The Passing of a Baltimore Harbor Legend: Capt. Herb Groh

Capt. Herb Groh, a docking pilot with the Curtis Bay Towing Company of Baltimore for 38 years, passed away at the age of 92 on June 6[SUP]th[/SUP].

Normally, I wouldn’t post an obit here, but Capt. Herbie is worthy of one.

He had a remarkable career, one I could only dream of having.

When most kids aspired to be a sports star, a doctor or maybe an astronaut, I wanted to be a Herb Groh.

I never got to work with Capt. Herbie, but did get to ride with him on the tug “Cape Henlopen” many times when I was a kid. When I was breaking in, he was retiring. Cool, calm and the consummate professional, it was quite apparent even at my age at the time that the man knew his shit.

Capt. Herbie witnessed the heyday of Baltimore Harbor from the best seat in the house; from the bridges of the thousands of ships he piloted. Catching the newly built Liberty ships coming down the ways over at Fairfield to the VLCCs (265,000tons) Beth Steel built at Sparrows Point in the mid 70’s.

Herb was mate on the tug that caught and assisted the very first Liberty built, the “Patrick Henry”.

After retiring in 1982, Herbie continued serving the maritime community as a consultant and later was instrumental in helping preserve the Baltimore built Liberty ship “John W. Brown”.

Rest in Peace Capt. Groh. It was a pleasure knowing you and thanks for your guidance over the years.,0,787391.story