Pioneer Challenger

(1942) 1961                                  Pioneer Challenger                            

Steel Great Lakes bulk freighter

Built at Sparrows Point MD by Bethlehem Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Hull 4381
Launched Oct 31, 1942.  Built as Class T3-S-A1 tanker Marquette for U. S. Maritime Commission during World War II.  Registered at 488.3 x 68.3 x 36.9, 10340 GT, 6301 NT.  501’8” LOA, 487’6” LBP,  68’ beam, 37’ depth.  Transferred 1943 to U. S. Navy and renamed Neshanic (AO-71).  Sold 1947 to Gulf Oil Co. and renamed Gulfoil. 

Collided Aug 7, 1959 with tanker S. E. Graham in Newport RI harbor.  Graham loaded with 1,000,000 gal. of gasoline, Gulfoil light.  Explosion occurred, killing 15 aboard Gulfoil.  Abandoned to the underwriters as a constructive total loss.  Damaged hull sold to Maryland Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. and towed to Baltimore MD  Sold 1960 to owners below. 

Converted to Great Lakes bulk freighter with the addition of a new midbody built at Rotterdam Netherlands by Verolme United Shipyards and towed to Baltimore.  Renamed Pioneer Challenger 1961.

730’ LOA, 715’11” LBP, 75’ beam, 39’ depth
1 deck, arch cargo hold construction, hatches @ 24’, oil-fired boilers, steam turbine engine, 7700 SHP

Enrolled at
716.7 x 75.2 x 35.7, 13232 GT, 9464 NT     US 251093     to:
Pioneer Steamship Co., Cleveland OH, Hutchinson & Co., Mgr.  (home port Wilmington DE)

Entered Great Lakes service July 1961 loading a cargo of iron ore at Sept Iles QC enroute to the Great Lakes, up Welland Canal July 10, 1961, for Cleveland OH.

Sold 1962 to Columbia Transportation Division, Oglebay Norton Co., Cleveland OH and renamed Middletown.

Converted to self-unloader 1982 at Sturgeon Bay WI by Bay Shipbuilding Co.
Remeasured to 13205 GT, 9487 NT

Sold 2006 to American Steamship Co., Williamsville NY and renamed American Victory.

Laid up Nov 12, 2008 at Superior WI

IMO 5234395

Laid up at Superior WI






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