Mallini, Lawrence Jr 12-18-88

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Mallini, Lawrence Jr 12-18-88 - A THE GALVESTON DAILY NEWS SUNDAY MORNING,...
A THE GALVESTON DAILY NEWS SUNDAY MORNING, DECEMBER 18,1988 Impact Tug Ma/* K. was "rudder" to the battleship on tow to isle Cap*. Tom.Lightsey directs tugboat team freeing the Texas ( The shores were lined j with cars and hundreds I of people who came ' I to see the last of the dreadnoughts moving to Galveston Texas Tug-of-war Tugs CAF planes with Japanese markings buzz the Texas [Tugboats have [Close call with | buoy marker 'ByJOELKlRKPATRICK f The Daily News * k, [ GALVESTON BAY - Like an old man with r.tugboats for crutches, the time-wounded battleship (Texas limped down the Houston Ship Channel to a |Galveston shipyard to renew its life as a monument jto past wars. \ It was more like a parade than simply the move' 'mentofanoldship, » The Port of Houston fireboat Howard T. Tellepsen j saluted the Texas, blowing its whistle and spraying [streams of water a hundred feetintotheair. [ The Texas was towed with a steel cable bridle 'shackled to the ship and the stern of the Bay- Houston harbor tug J. Harris Masterson, which led ! the way down channel. • The actual rudder of the ship is disconnected ; frozen by rust and the years at 14 degrees right. ; Down the channel, toward the uncompleted Fred . Hartman Bridge, cars followed the ship along the \ distant bank. , By 3:35 p.m., the ship, moving at a stately 3 knots, | was near Morgan's Point. The shores were lined i with cars and hundreds of people who came to see •• j thelastofthedreadnoughtsmovingtoGalveston. < Three planes from the Confederate Air Force circled the ship. } One of the planes is called a Japanese Zero, the i other was a torpedo bomber. They were painted . with World War II, Japanese military aircraft ' emblems. - At the 5-mile bend, south from Morgan's Point, ; Capt. Leslie Liebert, the pilot on the bridge of the l battleship, radioed Chief Mate Eric Corgey on the i C.R. Haden and asked for someone to check the [ sterndraftof thebattleship. r It was 32 feet. It had been 30 feet, 6 inches when * thetripstarted. , 1 Liebert expressed concern as to whether the Texas would be able to go on the sunken drydock at Todd Shipyards in Galveston. . OntheTexas.thepumpsweregoingfulIforce. Past the 5-rhile bend in the channel, the tugboats i increasedspeedtoabout4V2knots. • Soon afterward, darkness fell. Ahead, Galveston was like a necklace of lights across the velvet breast of the night horizon. - "C.R.," said Liebert over the radio to one of the *-/v.-.. 2* *<&-<<:*,*•**••?&;,•#'-**£ f *«~tf-r f ~~ ^T^ "~^*Kj^-^^J>yji,~2^^^x^*?t' r - ' 'K'_.-•£* -- 4^^<C-'Vi^>J<t-i4' OfXr x < v • >*- ^_ ^ ->^ -"S? ,'^', J. "-'x"-^! --'« \% r I -' v v.-- , , ,- "O'^x* •*-'-T/b'- / , &>,<«-- A' i' x '\ vi ^ •» • -"•* - « J -^' -' / --i - « ~c ._ A Line handlers relax when Battleship Texas tow gets underway tugboats, "left 15 degrees." "Left 15 degrees," repeated Corgey. He glanced at the ruby-lighted dial indicating rudder position. "Half ahead, C.R.," said Liebert. "Half ahead " said Corgey, looking at the RPM indicators of his twin diesels and moving the throttles. Then the blinking green Pelican Spit buoy appeared. . "Midships, J.R.," came Liebert's voice over the radio. "Midships," said Corgey. It seemed as though the buoy itself were moving, coming-down the track of the night channel toward the battleship and its tugboats. Corgey said quietly , "wearegoingtohitit." Then Liebert's voice came over the radio with a trace of urgency: "Put the,smoke to 'er, Laura Haden, hard right rudder C.R.," as the buoy blinked, seemingly headed straight for the bow of the tugboat. Then it was past, looking as if it were headed for the stern of the battleship and broadside for the tugboat Mark K. But the propwash of the C.R. Haden swept it past without incident. The Houston pilots left the battleship and boarded the pilot boat Texas at about 9:30 p.m. at the entrance to the Galveston Harbor Channel Galveston-Texas . City Pilot J.H. Smith came aboard the C.R. Haden and climbed a ladder onto the deck of the battleship. , ' Then came Todd Shipyards' dockmaster Louis Trochesset, with 12 line handlers boarding the C.R. from the Todd yard tug Lawrence Mallini Jr., and the passagedownthechannel was all but over The Texas had been brought to, todds'. sunken drydock by luck at high tide which solved the stern draft problem, and soon was in position on the drydock. Continued 1rom1-A Crew members of the Texas assembled for roll call, carrying flashlights in the early morning dark It was about 5 a.m. .•-,.. They breathed puffs of mist in the cold air. The line handling crews had rehearsed all this .but now they were doing it for real. ' Orders came to cut the permanent steel moorinp' cables that tied the battleship to its berth at San Jacinto State Park. Crews manning the pumps went below. On the bow, a welder struck an arc with his torch and began to cut the steel cable. The 2-inch steel cable on the starboard bow popped and grated out a hawsehole. Soon all-the steel cables had been cut away from the ship. . Capts. Tom-Lightsey'and Leslie Liebert of Houston were the pilots in charge of the Texas on its trip down the 40 miles of the ship channel to Todd Shipyards in Galveston to undergo a $6 million renovation program. The tugboat Mark K. nosed in to the stern of the Texas, and a heaving line was.tossed aboard Line handlers heaved and pulled aboard the heavy eye of a 9-inch bow hawser, and made it f ast to a bitU Conner and Huffman pointed out that two push tugs from Hollywood Marine were on the scene the River Runner and the Creole Julie. 1 They •would'help vfcontroi' the .b'attleship*="when it slipped into/the Houston Ship Channel, "Huffman said. .-•••• - • ' , - ..-. But the stubborn 74-year-old battleship didn't slip into the channel. - • First, three tugboats cast hawsers aboard the stern bitts of the ship. • There was the Mark K with 2,850 horsepower, the W.D. Haden II with 3,000 horsepower, and the C.R Haden With3,900 horsepower. Lightsey gave the word.and the diesels of the tugboats raced and applied 9,750 horsepower to the stern of the battleship. The Texas moved 10 feet and stopped. The tueboat engines chuffed. Water in the berth was a frothy grey maelstrom impelled toward the San Jacinto Monument and the head of the berthing slip TheTexas remained stuck. In the pearl gray morning, the sun was just touching the base of the San Jacinto Monument off the bow of the battleship. And before the Texas came out of its'berth at 1-13 p.m., it would be rocked back and forth like an old pickup stuck in the muddy ruts of a country road It took six large harbor tugs — 24,000 combined horsepower — to haul the Texas through a hump of mud and clay not removed in dredging. ' Six towing cables, each 9 inches in diameter snapped under the strain, breaking with a sound like a .410shotgun. Line handling crews would listen for the tugboat engines to race and take a strain on the lines, then would run for shelter, away from places where the heavy hawsers might snap like whips if they broke "A line like that can kill you," one said. "Cut you rightintwoifithitsyou." .. Conner said the snapped towing hawsers cost about $1,000 each. The harbor tugs at the stern of the ship swayed in tandem, from side to side, like a team of mules strammgata treestump. On the starboard quarter of the ship, the Mark K would race its engines, send froth back into the channel and lean toward the ship. Eventually, the following tugboats worked together to free the battleship: the Suderman and Young tug Eva also operated for Bay-Houston, the Laura Haden, the C.R. Haden, the J. Harris Masterson the W.D. Haden II and the Mark K. Conner would stand amidships near a concrete boarding ramp, and measure the progress through the muddy hump. "We made 6 feet that time "he would say, then race back to the stern to check the tugboats. The line handlers rearranged the heavy hawsers while theship slid slowly back into its wallow. Some 500 spectators lined the shore and helicopters beat overhead. • The Sam Houston, the Port of Houston's tour boat was moored near the channel, and Coast Guard 40^ footers beat back in forth in the channel, keeping othervesselsoutofharm'sway. Oghtsey sought to use the water displacement from an approaching Norwegian-flagged tankship, the outbound Tarim River, to help get the Texas moving. By then it was 12:05 p.m. That maneuver didn't work, but it gained the ship another 20 fee t toward the Houston ship channel. The next try made it. Tugboats strained at hawsers, the old battlewagon slipped slowly and continued to move. Those on both shores cheered and crew members gave rebel yells cheered and bellowed "Go! Go! Go! Go, baby, go!" ' c , lAn( L there lhe o!d dreadnought was, in the Houston' Ship Channel, below Buffalo Bayou, near the mouth of the San Jacinto — not far from the'battleground where the battle for Texas' independence was won —pointing downstream toward Galveston. Photos by Joel Kirkpatrick

Clipped from
  1. The Galveston Daily News,
  2. 18 Dec 1988, Sun,
  3. Page 8

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  • Mallini, Lawrence Jr 12-18-88

    cbader – 17 Mar 2013

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