Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Home Town of
The builder of
Rescue Tug
ATR-8,  9, 10, 11, and 12

See Details

History of ATR-7 - Page 2
   On Friday 11 February at 0800, ATR-7 got underway for the first time as a commissioned ship of the U.S. Navy. After preliminary instruction, the "Special Sea and anchor Detail" was set. Each time the ship leaves port there is a set routine - Single up all lines! Let go line 3 and 4, then the spring line, bow line. ahead one third speed. On the engineer room telegraph (annunciator), one third is rung up. Stop! Back one third, etc. etc. While this is going on, there is a toot on the whistle when the last line is cast free of the dock. The union jack comes down on the bow jackstaff, the stars and stripes comes down on the stern jackstaff, and is raised up a halyard on the main mast.  ATR-7 is underway. In the wheelhouse, the annunciator is located at the right of the helmsman. On the left is a third crew member has a set of headphones for contact with rest of the ship. Behind these three was a chart room and a SO-1 radar unit.

   The ATR-7 left Boothbay harbor and sailed out into open water of the North Atlantic Ocean on a sea trial. Special sea and anchor detail was secured. At sea, the ship sailed with all outside ports and hatches closed and dogged down. It was not allowed to have any lights for navigation or otherwise on deck outside. In the crews compartment, red night lights were turned on. This routine was new to most crew members and they who could not take it, like continual seasickness, were weeded out. It is noted that one of the four men needed to man the big gun was previously on two ships that were shot out from under him. He was 22 and already had gray hair.

The ship conducted sea trials for two weeks. One morning ATR-7 docked at Camden, Maine. a snow storm blew up and they were covered with snow and ice. There was no time to admire the beauty of nature in the wintertime. Staying overnight, the ship took on fuel the next morning. Navy Special bunker oil is what the fireroom required. A large flexible rubber hose was attached to a fitting on the

Camden, Maine
port side of the ship near the galley. Through some oversight, the hose was disconnected before pressure was turned off and the ship ended up with a flood of black sticky bunker oil all over the deck. For the life of the ship, it was never all cleaned up completely.

Refueling finished, ATR-7 set special sea and anchor detail and was soon back in the open North Atlantic on course for Boston. Entering Boston Harbor they searched for a berth in Chelsea Creek. The stay in Boston was brief and next morning the ship was headed for New York. ATR-7 passed through the Cape Cod Canal lined with rocky boulders and under a high steel arch bridge. Before long they were running through Long Island sound on the Morning of 27 February 1944.

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