Sunday, November 6, 2011


The Liberty ship SS Robert G. Harper was named after Robert G. Harper (1765-1825) whom was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  At the age of fifteen he joined a volunteer corps of Cavalry and served in the American Revolutionary Army.  Sometime after that he went to and graduated from the College of New Jersey [which now is Princeton University]. After graduation he studied law in Charleston, South Carolina, as well as teaching school at the same time.  He started a practice in the Ninety-Sixth District of South Carolina, moving back to Charleston, S.C. in 1789.
Harper was a member of South Carolina House of Representatives in 1790 until 1795....then elected to the Third Congress, due to filling a vacancy.   It appears he was well liked because he was re-elected the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Congresses, was not voted in for the seventh....but did serve as a U. S. Representative from February 1795 to March of 1801.  Harper was involved in the impeachment proceedings against William Blount.  He moved to Baltimore, Maryland and became engaged in organizing the Baltimore Exchange Co. in 1815.
The SS Robert G. Harper, a Liberty ship freighter,  was Built at Oregon Ship Building Corporation and was assigned the Emergency Hull No. 234.  Her Keel was Laid on: January 22, 1942.  Her Launching was: March 22, 1942, and she was delivered to her operator: Pacific-Atlantic Steamship Co. on April 27, 1942.  Following postwar service she entered the James River Reserve Fleet on June 8, 1946 and was withdrawn on September 1, 1947.

1947 March the Robert G. Harper was sold to Def Ostasiatiske Kompagni and she displayed the Denmark flag and her name changed to St. Croix.

SS St. Croix ex SS Robert G. Harper
1951 she was sold to Puerto Cabello Cia. Nav., S.A. Corp and displayed the Panama flag and her name changed to Marna.
1954 she was sold to Fairwind Shipping Co, S.A. and displayed the Panama flag and her name changed to Astron.
1962 she was sold to Uranos Cia. Nav., S.A. and displayed the Greece flag with a name change to Uranos.
1966 sold to Great Fortune Nav. Co., S.A. and displayed the Liberia flag with a name change to Great Peace.
1968 she was 'Reflagged' and displayed the National China flag but carried the same name...Great Peace.
1970 March she arrived at Shipbreakers, Keelung, Taiwan for scrapping.

Author: Bud Shortridge