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S.S. Steel Age


 
Gross Tonnage:6,188Net:3,821
Dimensions:395' 5" x 55' 0" x 31' 4"MC Type:1037
 
Builder:Federal Shipbuilding Co.
Kearny, NJ
Hull #
USMC Hull #
Date of Build:
Delivered:
31

1920
2/10/20
Engines:2 Steam Turbines DR Geared to Single Screwed ShaftEngine Builder:Midwest Engine Co.
Indianapolis, IN
Navigation:GyCDecks, etc.:1 Deck(Stl) & Shelter Deck(Stl) & Web Frames & Longitudinal Framing, Fitted for Oil Fuel

Began Isthmian Service:1920Ended Isthmian Service:1942

----------------------------------- Vessel History -----------------------------------
Date
Vessel
#
Vessel
Name
Vessel
Owner
Call Ltrs
Home
Port
Flag
1920
219514
Steel AgeU.S. Steel Products Co.
New York
LVKF
New YorkUS
1930
219514
Steel AgeJuly: Isthmian Lines, Inc.
New York
LVKF
New YorkUS
1933
219514
Steel AgeIsthmian Lines, Inc.
New York
KOXZ
New YorkUS

Events:
12/31/19: Launched
2/10/20: Delivered
3/1/20: Departs on maiden voyage from New York under Capt. Longbottom, loaded with steel for Callao, Cinca, Iqueque and Valparaiso.

"On the same day that I had been accepted as a night caretaker at a funeral parlor, I got a Third Mate's job with Isthmian Line, wholly owned by U.S. Steel, and began four years on the SS STEEL AGE. She was a 'three islander', with a focsle, midship house and poop, built about 1920, 450 feet long and 10,000 deadweight tons with five cargo holds. We picked up steel in Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York, carried it to ports on both coasts of India and returned with burlap and jute from Calcutta and a few hundred chests of tea from Colombo, Ceylon." - Capt. Edward F. Carter

"To reduce chartering costs, Isthmian built a fleet of 28 ships between 1920 and 1922. Relatively young Masters and Chiefs staffed them. Advancement was slow, but I was sailing Chief Mate by January 1937. On arrival in San Francisco, I was instructed to immediately proceed overland to the Marine Superintendent in New York. Ordinarily I enjoyed train travel, but I was apprehensive about what awaited me. He offered me the job of Assistant Pier Superintendent at Isthmian's Baltimore piers, Pier Three Locust Point and Pier One Clinton Street. I held this job for a year or two, working eighty hours a week, usually at night because I was the junior of the two Pier Superintendents." - Capt. Edward F. Carter

Disposition DateComments
19423/6 - On February 15th the vessel left Table Bay on a voyage from Calcutta, India to New Orleans, La., Ralph Jones Master. Approximately 600 miles SE Trinidad, position 06.45 N, 53.15 W, at 10:05 PM the U-129 (Clausen) fired two torpedoes at the vessel steaming at 11 knots, that struck the starboard side; the first hitting amidships and the second between #4 and #5 hatches. Most of the crew never had time to leave the ship. The cargo of ore caused the vessel to sink in 2 minutes. The sole survivor ran from the messroom when the first torpedo struck. When he reached the deck, it was already awash and he jumped on a nearby life float. None of the other 8 officers or 26 crew members survived. The lone survivor, AB Jose Muniz, who was coming off watch just after midnight and hurtled overboard from the Boat Deck, was picked up by U-129 within 20 minutes and delivered to a POW camp, from which he was liberated in 1945.




The information on this web site is the kind contribution of our Historian, Skip Lewis, 2003. Skip, whose dad sailed for Isthmian, is an avid collector and researcher of everything Isthmian and States Marine. In his quest, he has used many sources and publications including Lloyd's of London and Imperial Steel by John Atherton.

If you have any questions about, or information for, this website, please contact us.

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