Story of Polaris - D Day veteran

II World War

When Churchill and Roosevelt decided to open a second European front, war planners faced the greatest logistical challenge in history. Ensuring the success of D-Day required meticulous preparation, and in this monumental effort, small harbor tugs played a crucial role. Huge artificial harbors were to be constructed on the beaches of Normandy to facilitate the delivery of all kinds of military equipment, weapons, and ammunition. However, before that could happen, dozens of old ships needed to be sunk to create artificial breakwaters . And for all this, a multitude of small, nimble, and powerful tugs were needed, which, of course, were not readily available.

To address this shortage, a large-scale shipbuilding effort was initiated, modeled after the successful Liberty ships. From Alabama in the south to Massachusetts in the north of the Atlantic coast of the United States, shipyards began to spring up with the sole task of delivering 200 harbor tugs by D-Day. All these tugs were identical: 26.85 meters long and 7.36 meters wide, equipped with 515-kilowatt General Motors diesel engines, and capable of an impressive speed of 11 knots. Instead of names, they were given designations starting with DPC and a corresponding number, signifying “Defence Plant Corporation,” the organization overseeing their construction.

As soon as they were completed, the US Army, rather than the Navy, would take them over and assign them their own designations…..mark ST and serial number

Story of Polaris - D Day veteran

1943: The vessel was built at the American Shipbuilding Company in Buffalo, USA, for the US Army. It was initially named DPC – 95 (DPC – “Defence Plant Corporation” ) , later ST-764 and played a significant role during the invasion.

1944: On June 6, one of the most important and massive naval invasions in the history of human warfare began – under the real and secret name of Operation “Overlord”, popularly known as the Normandy Landings, or D-Day.

1950: After completing its military duties, the ship was sold to Fenwick, Tyne & Wear Co. Ltd. from Newcastle, France, and renamed GRANGETOWN. It sailed under the British flag and worked mostly at the port Sunderland

1970: The vessel was acquired by Brodospas from Split and renamed POLARIS. For the next 22 years, it provided towing services throughout the Adriatic and Mediterranean, working alongside the famous Vela Joža and serving as a harbor tug in the ports of Split and Ploče.

1992: The ship was purchased by the Tomić family from Krilo, Croatia. They began a long-term remodeling project to convert it for tourist purposes.

2016: The vessel was sold to Moreplovac d.o.o., a company owned by the maritime family Novaković from Stomorska, Šolta. Under the guidance of the current captain, Marin Novaković, the reconstruction was completed, transforming Polaris into an exclusive excursion boat based in Split.

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