Images of various Artifacts of the Month's

April 2024

Artifact of the Month

Bow Tug Boat, Small

In the interwar decades of the 1920’s and 1930’s, the Army saw the need to standardize the types of tugboats it used for oceangoing transport and supply vehicles. The system was divided into two groups, the Large Tugs (LTs) and Small Tugs (STs). Within the ‘ST’ section, various roles needed to be filled therefore a singular design could not be used. So, in addition to a common, comparatively large ST Type ocean tug, the Army had designed a ST Type Bow Tug Boat in the late 1930’s to deal with maneuvering larger vessels into place once in harbor.

Often thirty to eighty feet shorter than their fellow STs they were capable of precise movements. The diminutive Bow STs were capable of guiding even the largest ships carefully into place. Although it was technically possible for the four man crew to sleep onboard, they were almost always based off of land, going out only when needed for the incoming ship’s final guidance and positioning.

This tug, ST-2031 is one of the last of its type produced. Built in 1952, the pre-war lines of a 1930’s vessel are clearly visible. The design has since been extensively updated to provide for better crew comfort levels and increased handling. This particular tug saw service supporting operations in Greenland.