Thursday, October 29, 2015

DAUPHIN ISLAND DURING WWII: The entrance to Mobile Bay acted as a safe haven for Allied convoys sailing through the German submarine infested waters of the Gulf of Mexico during WWII. The following quote comes from a speech made by Lieutenant Commander Harry L. Hargrove, U.S.C.G. Temporary Reserve and President of the Mobile Bay Bar Pilots Association. The occasion for the speech was the decommissioning ceremonies for the Mobile Bar Pilot vessels which had served the U.S. Coast Guard during WWII.

"Our pilots have magnificently performed their arduous duties and have shared substantially in achieving victory. They have done their full share in that enormous nationwide job, handling, during 1944, 120,000 assignments to bring our ships safely into dock and guide them out to sea again, under the most adverse conditions. During the height of the submarine menace in 1942 and 1943, the channel lights were dimmed and other wartime precautions—common to all ports-were observed in Mobile. This meant a double load of risk and responsibility for our pilots. Our harbor, with its narrow channel, is becoming more crowded with returning ships each day. Our great and steadily increasing problem is what to do with the ships. We are often at a loss to find docking space for the big vessels that continue to arrive at this port since the end of the war, at a rapid rate."

One of these Mobile bay pilot boats which served as a U.S. Coast Guard ship during WWII, the 90 foot 2-masted schooner ALABAMA, still sails out of the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.


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