History of ATR-7 - Page 3

On 27 February ATR-7 caught sight of the great city of New York. They passed under Hell Gate Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge. The crew was taken by the size of the bridge and the tall buildings along the city skyline. This entry is kind of the back way to enter New York because they sailed past the Statue of Liberty after seeing Manhattan. They then reached their assigned berth in Tompkinsville on Staten Island at 1535. Liberty was then called.

It was discovered that salt water had entered the engine and caused some damage. Over a month was required to carry out repairs caused by improper plugs in the engine casting. The crew had many interesting happenings during the liberty hours. Friday morning 17 March, ATR-7 was taken in tow by a harbor tug and moved to a repair yard in Bayonne, New Jersey and placed in dry-dock at Bethlehem Steel at Mariners Harbor.  ATR-7 was sitting beside a big tanker that had a huge hole in the hull where it had been hit by a shell or torpedo. While here, most of the crew went to Brooklyn Navy Yard for a three day training course on fire fighting. On Tuesday 21 March ATR-7 returned to Tompkinsville.

ATR-7 was originally assigned to sail in a convoy with the tanker USS MAUMEE AO-2. This was when war news discussed an expected cross channel invasion of Europe. There were a number of navy supply ships including the battleship USS TEXAS BB-35, anchored in the New York harbor. ATR-7's orders were changed to Portland Maine. Shortly after noon on Tuesday 4 April a course was again set through Long Island Sound, back through Cape Cod Canal and a day later they were again off the coast of Maine, heading into Casco Bay, Portland.

In the late evening of Wednesday 5 April ATR-7 approached Portland Head Light and signaled for berthing instructions. The harbor entrance was blocked with an anti-submarine net guarded by two small vessels called net tenders. See Area Map. She docked at a pier just a short distance from downtown Portland. It is noted that the tides in this area can vary from ten to fifteen feet or even more, which means constantly adjusting the mooring lines as the water rises and falls all day and all night. While operating in Maine, the crew had to wear heavy foul weather gear. Some members had nice pile lined jackets. On watch they would exchange gloves, overshoes and headgear which was in limited supply.


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