given assignments to tow ten aircraft-carriers from US ports to far East scrapyards and to bring one to Rotterdam. Altogether, these three tugs covered nearly 80,000 miles while towing the eleven giant vessels.
The "Noord-Holland" towed the
aircraft-carrier "Tripoli" from New Orleans, U.S.A. to Hirao, Japan
The voyage of 10,000 miles was completed in 75 days.
The "Utrecht" towed the aircraft-carrier "Kadashan Bay" via the Panama Canal
from Boston to Hong Kong, a distance of some 11,000 miles
The arrival of the "Zeeland" at the Nieuwe Waterweg,
Rotterdam with the aircraft-carrier "Saginaw Bay"
from Boston, after a voyage of 30 days