call sign Alpha - Echo - Foxtrot - Whiskey
Former U.S. Army tug Major Wilbur Fr. Browder (LT-4)
A piece of real American History - the Tug Ludington is right here in the Kewaunee Harbor, and is open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day to Labor Day for tours.
Built at Jacobson Shipyard in Oyster Bay, New York, the Tug Ludington was fourth in a series of eight seagoing tugboats constructed specifically for World War II in 1943. After sea trials it was christened the "Major Wilbur Fr. Browder" by the U.S. Army.
The tug's armament consisted of two 50 caliber machine guns mounted above the chartroom and pilothouse. Tugs were often strafed by enemy planes and submarines, but were considered too small a target to waste a torpedo on.
The tug participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy, towing ammunition barges across the English Channel. It eventually ended up in Cherbourg, France where it assisted harbor operations until being sent to Plymouth, England for the duration of the war.
In 1947 the tug was transferred to Kewaunee, Wisconsin by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and was renamed the "Tug Ludington.” With its arrival in Kewaunee, the Tug Ludington assisted in the construction and maintenance of many harbors on the Great Lakes.
The City acquired the Tug Ludington from the Federal Surplus Program on December 29, 1995 with official transfer from the U.S. Government Service Administration Federal Surplus Property occurring on May 14, 1996.
After acquisition, the City, community volunteers, and donations from both individuals and organizations evolved in the proper mooring facilities being constructed and restoration of the Tug Ludington to make it available for public tours.
On March 28, 2002, the “Major Wilbur Fr. Browder/Tug Ludington” was placed on the National and State Register of Historic Places by the Secretary of the Interior.