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Sunday, August 21, 2011

THE SS JOSIAH G. HOLLAND


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What you are viewing above is the remnants of the Liberty ship SS Josiah G. Holland....but at the time of the above photo she had been sailing under the Greece Flag and had been renamed Ekaterini G.

I have always been interested in what had happened to some of the Liberty ships...especially the ones that went into commercial use...most generally connected to other nations. This is what happened to the Josiah G. Holland. For the most part I am in awe of how long they continued to be useful to there owners after the war.

The Josiah G. Holland was built at the California Shipbuilding Corp.....her keel was laid on August 14th, 1943, and she got her first taste of sea water on September 17th 1943.


She was a tanker that was actually operated by American Republic Corp. This particular Liberty ship was named after the Journalist Josiah G. Holland (1819 - 1881) whom was editor of the Springfield Republican, Scribner’s Monthly and the Century Magazine.

After the Josiah G. Holland got a taste of the sea....she was involved in many, many convoys [an if anyone wishes to see the listing of the convoys she was involved in....just e-mail me and I’ll be glad to send the list to your in-box.... cshortridge73@gmail.com Or cshortridge@comcast.net ] but her WW II sea life came to a halt on August 16th, 1946....and she entered the Mobile Reserve Fleet.

But low and behold she was withdrawn on February 18th 1948....and in April of that same year was sold to Phoenix Steamship Corp....renamed Cygnet III and sailed under the U.S. flag. Well I guess she was seen as a good enough working vessel so in 1949 she was converted to a dry cargo vessel at Baltimore, Maryland.

She was put up for sale in the early 50's and purchased by Piamonte Cia. Nav., S.A. and renamed Batsi....and sailed under the Panama Flag, but this company did keep her all that long she was  again sold in 1954 to San Gregorio Cia. Nav., S.A. renamed Ekaterini G. She still remained to sail under the Panama Flag.

For some reason that I don’t know about she was ‘Re-flagged’ in 1955 ...kept the same name as above, but sailed under the Liberia Flag.  She was sold again in 1961 to Importers Shipping Corp.....kept the same name, but was now sailing under the Greece Flag.

Now let me tell you folks this lady really gets around.

Ok....this ole girl is just about to the end of her rope.....on 10/17/65 on a voyage from Niigata, Japan to the U.S. West Coast in ballast she lost her propeller in rough weather 700 miles north of Midway Island. She was taken in tow by the USS Tawakoni, she came adrift in a storm arriving at the Aleutian Islands to await an additional tug. She Grounded on Great Sitkin Island, twenty miles from Adak, her bottom was torn off, plating and decks buckled and fractured. Salvage attempts were abandoned and she was declared a total loss.

And the top picture is what she looked like after abandonment.

She served her owners well....22 + years....that is pretty darn good in my book

END

Author: Bud Shortridge


The ship photo and the commissioning photo was furnished to me by Mr. William Layton.