Fierce three day storm destroys Mulberry A
Construction of the Mulberry harbor continued for first days of the invasion. The Gooseberry blockships, had been added to the design because of concern as to how the Phoenix caissons would fair in the giant waves brought on by Channel storms. And on June 19, D-day plus 13, a fierce storm began which lasted for three days and was reportedly the strongest summer storm in forty years. It caused much damage to the in-progress Mulberry harbors. Image above shows a wrecked pontoon causeway from the American Mulberry A artificial harbor at Omaha, following the storm of June 19, 1944 which destroyed the Mulberry A harbor.
The storm broke loose the Bombardon, (an outer ring of floating breakwater) and it was free to crash into the remaining harbor structures for the duration of the storm. At the American Mulberry A, several Phoenixes were badly damaged. Barges and other craft inside the harbor were thrown about by the giant waves. These vessels inflicted much damage as they repeatedly crashed into the whale roadways. By the end of the storm, Mulberry A was considered a complete loss, and any salvageable harbor components were sent to British Mulberry B, which was somewhat sheltered by a reef and suffered less damage. But most of the equipment and harbor components which were in transit were lost and the continued rough water caused delays in transporting remaining loads.
The Mulberry Harbor A, in open water, was damaged by the artificial floating reef that became unmoored and battered it in the storm.