Isthmian Lines
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S.S. Steel Advocate

Gross Tonnage:8,001Net:4,709
Dimensions:492' 0" x 69' 7" x 29' 5"MC Type:C3-S-A2
Builder:Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp.
Pascagoula, MS
Hull #
USMC Hull #
Date of Build:
Engines:2 Steam Turbines DR Geared to Single Screwed ShaftEngine Builder:Westinghouse Electric & Mfg. Co.
Pittsburgh, PA
Navigation:DF, ESD, GC, RDR, RTDecks, etc.:2 Decks & Open Shelter Deck

Began Isthmian Service:1947Ended Isthmian Service:1973

----------------------------------- Vessel History -----------------------------------
Call Ltrs
Sea TigerUS War Shipping Administration, operated by American Export Lines as Army Troopship
New OrleansUSWB
Sea TigerUS Maritime Commission
New OrleansUS
Steel AdvocateIsthmian Lines, Inc.
New York
New YorkUS

1940: Originally ordered from Seattle-Tacoma SB Corp., Seattle, WA, a subsidiary of Todd Drydock & Construction Co., as one of a group of four C3 hulls. (In June 1944 the yard became known as Todd Pacific Shipyards, Inc.) Laid down for Isthmian SS Co. as Yard #9, MC Hull #170. Launched as Steel Advocate 1/15/42. Completed for the US Navy as an Escort Carrier in September 1942, renamed BOGUE (CVE 9). Stricken to USN Reserve Tacoma, WA. November 1946. Reclassified CVHE in 1955. Scrapped in Japan in November 1960.
9/9/43: Keel laid.
1/28/44: Launched.
7/31/44: Delivered.
8/26/44: Completed conversion to a transport (2,076 troops) by builders for operation by WSA as Army Troopship.
5/7/46: Returned to U.S. Maritime Commission Reserve, assigned to James River Reserve Fleet at Lee Hall, VA.
1946: Conversion contract awarded to Todd Shipyard, Hoboken, NJ, at a cost of $368,198.
2/48: Heavy weather damage to plates and internals.
5/48: Heavy weather damage to plates and internals; repair cost $16,443.
4/5/49: On voyage Baltimore to Calcutta, at Madras, collision with Swedish MV HALLAND, on voyage Gothenburg to Yokohama. Swedish vessel received plate damage on port side.
4/49: Hit submerged object. Repair prop and renew shaft; repair cost $9,000.
12/49: Collision with barge. Fit spare prop, draw and test shaft; repair cost $9,500 at Houston.
2/23/51: Outbound New Orleans for New York with tug MARY B, at 9:57 PM hit and holed U.S. Army barge B4 D934 and Poland Street Wharf. Barge in sinking condition and 10% of pier destroyed. Stem and windlass damage to ship. Assisted by tug ALLAN, finally moored 11:50 PM at Congress Street Wharf. Anchor windlass damaged while endeavoring to check vessel's movement. Renew driving shaft bronze bushings, remove and replace at New York.
2/24/51: Vessel to Todd's Shipyard, 12:30 PM for temporary repairs costing $7,500.
2/26/51: Left New Orleans for repairs at Baltimore.
6/8/51: Collision with Moore McCormick C-3 freighter MORMACPENN.
2/18/52: Hit submerged object at Baltimore. Fit spare prop and draw shaft.
10/24/53: On voyage Djakarta to Mobile, aground at KM 149.7 in Suez Canal. Cause of casualty was that STEEL ADVOCATE and SS ITINDA were following motor tanker HAUPRINS, which grounded, as a result of which the two following vessels had to moor, and both grounded due to the current. Off the same day with aid of a Suez Canal Company tug. Diver reports no apparent damage.
10/25/53: Left Port Said.
6/4/54: Hit lock.
12/7/54: From hitting lock 6/4/54, remove and recondition propeller, install spare, renew fractured tailshaft together with sundry damages and removals; repairs and drydocking at Baltimore.
2/25/55: At approximately 1318 on September 25, sighted and rescued Captain A. J. Machado and Copilot R.C. Hightower who were floating in life jackets, the only survivors of the crash of Flying Tiger Line's DC-4 N 90433. This plane, having left Honolulu at 0013 September 24, was on an IFR Flight Plan to Wake Island. At 0633 an emergency was declared to Wake ARTC, advising of loss of power in three engines and an inability to return to Honolulu. Of the remaining three crew members, one went down with the aircraft and two died in the water.
9/16/58: At Houston, on voyage from Calcutta via Savannah inward bound, in collision with tug OX and oil barge in Houston Ship Channel early in the day. The tug OX capsized and sank; one member of the tug's crew is missing, presumed drowned, and three others on board the tug were injured. The STEEL ADVOCATE went aground and was refloated with minor damage to vessel, no damage to cargo.
9/13/60: At San Francisco, STEEL ADVOCATE, Baltimore for Manila, damaged while manoeuvering. The main propulsion machinery was operating astern in answer to and ahead telegraph order, resulting in the vessel's rudder and stern striking Pier 4, South San Francisco.
12/28/60: From striking pier 9/13/60 at San Francisco: Rudder and stock remove for further examination and repair, stern frame alignment ascertain, owner's spare rudder machine to required sizes and align to owner's spare stock, spare rudder and stock install, one stern shell plate renew, together with sundry damages and removals. Repairs partially completed at Baltimore. Repairs to shell plating deferred. Supplementary survey to be held in connection with the vessel's removed rudder and stock, at which time the methods of repair to be agreed.
3/19/62: From Palembang, according to a survey report, during discharge of cargo from steamer STEEL ADVOCATE, Baltimore for Penang, at this port, a ship's sling broke, dropping cases on a wooden lighter being used to receive the cargo, causing it to capsize.
5/2/62: Damage sustained in consequence of alleged crew negligence in failing to maintain an adequate water level in vessel's main boilers while lying moored at Erie Basin, Brooklyn.
6/6/62: From damage sustained 5/2/62 at Erie Basin: Port boiler 52 roof tubes, 41 rear tubes, 53 screen tubes, two superheater support tubes and 34 superheater tubes buckled, renew, various tubes leaking, re-expand, insulation and refractory partially renew, boiler open, test and close up, starboard boiler open, test and close up, together with sundry damages and removals. Repairs completed.
7/8/62: At 6:30 AM, grounded in the Saigon River.
11/14/62: Grounded at Bangkok Bar.
6/17/63: From New York: From damage alleged sustained 7/8/62 in consequence of grounding in the Saigon River: Starboard side two shell plates renew and five partially renew, skeg repair, internals straighten and partially renew, tanks steam, clean and test, together with sundry damages and removals; repaired.
11/18/63: From damage alleged sustained 11/14/62 in consequence of grounding at Bangkok Bar: Port side shell plating four plates partially renew, keel plate partially renew, condensers sea valves open and clean, main saltwater circulating pump open and overhaul, together with sundry damages and removals; repairs completed at Baltimore.
2/1/65: Damaged as excessive pressure built up in afterpeak tank during transfer of water.
8/18/65: From New York: Damage alleged sustained on 2/1/65 in consequence of excessive pressure building up in afterpeak tank during transfer of water: Steering gear flat deck plate partially remove, five deck beams and five deck beam brackets renew, two shell plates partially renew, forward bulkhead stiffeners renew, steering gear pumps, motor racks, controls, etc., release, foundation check for truth, steering gear machinery open for examination, control gear remove to shop and examine, steering gear panel power panel remove, examine and repair, together with sundry damages and removals. Repairs completed with exception of renewal of bulkhead stiffeners which was deferred due to cargo in the way.
1/5/67: Damaged surging at pier in Hilo, HI.
4/1/68: From San Francisco: From damage alleged sustained 1/5/67 in consequence of surging at pier in Hilo: Eleven shell plates to crop out and renew, together with sundry damages and removals; repairs completed.
4/23/68: From New York: From damage alleged sustained 1/5/67 in consequence of surging at pier in Hilo: Side shell plates starboard side 15 plates renew or partially renew, examine and deal with, together with sundry damages and removals; repairs deferred.
3/4/69: Damaged in consequence of striking buoy in Baltimore.
3/21/69: Steamer STEEL ADVOCATE, Philadelphia and New York for Yokohama and Bangkok, with general cargo, arrived Cristobal for condenser repairs; no surveyor.
3/24/69: From Cristobal: Steamer STEEL ADVOCATE proceeded for Yokohama.
3/28/69: Information received from New York dated 3/28/69 states: Steamer STEEL ADVOCATE, U.S. east coast for Far East via Panama Canal, sustained water damage to main electrical board and other electrical machinery at 1 AM 3/28/69 in approximate position lat. 12 40 N, long. 97 W. Vessel putting into Acapulco under reduced speed as port of refuge for repairs, estimated time of arrival 4 PM local time 3/30/69.
3/31/69: Owners advise temporary repairs effected by crew at sea and vessel proceeding on passage to Yokohama, where permanent repairs to be effected.
4/19/69: STEEL ADVOCATE arrived Yokohama. Arising from breakage of outboard fire pump air vent nipple, water entered electric groups switchboard boxes. Main and auxiliary circulating pump motors starter overload relays damaged, to deal with as necessary.
4/20/69: STEEL ADVOCATE left Yokohama for Pusan.
7/19/69: STEEL ADVOCATE, Mobile for Saigon, arrived Mobile. While at Mobile, fire in galley, mess-room and crew's quarters.
7/30/69: STEEL ADVOCATE arrived New Orleans.
8/10/69: From Cristobal: Steamer STEEL ADVOCATE, New Orleans for Manila and Saigon, with general cargo arrived to repair mail circulator spool; classification surveyor attending.
8/13/69: STEEL ADVOCATE left Cristobal for Manila after repairs.
10/30/69: From New York: From damage alleged sustained in July from fire in galley at Mobile: Galley equipment, fixtures and stores renewed as necessary, decking, paneling and sheathing renewed as necessary, electric wiring, controls, alarms, fans, lighting fixtures, switches, etc., renewed as necessary, cleaning, testing, coating, removals and replacements and staging; repairs completed.
4/28/70: Steamer STEEL ADVOCATE, damage alleged sustained 3/4/69 in consequence of striking buoy in Baltimore: Propeller to be reconditioned, tailshaft to be drawn and stern bearing to be rewooded, one fracture in rudder post to be cut out and welded, upper pintle fairwater plate to be renewed, propeller ropeguard to be renewed, removals for access, staging, necessary drydocking, lay days and services; repairs completed.
1/26/71: At New Orleans, voyage New Orleans for Madras, while docked at Napolean Avenue, had fire in No. 5 hatch, which contained cotton, at 6:40 AM. Fire extinguished at 9:30 AM; extent of damage to vessel and cargo undetermined.
4/10/71: The Pakistan Army is systematically searching areas, carrying out arrests, shooting, looting and setting fire to buildings. Food supplies have almost run out, most areas without electricity and water and all commercial and Government vehicles have been commandeered by the military. Pakistan Air Force has carried out heavy bombing raids on East Bengal towns. Both Dacca and Chittagong are reported to be still firmly held by a heavily reinforced Pakistan Army. STEEL ADVOCATE, from New Orleans, presently at Calcutta with Chittagong cargo comprising mainly steel and general cargoes, approximately 650 - 700 tons. Understand vessel commencing discharge on 4/11/71 at King George's Dock.
4/12/71: U.S. Government reports disturbances in East Pakistan have rendered the port of Chittagong virtually inoperative. Many vessels are reported waiting to unload and, with more on the way, an increasing number are being diverted to Indian and West Pakistan ports to unload.
4/15/71: All indications are that the port of Chittagong has returned to normal following the recent unrest in East Pakistan. For the past few days communications between the port and London have in both directions been uninterrupted and apparently no damage has been caused to the port itself. Eighteen ships waiting in the outer harbour with cargoes of wheat, rice and coal are expected to discharge without difficulty and, similarly, no hindrance is anticipated with exports of jute.
6/18/72: In New Orleans, port boiler burns up due to alleged crew negligence.
6/23/72: Surveyed afloat at New Orleans, voyage Galveston for Saigon, in respect to damage alleged sustained 6/18/72 resulting in the burning up of the port boiler; repairs being carried out.
7/30/72: Left New Orleans for Panama Canal.

Disposition DateComments
1973Sold to Tung Ho Steel Enterprise Corp., arriving at Sattahip 8/18/73, delivered at Kaohsiung 9/1/73. Scrapped 9/73 Kaohsiung. Reported 9/73: Sold to the Republic of China (Taiwan) for Scrapping.

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.

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