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S.S. Steel Rover

Gross Tonnage:8,090Net:4,700
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:General Electric Co.
Lynn, MA
Navigation:DF, ESD, GC, RDR, RTDecks, etc.:2 Decks & Open Shelter Deck

Began Isthmian Service:1947Ended Isthmian Service:1971

----------------------------------- Vessel History -----------------------------------
Call Ltrs
APA 101
USS MontourUS Navy, as Combat Loaded Transport
USS MontourUS Maritime Commission
Steel RoverIsthmian Lines, Inc.
New York
New YorkUS

10/20/43: Keel laid.
3/10/44: Launched, sponsored by Mrs. Walter Gulley.
6/9/44: Acquired by U.S. Navy on loan charter basis and placed in partial commission to steam to Brooklyn, NY for conversion by Bethlehem Steel Corp.
12/9/44: Commissioned at New York, Capt. James H. Thach Jr. in command.
4/19/46: Decommissioned at Norfolk.
4/23/46: Delivered to U.S. Maritime Commission.
5/8/46: Struck from Naval Register.
1946: Conversion contract awarded to Constable Hook Shipyard, Bayonne, NJ, at a cost of $494,598.
1947: 55,000 cubic feet of reefer space installed by Ingalls Shipbuilding, Birmingham, AL.
12/48: As a result of heavy weather, renew 3 shell plates, straighten 4 shell plates and internals, steam and clean tanks at Baltimore.
8/6/50: On voyage Baltimore to Port Swettenham, just after clearing Hong Kong waters with a cargo of arms for Saigon, at 11:30 AM local time shelled by 2 unidentified motor junks. The attackers fired 5 shells causing superficial damage and no casualties. Agents for vessel asked Royal Navy for escort when vessel resumes journey.
8/7/50: Resumed voyage to Indochina.
2/20/52: Damaged by heavy weather on voyage Djkarta to Baltimore. Renew 1 deck plate, 2 hatch covers and corner doullers. Weld 1 deck plate and 2 hatch coaming fractures. Renew pipe guards, boom rests and gangway fair, stanchions fair and partially renew; repairs at Baltimore.
11/29/52: Struck buoy on voyage Honolulu to Baltimore. Remove and record prop and cone, fit spare and draw shaft; repairs at Baltimore.
2/18/53: Sailed from Boston to New York. Originally scheduled to sail Boston, voyage Honolulu to Baltimore, for New York 2/15. Vessel delayed on account of engine trouble.
5/5/53: Supplementary to cable of 12/16/52, propeller blade found fractured; renew propeller at New York.
1/22/56: Struck lock wall.
2/6/56: From striking lock wall 1/22/56, 1 plate partially renew and 2 fair, frames and bulkheads straighten and partially renew, insulation partially renew, together with sundry damages; drydocking and repairs at Baltimore.
4/3/57: Heavy weather on passage Southhampton to New York.
9/11/57: From weather damage 4/3/57, 3 bottom plates renew, 3 partially renew and 7 fair, frames, floors and brackets straighten and partially renew, together with sundry damages; repairs at Chester, PA. Surveyor is of the opinion the foregoing damage was resultant upon the vessel encountering heavy weather on numerous occasions.
8/9/58: Struck a reef off Florida Keys in the morning, while on voyage from Honolulu to Philadelphia, sustaining extensive damage to the hull.
8/27/58: From New York, a contract has been awarded to Bethelem Steel's Key Highway ship repair yard, Baltimore, covering damage to the hull of the STEEL ROVER, which touched bottom 8/9/58. Damage is said to be extensive.
2/15/69: From San Juan, PI: American steamer STEEL ROVER, 7,738 gross tons (classed) American Bureau of Shipping, New Orleans for Calcutta, struck unknown object leaving San Juan harbor for South Africa and ruptured bottom plating C10, 11, 12C.
3/1 - 15/69: Vessel dry docked at San Juan for permanent repairs. Vessel proceeded to Vieques to reload ammunition - all Military Sea Transportation Service cargo. Vessel expected to continue voyage 3/21/69.
3/25/69: STEEL ROVER left Puerto Rico for Calcutta.
3/27/69: From New York: From damage alleged sustained in consequence of striking an unknown submerged object while leaving San Juan, P.R. harbor on 2/15/69: Two bottom shell plates partially renew and internals straighten and/or partially renew as necessary, together with sundry damages and removals; repairs deferred.
10/31/69: Damaged at Houston in consequence of No. 1 lifeboat drifting into STEEL ROVER's propeller which was being turned on the jacking engine, while lifeboat was being used during painting Plimsoll marks.
11/14/69: From New York: From damage alleged sustained 10/31/69 at Houston, in consequence of No. 1 lifeboat drifiting into propeller: Remove equipment and stores from damaged lifeboat, lifeboat renew and store, propeller remove and blades fair, together with sundry damages and removals; repairs partially completed, partially deferred.
12/4/70: From New Orleans: Steamer STEEL ROVER, damage alleged sustained to rudder, no specific allegation having yet to be made: Rudder unship and rebuild, bushings renew, rudder post gudgeons rebore, rudder post gudgeon bushings renew, rudder stock unship and fractures weld, palm bolts renew, removals and replacements, together with sundry damages; repairs have been in progress.

Disposition DateComments
1971Sold to Taiwan Shipbreakers, arriving at Kaohsiung 8/23/71. Scrapped 8/71 Kaohsiung. Reported 11/71: Sold to the Republic of China (Taiwan) for Scrapping.

Photo courtesy of 2010 - All rights reserved.

Photo courtesy of 2010 - All rights reserved.

Photo courtesy of Alec & Juanita Tod 2008 - All rights reserved.

SS Steel Rover

Oil painting by Charles Lundgren of the Steel Rover.

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. 2003 - Links - Site Map