The Mormacspruce is Acquired

("The Mooremack News," March 1951)

The cargo liner Mormacspruce, thirty-sixth unit of Moore-McCormack Lines' owned fleet, has been purchased from the Maritime Administration and is en route to the Baltic as this issue of "The Mooremack News" goes to press.

The ship, formerly the Muncie Victory, is in command of Captain C. B. Hamblett, a veteran Mooremack master.  She follows the usual line of the Victory type ship – 7,600 gross tons, 455 feet 3 inches long, 62 feet beam and 28 feet 6 inches draft.

The Mormacspruce went first to Baltimore to load for the Baltic, then to Philadelphia and New York and finally to Halifax.  She sailed from Halifax on March 10.

Captain Hamblett came to Moore-McCormack as a third mate, in 1938.  He served as second mate, then first officer, of the Brazil, served five years in the Navy during the war and returned to the company in November 1946.  His first command with the company was the Mormacdale.  He also commanded the Mormacfuel and the Mormacreed.

Left to Right: Mormacspruce eases into her pier on her first visit to New York: Captain Hamblett and Frank Sheely remove any doubts as to her identity.

Left to right: A distant view of the Mormacspruce as she comes to port; Mr. Sheely congratulates Captain Hamblett on his new command.



Canaveral Plays Host

(From "The Mooremack News," Autumn 1955)

The up-and-coming port of Canaveral, on Florida’s east coast, bustled eagerly in mid-June when the Moore-McCormack cargo liner Mormacspruce, commanded by Captain Andrew Horkovich, tied up.  For this was the first merchant ship to call at Canaveral, and the folk, who are planning big things for the port, hoped they could consider the arrival a good omen.

Mormacspruce at Port Canaveral

So happy were they, indeed, that they gathered in goodly number aboard the ship and applauded while Karl Brinson, Commissioner of the Port Authority, presented an engraved gold watch to the veteran Moore-McCormack master.  The Mormacspruce was under charter to the Military Sea Transportation Service.

The ship had come primarily to load vehicles, lumber and other cargo for transportation to St. Lucia Island in the West Indies.  The reason for this operation was that the Patrick Air Force Base is located at Canaveral and several pieces of equipment had to be moved from it to St. Lucia.

However, this was only one phase of the general plan.  Forty miles away is the city of Orlando, center of the Indian River citrus country, and if certain plans work out as hoped Canaveral can develop as a fairly important port of export.  Several towns and cities in the neighborhood are deeply interested, notably nearby Cocoa and Rockledge, whose mayors, Gary Bennett and Roy Estridge, were present aboard the Mormacspruce during the ceremonies.  George J. King, manager of the Port Authority, is probably the most enthusiastic of all.

Actually, Canaveral is about eighteen months old as a port, buoys and other channel markers having been installed and dedication ceremonies held in early 1954.  But nothing quite as important as the Mormacspruce had arrived to lend it official recognition.

Captain Horkovich acted as host to the civic and commercial representatives, also representatives of the Air Force and M.S.T.S. at luncheon aboard ship while the work of loading cargo was under way. He told his guests he hoped the ship would return, soon and often, to Canaveral.

The Orlando Sentinel expressed the general feeling in a cartoon showing "Old Man Florida" waving a friendly hat to a ship identified as the Mormacspruce, as he called out "Bon Voyage," the cartoon having the caption, "Are You Looking, Jacksonville and Tampa?"

A new oil terminal was recently built there, land has been leased on which a fresh juice plant is to be built, and plans in the works may attract other industries.









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