The D-Day harbour built in
secret at Hayling Island by hundreds of men

One of the Mulberry Harbour sections under construction at Hayling Island
One of the Mulberry Harbour sections under construction at Hayling Island
jpns-19-08-17 retro Aug 2017

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Just 100 metres or so north of the Hayling Island ferry pontoon, lies a huge semi-sunken concrete structure (below), the remains of one of Hayling’s Phoenix sections of the Mulberry Harbour used after the D-Day landings.

Four sections of the harbour were built at Hayling by a local builder named Travis, employing some 600 workers, most of whom were bussed onto the island daily.

040973_0065_SARAH_LOU_DINGHY (VT) 24/2/04''for d_day_dday_supplement''Mulberry Harbour caissons , langstone harbour'''PICTURE: MICHAEL SCADDAN (040973-0065) MAYOAK0003185498

040973_0065_SARAH_LOU_DINGHY (VT) 24/2/04''for d_day_dday_supplement''Mulberry Harbour caissons , langstone harbour'''PICTURE: MICHAEL SCADDAN (040973-0065) MAYOAK0003185498

There were 164 sections and others were made separately around the south of England and the Thames estuary and secretly transported to and anchored at Langstone and other harbours along the south coast ready for their final journey to France.

They were temporarily hidden by being sunk with all the others off Selsey.

As D-Day approached it was planned to raise three or four sections a day. But some refused to float, stuck in the sand and mud of the channel.

Air jets were used to clear away the silt and by June 2,1944, four days before D-Day, all but three of them were ready for the channel crossing.