Cargo Liners

Vessel Manning


Circa 1930s - 1970s, United States flagged freighters were required to have certain personnel onboard.   Captain Joe Stone has provided us with the following normal vessel manning:


Captain:   In overall command.

Chief Mate/Chief Officer:   2nd in Command responsible for deck maintenance and cargo loading discharging and security.

Second Mate:   Stood 4-8 watch Am & PM acted as Navigator responsible for charts and their correction.

Third Mate:   Stood 12- 4 watch AM & PM responsible for maintenance of firefighting equipment, took a turn relieving 2nd Mate for dinner each night at sea.

Third Mate or Jr. Third Mate:   Stood 8-12 watch AM & PM responsible for Lifesaving equipment including Lifeboat supplies, took a turn relieving 2nd Mate for dinner each night at sea.

Deck Cadet:   In training usually under supervision of Chief Mate

Radio Officer:   Maintained radio equipment and received and sent coded messages to and from the ship.  Stood a total of eight hours per day on watch between 8 AM and 8 PM.

Bosun:  In charge of deck gang (all other deck dept members) took direction for work from Chief Mate.

Deck Maintenance Man:    Usually a qualified AB work for Bosun on day work. Different ships had different numbers of Deck Maintenance Men.

6 Able Bodied Seaman:   (ABís) two on each watch above.

3 Ordinary Seamen:   (OSís) one on each watch above.

Chief Engineer:    In charge of engine room and shipís machinery including deck winches etc.

1st Assistant Engineer:   In charge of all engineer related maintenance.

2nd Asst Engineer:   Stands 4-8 watches responsibility of testing boiler water and maintaining proper water chemistry.

3rd Asst Engineer:   Stands 12-4 watch responsibility for lube oil purification.

3rd Asst Engineer or Jr. 3rd Engineer:   Stands 8 Ė 12 watch responsibility for the salt water evaporator.

Engine Cadet:    Could be from Kings Point Training Academy or from Union School.

3 Oilers:   One for each of the watches above assisted watch engineer with machinery operation.

3 Firemen Watertenders (FWT):   Actually stood watch in front of boilers and kept fires burning worked under direction of watch engineer.

Wiper:   As name implies they clean up and assist around the engineroom ships differed in numbered carried.

Chief Steward:   In charge of Stewards Dept.

Chief Cook:   Main Cook oversaw galley.

Cook/Baker:   As name implied actually baked and assisted Chief Cook.

3rd Cook:   Worked under direction of Steward and Chief Cook.

Salon Messman:   Served food and cleaned within deckhouse

Salon Pantryman:   Washed dishes.

Officers Bedroom Steward (BR):   Made up officers rooms.

Steward Utility:   Assisted Chief Steward as needed

Crew Messman:   Served crew food.

Galley Utility:   Performed general galley clean-up and assist as needed such as peel potatoes etc.

(2) Passenger Utility and BR:   Serve passenger and make-up rooms.


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