SS Pennsylvanian

SS Pennsylvanian

SS "Pennsylvanian" was a cargo ship built in 1913 for the American-Hawaiian Steamship Company. During World War I she was taken over by the United States Navy and commissioned as USS "Pennsylvanian" (ID-3511) in September 1918, but renamed two months later to USS "Scranton". After her Navy service, she reverted to her original name of "Pennsylvanian".

"Pennsylvanian" was built by the Maryland Steel Company as one of eight sister ships for the American-Hawaiian Steamship Company, and was employed in inter-coastal service via the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and the Panama Canal after it opened. "Pennsylvanian" was one of the first two steamships to travel eastbound through the canal when it opened in August 1914. During World War I, as both USS "Pennsylvanian" and USS "Scranton", the ship carried cargo and animals to France, and returned American troops after the Armistice in 1918.

After her Navy service ended in 1919, she was returned to her original owners and resumed relatively uneventful cargo service over the next twenty years. Early in World War II, the ship was requisitioned by the War Shipping Administration, and shipped cargo on New YorkCaribbean routes and transatlantic routes. In mid-July 1944, "Pennsylvanian" was scuttled as part of the breakwater for one of the Mulberry artificial harbors built to support the Normandy Invasion.

Design and construction

In September 1911, the American-Hawaiian Steamship Company placed an order with the Maryland Steel Company of Sparrows Point, Maryland, for four new cargo ships—, and "Pennsylvanian".Maryland Steel had built three ships—, , and was east of New York.cite news | title = Troop ship Scranton reported disabled | work = The Atlanta Constitution | date = 30 March 1919 | page = 2 ] Navy transport USS|El Sol|ID-4505|2 responded to "Scranton"'s distress call,cite DANFS | author = Naval Historical Center | title = El Sol | url = | short = on ] and attempted to take "Scranton" under tow. During the day on 28 March, [cite web | url = | title = Photo #: NH 99449 picture data | work = Online Library of Selected Images | publisher = Navy Department, Naval Historical Center | date = 5 July 2004 | accessdate = 2008-08-12 ] "Scranton" attempted to run a towline to "El Sol" by sending a launch in the rolling seas, but it capsized, drowning three men.cite news | title = 82 Nurses return; served under fire | work = The Washington Post | date = 4 April 1919 | page = 5 ] "El Sol" stood by "Scranton" for over 40 hours until minesweeper USS|Penguin|AM-33|2 arrived and took "Scranton" under tow.cite web | author = Naval Historical Center | url = | title = USS "Scranton" (ID # 3511) Photo Album, 1919 | work = Online Library of Selected
Navy Department, Naval Historical Center | date = 11 July 2004 | accessdate = 2008-08-12
] "Penguin" and "Scranton" arrived in New York on 3 April, where "Scranton" entered drydock to undergo repairs.

After repairs, "Scranton" made three roundtrips to France and carried some 6,000 troops and passengers home to the United States before she was decommissioned on 19 July. The ship was handed over to the USSB for return to American-Hawaiian, who restored her original name.

Interwar years

"Pennsylvanian" resumed cargo service with American-Hawaiian after her return from World War I service. Though the company had abandoned its original Hawaiian sugar routes by this time, "Pennsylvanian" continued inter-coastal service through the Panama Canal in a relatively uneventful career. One incident of note occurred on 28 November 1930, when "Pennsylvanian" hit a Southern Pacific ferry near Goat Island (present-day Yerba Buena Island) in a dense fog in San Francisco Bay. "Pennsylvanian" hit the stern of the ferry and caused damage to the ferry's superstructure and destroyed about convert|15|ft|m of the ferry's railing. No one on either ship was injured. [cite news | title = Fog causes two ferry smash-ups | work = Los Angeles Times | date = 29 November 1930 | page = 1 ]

Other hints of "Pennsylvanian"'s activities throughout the rest of her career can be found from contemporary newspaper reports. In October 1929, the "Los Angeles Times" reported on a shipment that included 2,500 to 3,000 radio sets among "Pennsylvanian"'s convert|2300|LT|t of cargo. [cite news | last = Cave | first = Wayne B. | title = Shipping News and Activities at Los Angeles Harbor | format = column | work = Los Angeles Times | date = 7 October 1929 | page = 13 ] In March 1938, "The Christian Science Monitor" reported that "Pennsylvanian"'s captain, C. M. Bamforth, had temporarily turned the deck of the cargo ship into a boatyard to build a convert|15|ft|m|adj=on catboat for his son in Swampscott, Massachusetts. Bamforth laid the keel while in San Francisco, bought copper rivets for the hull planking in Portland, Oregon, and began painting the boat after "Pennsylvanian" had traversed the Panama Canal. He expected to have the boat finished when "Pennsylvanian" arrived in Boston on 22 April. [cite news | title = Boat built aboard ship; B. & M. reports for 1937 | work = The Christian Science Monitor | date = 28 March 1938 | page = 9 ]

In October the same year, "Pennsylvanian" delivered convert|325|LT|t of steel parts for the Hale Telescope then under construction at the Palomar Observatory outside of San Diego, California. The ship had picked up the $375,000 cargo in Philadelphia before sailing for San Diego. [cite news | title = Mt. Palomar Observatory's steel parts taken off ship | work = Los Angeles Times | date = 26 October 1938 | page = 9 ]

World War II

At some point after the United States entered World War II, "Pennsylvanian" was requisitioned by the War Shipping Administration (WSA), but, as with her pre-U.S. Navy service in World War I, she continued to be operated by American-Hawaiian.cite news | last = Stone | first = Leon | title = U.S. awards $7,247,637 to Hawaiian ship firm | work = The Christian Science Monitor | date = 31 March 1945 | page = 4 ] From July to September 1942, "Pennsylvanian" sailed between New York and Caribbean ports, calling at Trinidad, Key West, Hampton Roads, Guantánamo Bay, and Cristóbal. In January 1943, "Pennsylvanian" called at Bandar Abbas, Iran, on the Persian Gulf, but had returned to Caribbean sailings again by March.cite web | title = Port Arrivals/Departures: Pennsylvanian | url = | work = Arnold Hague's Ports Database | publisher = Convoy Web | date = | accessdate = 2008-08-12 ]

Between May and September 1943, "Pennsylvanian" made four transatlantic crossings between New York and Liverpool, making intermediate stops in Loch Ewe and Methil while in the United Kingdom. The cargo ship made two New York – Guantánamo Bay roundtrips between September and December before resuming transatlantic sailings. After two New York – Liverpool roundtrips between late December 1943 and April 1944, "Pennsylvanian" left the United States for the final time on 19 May 1944, arriving in Liverpool on 2 June. She called at the British ports of Methil, Loch Ewe, Clyde, and Milford Haven in late June and early July, and, sailing from Barry in mid July, "Pennsylvanian" arrived at Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, France. There she was scuttled as part of the breakwater for the Mulberry artificial harbor built to support the Normandy Invasion.The "Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships" ("DANFS") and Radigan both give the scuttling date as 16 July. "Arnold Hague's Ports Database" has "Pennsylvanian" sailing from Clyde on that date, and lists "Pennsylvanian"'s arrival at Seine Bay on 20 July. ]

In March 1945, the WSA offered a payment of $565,910 to American-Hawaiian for "Pennsylvanian" as part of a $7.2 million settlement for eleven requisitioned American-Hawaiian ships that had either been sunk, scuttled (like "Pennsylvanian"), or were to be retained by the government.





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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pennsylvanian — ☆ Pennsylvanian [pen΄səl vān′yən, pen΄səlvā′nē ən ] adj. 1. of Pennsylvania 2. [sometimes p ] designating or of the second and last geologic subdivision of the Carboniferous Period, characterized by the development of vast deposits of dead, coal… …   English World dictionary

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  • Pennsylvanian Subperiod — ▪ geochronology       second major interval of the Carboniferous Period, lasting from 318.1 to 299 million years ago. The Pennsylvanian is recognized as a time of significant advance and retreat by shallow seas. Many nonmarine areas near the… …   Universalium

  • Pennsylvanian — adjective Date: 1698 1. of or relating to Pennsylvania or its people 2. of, relating to, or being the period of the Paleozoic era in North America between the Mississippian and Permian or the corresponding system of rocks see geologic time table… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Pennsylvanian — /pen seuhl vayn yeuhn, vay nee euhn/, adj. 1. of or pertaining to the state of Pennsylvania. 2. Geol. noting or pertaining to a period of the Paleozoic Era, occurring from about 310 to 280 million years ago and characterized by warm climates,… …   Universalium

  • Pennsylvanian — 1. noun a) An inhabitant or a resident of the state of Pennsylvania. b) Any of the three Pennsylvanian epochs. 2. adjective a) of any of the three …   Wiktionary

  • Pennsylvanian — Penn•syl•va•nian [[t]ˌpɛn səlˈveɪn yən, ˈveɪ ni ən[/t]] adj. 1) of or pertaining to the state of Pennsylvania 2) gel of or pertaining to a period of the Paleozoic Era, occurring from about 310 to 280 million years ago and characterized by warm… …   From formal English to slang

  • Pennsylvanian period — noun from 310 million to 280 million years ago; warm climate; swampy land • Syn: ↑Pennsylvanian, ↑Upper Carboniferous, ↑Upper Carboniferous period • Instance Hypernyms: ↑period, ↑geological period • Pa …   Useful english dictionary

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  • Pennsylvanian Period — In North America, the interval of geologic time roughly equivalent to what is internationally designated the Late Carboniferous Period (323–290 million years ago). Because the rocks that originated during this span of time are widespread in the… …   Universalium

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