WITH REFERENCE TO Frank Leah’s request for information on his father’s ship HMS Lariat in the October 2012 issue of Sea Breezes.
The vessel was built as a US navy tug by Levington Shipbuilding Corporation, Orange, Texas. She was launched August 1942 and delivered to the USN as BAT- 5. Her dimensions were 143ft length, 33.25ft beam, 13.5ft draft. She had 783 tons displacement with 1875BHP on twin diesel electric motors driving twin screws at a service speed of 14 knots. She was fitted with a 3 inch DP gun mount and had a crew capacity of 35 to 45.
In August 1942 she was handed over to the RN under SNO Selsey and commissioned as HMS Lariat. She was designated for towing large floating structures for Mulberry Harbours type Phoenix and Type Whale. The former were wall units and the latter were roadways. In Eastern Fleet War Diary of February 1945 which covered the WWII area from the East coast of Africa to Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia, it stated in February 1945, that Admiralty Floating Dock No 17 was towed by tugs Lariat and Integrity escorted by HMS Meadowsweet. They sailed from Cochin, India on 13th Feb and were due to arrive in Fremantle Australia on 15th March approximately.
In February 1946 she was returned to USN and renamed AT-130. In September 1946 she was sold to the UK, and named Lariat again. She was sold to China Merchants Steam Navigation Company Shanghai and renamed Ming 108, later named Ming 308 and was in Taiwan in 1949. She was deleted from registers in 1960.
1 Cathedral Walk
Cloyne, Co Cork, Ireland