A C-4, California Class, launched 6/26/62 at Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company as the Washington for States Steamship Company.  Was  acquired from States Steamship 1/25/77 in a swap. (4  California Class ships for 6 1624 Class ships.  Sold to United States Line 1983. Transferred to   MARAD  NDRF  in 1986. Left James River Reserve Fleet on November 26, 2004 to be dismantled at Esco Marine facility in Brownsville, Texas costing MARD $1,396,095 to scrap her.


May 14, 1983 - The laid up cargo liners of Mormactide and Mormacwave at 39th Street, Brooklyn, New York.  (Courtesy of World Ship Society and Steamship Historical Society.)


Thanksgiving Souvenir Edition of "Mormacwave Tidings," November 29, 1945.

Thanksgiving 1945 Menu on the Mormacwave.

The following two articles are reprinted from the Thanksgiving Souvenir Edition of the "Mormacwave Tidings," November 29, 1945.  The first article is about the history of the Mormacwave, the second article you should only read if you have a strong stomach.


History of the Ship


It‘s a good thing to know something about a ship that is carrying you home, so to catch up a little on the history of a fine ship, the S.S. Mormacwave, we have complied the past history of the ship and its record.  The Mormacwave was commissioned in February 1943 as a fast freighter and cargo carrier.  In addition to the thousands of tons of cargo she has carried to most ports in the European and Pacific Theaters of Operation, she has a proud record of carrying over 50,000 GIs.

Her gross tonnage is 7,949 and on her trial run she was clocked at 21.5 knots.  After the initial trip to "downunder" Australia, she was put right back into the shipyards and converted into a troop transport.  It was then she took on the army‘s particular brand of lingo and was termed a C-3, constructed for hauling fast freight, but now, fast GIs.

She is 500 feet in length and is 69.5 feet across.  The top-mast tip of the mast away up to 97.3 feet above the weather dock and she carries a gross weight of 79.49 tons.  Now, the business end of the ship, that stuff that pushes you closer to home each minute of the day, is an 8,500 horsepower steam turbine.

Her cruising speed is a good 17 knots and we‘ve been cruising.  Her best long distance record was a 17.6 average, maintained for 16 days on a hop to Australia.  Top speed was a 19.3 dash, computed from departure to arrival on an inter-island hop.

In her two and one-half years of service, the ships that have passed her on the high seas can be counted on the fingers of one hand.  Her record, an outstanding one, is listed below:

1.         To Australia as a freighter.

2.         To Honolulu, Pago-Pago, Gladstone and Brisbane, Australia, as a Troop Transport.

3.         To Australia as a Troop Transport.

4.         To Australia as a Troop Transport.

5.         To Honolulu, Kwajelien, Eniwetok during the invasion of Makin Island.

6.         To New Guinea and New Zealand as Transport.

7.         To Palilieu and inter-island hops in the South Pacific for a six-month period.

8.         To Hollandia, Leyte and Manila.

9.         To Southern France through the Canal and on to Le Havre, France.

10.       New York to Le Havre.

11.       New York to Marseille.

12.       New York to Le Havre and shuttle between Le Havre and Southampton.

13.       New York to Marseille, vessel‘s name changed from Sea Pike to Mormacwave.



 Log of the Thirteenth Voyage of S.S. Mormacwave


Wednesday, 21 November 1945 --

The first unit to board the ship for her 13th voyage was the 167 AAA Bn., who embarked about 1100 hours.  They were the advanced party for the ship and were charged with preparing for the reception of the other units who were to sail.  About 1400 hours, the 3275 MAM Ord. boarded and the remaining units followed soon after.  They were:  3456 Ord., 3615 Ord., 36 Traffic Regulating Gp., 509 Signal, 571 Port Co., and 573 Port Co.  At 1635 the gangplank was lifted away and at 1640 we "let everything go aft" and cleared the dock.  At about 1806 we left Marseille Harbor and headed for America.  All quiet on ship.

Thursday, 22 November 1945–

Good weather enables ship to clear 417 miles in first 24 hours.  Poker and craps reign supreme as money changes hands swiftly and surely.  Volunteers for mess details flood kitchen for soft jobs.  Four 1st. Sgts. found below decks frothing at the mouth.  Past performances on the sea are told and retold as sea legs are acquired by all hands.  Fire drill and abandon ship drill went off smoothly and in the evening we saw our first picture aboard ship, MR. EMANUEL.

Friday, 23 November 1945 –

Ship still making good time and everybody feeling fine up until about 1800 when a slow rolling motion of the ship slowed us down and reduced the number of volunteer K.P.s in the kitchen.  Rain began to fall and the temperament of the storm increased in violence so that on --------------

Saturday, 24 November 1945 –

The greater percentage of the passengers were ------- well, sicker ‘n hell.  The first mate inspected the ship as usual and shook his head sadly, especially when he inspected lower three.  "Lower three," he said, "stinks."  There were some faint mutterings about the consistent diet at breakfast but most passengers didn‘t care whether breakfast was there or not.  Another picture was shown that night, Jinx Falkenberg in TAHITI NIGHTS.  Craps and poker were not evident.

Sunday, 25 November 1945 –

The storm continued to perform in reckless abandon but we continued to make headway and at noon we were 2589 miles from the U.S.A.  Someone is reported to have seen a dog on board but this was attributed to an hallucination brought about by sea-sickness–and there was no confirmation.  The day ended as it began:  rough.

Monday, 26 November 1945 –

The green hue continued to plague the ship but a few hearty souls went out on deck to watch the ship disappear into the waves.  The starboard deck was rather wet and the hatches on this side were secured to prevent men from being washed overboard.  The Skipper deterred from course in a southerly direction to get out of the heart of the storm.

Tuesday, 27 November 1945 –

The fury of the sea abated somewhat and many new faces were seen outdoors.  We picked up our speed considerably and the ship ceased moving in three directions at once.  K.P.s came back to work along with other mess personnel.  Here a bouquet to the kitchen staff who worked on through the rough weather in spite of the difficulties and long hours.  Games of chance were evident again and the day ended with a brighter outlook all around.

Wednesday, 28 November 1945 –

Scrambled eggs for breakfast.  At noon today we were only 1674 miles from home part and the Skipper reported that we would reach Cape Henry, Virginia, at 1500 on Sunday.  Although the day was calm, we ran into rough weather early in the evening but it was expected that it would not delay our trip.  "Tidings" staff worked through the night to put out the souvenir edition.






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