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American tug Angles Gate to celebrate 80 years

Los Angeles is known for its movie stars but it also harbours a maritime celebrity, the tugboat Angles Gate, which is getting ready to celebrate its 80th birthday.

Built at Decatur, Alabama for the Army Transportation Service in 1944, the 85.9ft by 23ft boat was originally commissioned as ST (small tug) 695 and was among a fleet of Army tugs specifically designed for overseas operations but was primarily used in home waters at Wilmington, California.

After the war, the Army declared ST-695 surplus and she was sold to the City of Los Angeles Harbor Department where the boat worked steadily until retired in the early 1990s and transferred to the Los Angeles Maritime Museum in 1992.

Since then the diesel-powered vessel has been maintained in operating condition by an all-volunteer crew and, outside of the removal of her war-installed machine guns and military hardware, appears much the same as she did when first launched.

Report by Jim Shaw

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