Thursday, December 1, 2011


The SS Furnifield M. Simmons was named after...Furnifield McLendel Simmons (January 20, 1854 – April 30, 1940) was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from 1887 to 1889 and U.S. senator from the state of North Carolina between 1901 and 1931. He served as chairman of the powerful Committee on Finance from 1913 - 1919. In 1920 he was an unsuccessful contender for the Democratic Party nomination for president.  As a leader of the state Democratic Party, Simmons led the 1898-1900 White Supremacy campaigns that effectively disfranchised black voters for a half-century. From his Senate seat, he then ran a powerful political machine, using A. D. Watts "to keep the machine oiled back home," in the words of one journalist.
The SS Furnifield M. Simmons was a Liberty ship freighter that was built at North Carolina Shipbuilding Co. and assigned emergency hull no. 888.  Her Keel was laid on January 13, 1943, and her hull touched the water on her Launching of February 10, 1943.  She was Delivered to her Operator R. A. Nicol & Co. on February 18, 1943.

1947 [February] she was sold to A/S D/S Svendborg an displayed the Denmark flag, as well as having her  name changed to SS Ellen Maersk.

1948 she was sold again to A/S J. Ludwig Mowinckels Rederi and displayed the Norway flag with a name change to SS Hada County.

1952 she was sold again to Monarca Cia. Nav., S.A. and displayed the Liberia flag with a name change to SS Comet.
1968 [February] she arrived at Shipbreakers, Sakaide, Japan for scrapping.

Author: Bud Shortridge