For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
RCN Ocean Rescue Tug D.P. INGRAHAM
Former MV LION (1864)
Former USNS LABURNUM (1864)
Then MV D.P. INGRAHAM (1866)
Built in 1864 as the Lion, she was purchased by the USN on 24 Jun 1864 and renamed Laburnum. She was commissioned in the USN on 07 Jul 1864 and on 17 Jul 1864 joined the South Altantic Blockading Squadron. The Laburnum was paid off on 24 Jan 19866 and sold at auction in New York on 16 Mar 1866 to L.J. Belloni and renamed D.P. Ingraham on 14 May 1866. D.P. Ingraham was a prominent New Yourk State Supreme Court Justice. In 1878 she was sold to foreign interests - The St. John's Tug Company (later to become Hugh-D Tugs).
Apart from her services as a rescue and salvage vessel, the D P spent a lot of time in the service of the Dominion of Nfld Government in both the Revenue Service and the Bait Protection Service, as Nfld had no Naval force of its own. In addition, the D P was also used by the Justice Department in conveying the Nfld Circuit Court to isolated communities around Nfld, as well as to deliver and retrieve Ballot Boxes during elections. The D P was also commissioned to carry mail.
By the year 1914 the D P Ingraham had given 50 years' service to both the United States Government (USN) and the Government of the Dominion of Newfoundland. It would not end here however as the outbreak of WW I brought the Canadian Navy to St. John's in 1914, as it had done in 1939 during WW II. The Canadian Naval Service (Navy) was just getting started in 1914 and the number of vessels available was quite limited, and "Tug" boats were not a priority. Canadian Government vessels were seconded to the navy and private vessels were purchased and all converted to armed Trawlers. (T Rs) Construction of smaller vessels such as the C Ds (Coastal Drifters) had high priority. To solve the "Ocean Going Tug" problem, private tugs were placed under the directional control of the Canadian Navy. The shortage of qualified able seaman was a problem at the start of the war, but the RCN did assign naval personnel to the D P Ingraham.
This meant that 5 of D P's remaining 7 years would also be in the service of the Government of Canada. (RCN) Captain Marmaduke Rose was Master of the D P from 1907 until his retirement in 1920, and was succeeded by Captain C P Moore who lost the D P during an attempt to save another vessel just off the Nfld South Coast in 1921. (Ship's history courtesy of Bud Rose)