Page 9 - "Cap" Cowley - A Salvage Tug Captain
ISSUE : Issue 54
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1990/6/1
Left, Capt. Cowley in centre: "Sunstiine on the Clyde." Below: "The Samsonia (later called the Foundation Josephine) towing a Mulberry Harbour Unit to Normandy, WW2." same.... I commissioned the ship in Hull, and then took her out on trials. Went round to the north of Scotland. Finally started operations there in Campbellton in Scotland. Then, preparations were now be? ing made for Operation Overboard, which was the name given to the invasion of France. So, the next few months we spent the whole time going around the coast of England and Scotland, towing these con? crete Phoenix Units, round to the south coast of England, and berthing them (building prefabricated harbours), ready for the invasion of France.... And then 5 days before the invasion they told me to go down to The Solent. The So? lent is the name of the water between the Isle of Wight and the mainland. And it's the best-known stretch of water in the world. Why? Because, for one thing, South? ampton, which was the chief liner port, is in The Solent. Portsmouth, which is the chief naval port of England--that's in The Solent. The Royal Yacht Races were run every year in The Solent. Oh, every yachtsman knew what The Solent was! So, when I got there, I was dumbfounded by the number of ships in the place, building up for the invasion. As far as the eye could see. The Solent is a strip of water that's anything from 5 miles to 2 1/2 miles wide, and about 80 miles long. And the whole place was just one mass of ships. I was sent to the tug area. And we ended up with 52 deepsea ocean-going tugs, all at anchor together. I was the senior officer of the whole lot.... I had to go up--I had to lead the tugs. Take the first one up Medical Hall EST. 1906 . COMPUTERIZED PRESCRIPTION SERVICE . FILMS • SUNTAN LOTIONS • FIRST AID SUPPLIES 66 Commercial St. . 1 Commercial St." DOMINION GLACE BAY 849-0200 I 849-6552 (if busy) 849-1030 PHARMASAVE from Beachy Head where we had the things parked, get them in tow and take them across, through the swept channel (that is, a channel that had been swept for explosive mines) onto the French coast. So I was the first one across. Then there was an American one followed me, and so on. Then they started taking all this - stuff over, for building up the harbours-- prefabricated harbours.... So now, the second time. They gave me a floating roadway to tow. None of them had come across yet--I had the first one again. So, I came down here in the swept channel. And all of a sudden I spotted these 4 Ger? man E-boats. I don't know which way they'd come, but they'd come out of Le Havre. And Pay for a Room, Stay in a Suite* ?? Complimentary Continental Breakfast ?? Separate Living and DiningAreas "Microwave, Fridge, Coffeemaker, Dishes ?? Weekly Mana- -??'"' -- • -'' y ger's Reception & ,' Rooftop Barbe- ' - Halifax 1583 Brunswick St. Halifax, N.S. B3J 3P5 902 420-0555 1-800-565-1263 ?? Complimentary Grocery Shop? ping Service ?? Remote Control TV, Inroom Movies ?? Daily Maid Service ?? 'Tiirlpool, Sauna, Fitness Centre ?? Res? taurant ?? Rates De- ~ - < crease with Length of Stay CAMBRIDGE • S U IT E S Sydney 380 Esplanade Sydney, N.S. BIPIBI 902 562-6500 1-800-565-9466
Cape Breton's Magazine