dad’s ships

Posted in Uncategorized by bowsprite on 2012/06/18

My father was estatic when I found photos online of his first ship, the Overseas Tankship Corporation vessel, Carlsbad.

“How we loved the captain! We would have done anything for him. He and the officers were Norwegian. We were a crew of 40, many of us boarded in Shanghai. We carried oil and went all around the world. I loved the ship, too. I made a model of the ship out of paper and the captain wanted it. He bought it for $20, purchased a glass case for it when we were in New York, and he displayed it in the officer’s mess.

“When my 2-yr contract ended, I boarded the Liberty Ship Benjamin H. Hill. We carried cargo. I was on board for only 8 months.

“Why are you asking all these questions? Why do you want to know this?”

SS Carlsbad

Built: 1945 at The Kaiser Company, Swan Island Yard, Portland, OR
Length: 159 ft 6 in (48.6 m)
Beam: 20 ft 7 in (6.3m)

Liberty Ship Benjamin H. Hill
General Cargo Vessel Type EC2-S-C1 (E = emergency, C = cargo, 2 = waterline length between 400 – 500ft, S = steam power, C1 = this design)
Built: 1943 at  J.A. Jones Construction Company, Brunwsick, GA
Length: 441 ft 6 in (134.6 m)
Beam: 57 ft (17.4 m)
Depth: 37 ft 4 in (11.4 m)
Speed: 11 kts

For more information on Liberty Ships: see
Ships for Victory,
Project Liberty Ship – cruise on the restored John W. Brown!
They also maintain the incredible resource, with all their photos 

Click on this link to see a wonderfully illustrated 1943 brochure on the capacity of a Liberty Ship.

Amazing site if you are into tankers: Auke Visser’s Historical Tankers Site

Happy Fathers Day!

13 Responses

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  1. doryman said, on 2012/06/18 at 01:44

    Happy Fathers day to your dad!
    My grandfather worked as a welder at the Kaiser Company back then.

  2. Rigmor Lisbeth said, on 2012/06/18 at 02:05

    Wonderfull glimpse into your origine, Chris 😀 and greetings to your brave father !
    Love from the seaside on Bornholm

  3. tugster said, on 2012/06/18 at 06:10

    i love it!! and i propose a project : reconstruct the model and imagine its journey to where it currently holds a place of honor in an imaginary private collection. the journey is made tangible with your drawings and based on informed speculation. “ports of call” on this journey will define the global shipping of oil in the past half century . . .

  4. Michael said, on 2012/06/18 at 07:26

    How great to have that photo!

  5. wendy said, on 2012/06/18 at 09:07

    oh, what a great father’s day present!!

  6. JED said, on 2012/06/18 at 10:38

    FABULOUS STUFF!! I just LOVE it when you talk ship!

  7. chiefuscg said, on 2012/06/18 at 11:45

    Guess we finally know how you got your interests in boats and the nautical world. You were born into it. Nice post.

  8. Buck said, on 2012/06/18 at 12:31

    It is so nice that you got to hear those stories and it’s extra nice that you found the ship!

  9. Michael said, on 2012/06/18 at 19:49

    There is a booze commercial at the bottom of the post. Is that on purpose? I remember you asking to be notified when ads appeared on the blog. FYI an Absolute vodka commercial is there.

  10. Vagabonde said, on 2012/06/18 at 23:15

    What a great Father’s Day present. So ships are in your genes? Your father should also be pleased with your lovely sketches. I wrote the post you suggested I write and mentioned you as the inspiration for this latest post, thank you.

  11. o docker said, on 2012/06/19 at 02:36

    From the photo, it looks like dad painted ships, too, and with considerable grace, though he seems to have favored oils and used broader strokes. The photo also teaches us that sometimes we must retreat if we are to eventually succeed.

  12. Mage Bailey said, on 2012/06/19 at 13:38

    What a lovely gift to your dad. Drawings by daughters are the best gifts of all. Hugs….

  13. Paul F. Frontiero Jr. said, on 2012/07/19 at 07:27

    awesome story! I want to runaway soon maybe a ship will do! 🙂

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