Friday, May 23, 2014

The American Victory

As I was heading to the place where I was able to watch the John B. Aird come in, I passed another ship that I've never seen before.  She is another ship that is currently in long term layup and likely will face the cutter's torches.
The American Victory started her life as a tanker during World War II (kind of like the Lee A. Tregurtha).  She was built by the Bethlehem Shipyard in Sparrows Point, Maryland in 1942.  She was actually launched on Halloween.  She would be known as the USS Neshanic during the war.  On June 18, 1944, she was struck with a bomb from a Japanese plane.  She was repaired and decommissioned in 1945.

In 1947, she was sold to Gulf Oil and renamed the Gulfoil.  In 1958, she collided with another tanker which exploded.  She was sold to the Pioneer Steamship company and was converted to a laker.  In 1961, she would become known as the Pioneer Challenger.  She is one of the fastest ships on the Lakes.  In 1962, she was acquired by Columbia Transportation and renamed the Middletown.  In 1982, she was converted to a self unloader.

In 2006, she was sold to American Steamship as part of the bankruptcy of Oglebay Norton.  This is another ship I would like to see sailing again, but I don't think that is likely.

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