Thompson, Joseph H.

(1944) 1952                        Joseph H. Thompson                                       

Steel Great Lakes bulk freighter

Built at Chester PA by Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Hull 342
Launched 1944
Built as Marine Robin for U. S. Maritime Commission as Class  C4-S-B2 cargo vessel during World War II, registered at 496.2 x 71.7 x 25.6, 11757 GT, 8182 NT.  520’ LOA, 496’ LBP, 71’6” beam, 43’6” depth.  Participated in the Allied landings in Normandy June 6, 1944.  Laid up after the war in the James River reserve fleet.  Sold Dec 1950 to Wisconsin & Michigan Steamship Co., Milwaukee WI.
Towed to Baltimore MD, where she was converted to a bulk freighter by Maryland Dry Dock Co.  New midbody built at Pascagoula AL by Ingalls Shipbuilding Co. and towed to Baltimore.  Towed to the Great Lakes via the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers to South Chicago IL, where the two sections were joined and conversion was completed.

714’ LOA, 696’ LBP, 71’6” beam, 38’6” depth
Longest vessel on the Great Lakes (until T. R. McLagan of 1954 – superseded Wilfred Sykes of 1950)
1 deck, arch cargo hold construction, hatches @ 24’, oil-fired boilers, steam turbine engine, 9000 SHP

Enrolled at
696.0 x 71.6 x 34.7, 12217 GT, 8469     US 245496     to:
Hansand Steamship Corporation, Cleveland OH, owned equally by Sand Products Corporation and Hanna Coal & Ore Corporation, M. A. Hanna Co., Mgr. (home port Wilmington DE)
In addition to being the longest vessel on the Great Lakes after conversion, longest freight vessel in the world (exceeded in length among U. S. flag vessels only by passenger liners United States and America)

Entered service Nov 4 1952 clearing South Chicago IL light for Escanaba MI

Laid up Oct 9, 1982 at Ecorse MI and did not operate again for this fleet

Sold late 1984 to Upper Lakes Towing Co., Escanaba MI and towed to Menominee MI

Converted 1988-1990 to integrated self-unloading barge with installation of self-unloading equipment and cutting notch in stern.  The material taken from the previous stern was rebuilt into a push tug which was named Joseph H. Thompson Jr.  All controls moved to tug and all former cabins removed.

IMO 5175745

In service 2011 for Upper Lakes Towing






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