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The Invergordon Archive

Admiralty Floating Dock
The Invergordon Archive
Admiralty Floating Dock

Known as AFD16, she was laid down on the 3rd of December 1941, and completed in February 1942. On the 25th of February she was towed, by the tug Empire Larch, to Invergordon, where she remained until 1943. I can find no details of her operational service whilst there but AFD16 and her sister docks 14 & 15 were small 250 ton capacity docks originally intended for coastal force sized craft.

AFD16 left Invergordon on the 29th of October 1943 under the tow of the tug Goliath, and escorted by the trawler Flatholm, bound for Lerwick, arriving the next day. Here, the dock stayed until 1945, possibly servicing the Norwegian MTB Flotilla, but I can’t confirm that. After a brief period at Lyness between the 29th of August and the 4th of October 1945, AFD16 was moved to Portsmouth, arriving on the 15th October. Here she remained until sometime in 1949.

This picture of AFD16 shows her at Lerwick during the time that the Norwegian MTB Flotilla was there (1943 - 45).

(A 'Large Version' has been added which actually shows AFD15 with Marine Launch ML325 on board. Behind can be seen a second small Floating Dock, probably either AFD14 or AFD16. The location is not known. - Site Admin.)
View Large Version View Large Version
Picture added on 18 January 2012 at 10:28
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Floating Docks
This floating dock was anchored in front of our house on Shore Road out from the old target. It was on this dock that Mr Taylor was burnt around his head whilst carrying out a welding job. I can remember him being taken ashore on one of the small RAF motorboats and helped up the steps on the RAF pier.
Added by Doug Will on 10 February 2012
Hi Doug, I remember you relating this tale on a earlier picture (picture #1380), but it seems now that you’ve been able to identify the actual floating dock. I had hoped that these pictures would spark some memories and it’s worked! Many thanks.
Do you recall the types of boat that were in the floating dock for repairs and maintenance?
Added by Malcolm McKean on 11 February 2012
Malcolm, to tell the truth I can never recall seeing any of the larger boats on the floating dock, sorry.
Added by Doug Will on 23 February 2012
This floating dock, AFD16, was fairly small and designed to take boats up to 250 tonnes. She was 142 feet 7 inches long by 27 feet 3 inches wide and was brought into the Firth to service the various craft that attended to the operations of the Flying Boats here during the Second World War. This would have included Pinnaces, High Speed Launches, Seaplane Tenders and Marine Tenders.
Although a Maintenance Section - 88 Maintenance Unit (Marine Craft) - was set up and operated at Meikle Ferry in the Dornoch Firth from 3/2/1942 - 26/2/1946 it is clear that you can recall this Floating Dock being here in Invergordon during the war.

I’ve added a ‘Large Version’ of the above picture which actually shows the sister craft AFD15 with a Marine Launch ML325 on board. This will give some idea of how AFD16 may have looked at Invergordon with a similar craft on board.

Does this spark any memories?
Added by Malcolm McKean on 24 February 2012
Looking beyond the "Dock" is that the Hull of the Natal showing to the left the position looks about correct!
Added by Duncan Murray on 03 December 2012
Duncan, the picture shows AFD16 at Lerwick.
Added by Malcolm McKean on 03 December 2012
The view with ML 325 and second AFD in background was probably taken at Portsmouth as both AFD.14 and 16 were there 1945-49.
Added by Ian Buxton on 23 February 2014
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Floating Docks

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