SUMMER 1952

Stories contained herein were published by and for Mooremack Employees Ashore and Afloat.

 

 

Cargoes, A Study in Variety

Meats are shipped to Helsinki for the U.S. Olympic Team

Several interesting stories are tied in with recent cargo movements on Mooremack ships, as shown pictorially on the opposite page. For example, the Mormacdawn sailed in June with a cargo of food for the U. S. Olympic team, at Helsinki, Finland. This consisted of 6,000 steaks, 3,000 lamb chops, 2,500 pounds of split broilers, 2,500 pounds of sliced bacon, 3,000 pounds of boiled ham. The Food Fair Stores, Inc., was selected by the Olympic Committee to make this shipment. The meats, valued at $25,000, are expected to help maintain the U. S. squad in condition to meet the traditionally severe competition offered by the world’s crack athletes at the Olympics.

From Capt. Charles H. Preusch, master of the Mormactern, and a good photographer, come pictures of the unloading of road building machinery for the government of Parana. And at LaGuaira the Morrnacgulf was the first ship of any kind to use the new Pier 18 and the new warehouse No. 1, unloading two heavy lift kilns. This was made the occasion for a celebration by the local Chamber of Commerce, at which Capt. I. Molaug, master of the ship, served as host.

Aboard the Mormacyork, sailing in June, was a large diesel power plant, destined for São Paulo, shipped by the Atlantic Manufacturing Co., of Hamburg. Pa.  Aboard the same ship, also bound for São Paulo, was a Chris Craft motor boat, the two cargoes representing a sharp contrast in the needs of man.

So it goes, the cargo ship moving from port to port carrying the goods that men must have in this modern day.

     

 

Essayist Wins Voyage

Judith Ann Hood, 15-year-old schoolgirl, of St. Louis, Mo., won a trip to South America and claimed her prize, sailing June 12th aboard the S.S. Brazil, for an essay which she contributed, topping many hundreds in nation-wide competition sponsored by the Propeller Club of the United States.  

The prize-winning essay approaches the theme, "The American Merchant Marine—Indispensable to Our Freedom," by speculating on what a group of average Americans would say if asked their opinions of the indispensability of merchant ships.  Miss Hood has a G. I. in Korea wondering how supplies could reach him if it were not for ships.  How, he asks, would weapons and ammunitions reach his and his buddies’ hands, the food and clothing, the medical supplies for the wounded, the oil and other materials?

"To maintain our freedom in this world," says the soldier, "as I hope we’re helping to do, we need equipment.  But how does it get from fast-producing factories in the U.S.A. to our front lines here where we use it? The answer is the American merchant marine."

The soldier’s history teacher expresses agreement with her former student and looks back to the early days of the clipper ships when our nation led all maritime nations, through the War of 1812, then to the decline of American shipping to the First World War, our efforts to plug the hole created by our lack of ships, our efforts after that, and the experiences of World War II. Says the teacher:

"Before 1917 our failure to have a prepared merchant marine was somewhat excusable inasmuch as we were not so global-minded as we are now.  In 1941 it was much more serious. During World War II a masterful job was accomplished, but it was apparent we needed to profit by experience and not be caught as unprepared for a world emergency as was the case in 1917 and 1941.  In both instances we were woefully short of ships and shipyards.  We had to improvise a program of building at vast expense; we had to divert men and materials to emergency shipbuilding; we had to delay military and naval operations.  A third failure might prove to be a terrible disaster.  With an undeclared war still being fought in Korea, and with the forces of Communism on the march in Asia, our need for a strong merchant marine to help protect our freedom is obvious."

Then Miss Hood turned to the soldier’s father, a business man who sees American ships a factor in world freedom. He says:

"We need freedom to deal in world markets; freedom to choose with whom we will trade; freedom to use the seas in peaceful commerce; and freedom from excessive freight rates imposed by foreign carriers. A strong American merchant marine insures our exports of entering into world trade on a competitive basis, not burdened by discriminatory rates, and in case of emergency, would assure our maintaining contacts with our markets abroad."

Miss Hood, accepting these various thoughts, concedes that she, as a high school sophomore, does not know the answer to the questions of world peace and freedom but she does think about them and thus summarizes her reactions:

"It seems to me we must get better acquainted with our world neighbors and try to gain their confidence, trust and friendship.  On our street, this good neighborliness is achieved through communication, contact and friendly gestures.  On World Main Street, stretching thousands of miles over water in all directions, the same principles apply.

"American ships, and the trained merchant seamen who man them are our lines of contact. Their positions must be respected and dignified, and they must be well-rounded citizens.  They should receive the best possible education and training at accredited schools so that they represent us ably.

"Freedom is everybody’s job.  If we in the United States are to remain free men, having rights as citizens, enjoying civil and political liberty, and not subject to any external power, we must be strong both inside and without our borders. The American Merchant Marine insures this strength, both at home and abroad."

     

 

Cruise Program Successful

The series of five special cruises of the Good Neighbor liners to South America gets under way as the NEWS goes to press, with a wave of high enthusiasm pervading, based on the fact that cruise bookings for the five sailings are more than double the number on the corresponding sailings a year ago.

Even before the departure of the S.S. Brazil, on June 12th, evidence of a successful Summer season appeared in the bookings of the S.S. Argentina, which left New York May 29th with just twice the number of passengers in first class carried twelve months earlier.

The Brazil’s sailing was the first of the five which had been set apart in a specially promoted series. She will be followed at two-week intervals, the Uruguay to sail June 26th, the Argentina July 10th, with the Brazil sailing again July 24th on her second in the series of five, and the Uruguay also making her second sailing on August 7th.

All three ships of the fleet will, of course, sail from New York throughout the year on a fortnightly schedule, but the policy of a "special series" in Summer and Winter will be continued by the addition of ports of call and other features.  The Winter series added special stops, and programs at Rio de Janeiro in connection with the pre-Lenten Carnival.

Leo E. Archer, general passenger traffic manager, points out that this Summer marks the company’s first real effort to "sell" South America as a Summer goal for travelers, and the success of the effort justifies a continuation of a special effort each succeeding Summer.  Tied in with this plan is the necessity of overcoming one of the most obstinate handicaps of the company’s passenger promotion, and the only way this can be overcome is through special promotion.

"I refer," said Mr. Archer, "to the difficulty of impressing upon the people of North America the fact that South America in our Summer season is weather-wise an ideal vacation On left, Leo Archer with Mr. McGuirespot. We have, through considerable effort, spread the information pretty well that the seasons are in reverse between North and South America, that it is so-called Winter below the Equator when it is Summer here in the North.

"But we know from the public's reaction that the meaning of this is not understood or appreciated by enough people. We find people who still think the word 'South' automatically means heat, and they just cannot believe that to sail South in June, July or August, will possibly take them to anything but a hot clime. They do not associate the word Winter with South America; it seems incongruous to them.

"Actually, the climate in South America during our Summer, while nominally Winter there, is more like our Spring or our early Autumn. The weather at sea — and that is a major factor to our passengers — is wonderfully comfortable. And ashore you find the usual South American warmth tempered by the seasonal cool, a combination that is really delightful."

Mr. Archer said that the company’s experience with its promotion of this Summer's cruises proved that something can be done to bolster Summer bookings when a special effort is extended. This year calls at the ports of Barbados, in the West Indies, and Bahia, in northern Brasil, have been added to the usual itinerary of Port-of-Spain, Trinidad; Rio de Janeiro and Santos, Brasil; Montevideo, Uruguay, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. This helped arouse some interest, as the addition of new ports generally does, and undoubtedly was responsible in part for the increased bookings over last year's. But the task of explaining South American weather conditions during the season of the year that should be the most productive passenger-wise remains unsolved.

"It is something that cannot be achieved overnight," Mr. Archer conceded. "But they did a lot to make Florida a year-round resort and we can do the same with South America, I am convinced.  We will make it a long-range project and I feel sure that in the years to come our totals of Summer bookings will be steadily higher."

But travel is an all-year-round affair, and the Winter months must be considered as well as Summer, which makes timely the announcement that Thomas J. McGuire, well-known travel agent, has signed an agreement with Mooremack to charter the S.S. Uruguay, sailing from New York next Jan. 21, to transport members of the American College of Surgeons to their annual convention in Sao Paulo, Brasil.  Plans also under way call for a group of photographers to sail in October, and Mr. Archer and his staff are at work on plans involving other group movements.

     

 

Mooremack In the Pacific

From Pusan, Korea, comes a letter from a member of the Mooremack family of long standing, Captain C. M. Hamblett, former master of many of our ships and now in active Navy service as commanding officer of the U.S.S. Haven.

The captain wishes to express greetings to all his friends, but his letter contains statements of even greater interest to all of us of Mooremack, which deserve republishing, as follows:

"Dear Commodore Lee: During the last few months I have had the extreme pleasure of calling on several of your vessels and their captains in the port of Pusan.  Always the result was a most congenial get-together and interchange of conversation which always led to the Mormac family, the many people we knew, and to the old South American and Baltic routes which we are all familiar with. From reports of the port commander I have learned that your ships have always cooperated fully so they speak highly of the evidence of high morale with good organization on all Mormac ships.  I knew that you would like to learn of this fact, hence the information."

     

Farewell to the Sea

When the S.S. Uruguay docked at Pier 32 early in May, Lowell and Marielle Jockey, the dance team who had been on the ship for three years, bade a fond farewell to the ship and to the sea.  Nashville, Indiana, in the heart of the landlocked Midwest, will be their next stop.

Lowell and Marielle figured that crossing the Equator 52 times aboard the Uruguay was enough to make anyone a real sea dog, but the lure of the land still called them. They plan to open a novelty shop at Nashville.

Both of the Jockeys are from the Midwest, Lowell from Indiana, Marielle from Illinois. Captain Jesse Hodges, masterLowel and Marielle Jockey of the Uruguay, gave the team a farewell dinner in the dining room the night before the ship docked and the entire staff came to say goodbye.

In addition to their shows which they put on in the Main Lounge during the trip, the Jockeys gave dancing lessons to the passengers.  They had some unusual students during their trips, but Marielle thought that the most unusual was a Brasilian ambassador who was returning to Brasil to take a government post in Rio.  He had been in the diplomatic service for many years, most of these spent away from Brasil.  He approached the Jockeys, and when they asked him what dance he wished to learn, he replied, "The Samba."

When they got over their surprise at a Brasilian wanting to learn the most popular dance of his homeland, he explained that he had spent so much time outside Brasil during his years in the foreign service that he never had learned the national dance.  Twelve lessons and the Ambassador left the ship, a Samba dancer.

The Jockeys were replaced on the Uruguay by Pierre and Ana D'Angelo.

     

 

Seaman’s Orphans Have Nautical Christmas Party

Mrs. Emmet J. McCormack, wife of the chairman of the board of Moore-McCormack Lines which on Dec. 16 launched the luxurious South American cruise ship Brasil, presented scale models of the new liner to seamen’s children under the care of the Society for Seamen’s Children.  The pre-Christmas party was held Dec. 10th in the Society’s quarters on Staten Island.

Mr. McCormack has been a member of the Board of Counselors of the Society for nearly 25 years and, according to Mrs. McCormack, his interest in the children under care of the Society goes hack even longer.

"Therefore, we wanted the first of the Brasil models to go to these children," commented Mrs. McCormack, who is widely known in Brooklyn and in shipping circles as "Aunt Bess."

     

 

Sherlock Holmes Goes to Sea

There is a terrible temptation to comment, "Typical Moore-McCormack service" as one reads the following in a recent issue of the Baltimore Sun:

Because of a vigilant chief mate on the S.S. Mormacfir, L. C. Puckett, general foreman of the Curtis Bay Coal Pier, was smiling yesterday.

The ring of keys and whistle which he had dropped down the No. 4 tank of the freighter as she loaded coal here three months ago were found and will be delivered to him Monday.

Mr. Puckett told C. L. Stevens, the chief mate, about the incident right after it occurred.

Chief Stevens watched as the 300 tons of coal were removed from the No. 4 deep tank in Copenhagen, and spied the keys and whistle in a coal scoop.

     

 

The Captain’s Family

When the S.S. Argentina came back from South America to New York in April, she was visited by two guests who had more than the usual interest in the ship.  They were Mrs. Henry Olin Billings, of Rochester, N. Y., and her daughter, Anne.

Mrs. Henry Olin Billings and daughter, Anne

Their particular interest was the ship’s library which stands as a memorial to Captain Henry Olin Billings, former chief officer of the Argentina, who went down with his ship, the George Thatcher, when she was torpedoed off the African coast on Nov. 1, 1942.  

Capt. Billings photograph hangs on the wall of the Argentina’s library, with a bronze plaque speaking praise of the troops who went to war in the Argentina and gave their lives.

Mrs. Billings is a teacher of music in the Eastman School of Music, in Rochester, and Anne is a high school student.  Capt. Thomas Simmons, master of the Argentina, with whom Capt. Billings had sailed, welcomed the visitors to his quarters during their visit.

     

 

The Mormacreed Comes Through

Captain Donald D. MacClennan

The officers and crew of the Moore-McCormack liner Mormacreed won the plaudits of the press and public of Rio de Janeiro recently when fire broke out in one of that port city’s important warehouses, spreading rapidly, wrecking the warehouse and ruining materials valued at about $1,250,000.

The Mormacreed was berthed nearby and her master, Captain Donald D. MacClennan, and her third officer, Dale E. Haakinson, sensed quickly the seriousness of the situation. They immediately brought all facilities of their ship into action, and soon five of her hoses were pouring water into the flames.

A Rio newspaper freely credited the Mormacreed and her men with a great achievement, in the following words:

"The fire might have spread to other warehouses, causing a disaster of unprecedented proportions in the waterfront area, but for the quick action by the crew of the Moore-McCormack freighter Mormacreed which confined the fire to Warehouse 5, quelling it in part even before the Rio fire brigades had finished linking the water hoses to the hydrants."

The firemen found it difficult to open the warehouse doors, according to word from Rio; meanwhile the ship's hoses poured water into the fire effectively.  The goods destroyed, it was reported, included sewing machines, television equipment, radios, automobiles, farm equipment and tires.

Col. Henrique Sadok de Sa, Commander of the Rio fire brigade, wrote a letter of appreciation and commendation to Dr. Martin Guilayn, Moore-McCormack director for Brasil, and Dr. Guilayn, reporting to the New York office, commended Captain MacClennan's "wonderful attitude and quick decision."  Other officials of the Brasilian government added their words of praise.

      

 

Mooremack Story on Television

The story of Moore-McCormack Lines was told to hundreds of thousands of watchers and listeners on television on June 10th when Albert V. Moore, president of the company, appeared as guest of the famous newspaper columnist, Bill Cunningham, on the premier telecast of the new Dumont program "Meet The Boss," from New York City.

The telecast was staged three days before Mr. Moore sailed with Mrs. Moore aboard the Moore-McCormack liner Mormacdawn for Gothenburg, Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki, to confer with representatives of the company on matters pertaining to our American Scantic Line activities.  They plan to be away about three months.

Appropriately, the last trip abroad by Mr. and Mrs. Moore, which was completed in January, involved the other two of the company’s services, taking them to the other extreme of the far-flung Mooremack operation, down the east coast of South America by American Republics Line ship, thence from Buenos Aires through the Straits of Magellan via a Pacific Republics Line ship to U. S. Pacific coast.

On television Mr. Moore described these services as they function today and also dipped into history to describe the first stirrings of Mooremack.

Based on the theory that few people ever meet the men who function on high policy level in American industry, the new program is designed to introduce each week three men intimately associated with the operation and growth of outstanding American business firms.

As Mr. Moore sat chatting with Mr. Cunningham, in the studio on the stage of the Adelphi Theatre, the effect ofBill Cunningham interviews A.V. Moore his having dropped in for a chat with the folks watching on their home sets was quite impressive, and to the men and women of Mooremack especially inspiring because they knew their "boss" was telling the world about them as well as himself.

Mr. Moore recalled 1913, the year the firm of Moore & McCormack Co., Inc., was formed by himself and Emmet J. McCormack, as a period of weakness for the merchant marine. The U. S. had been lulled into a sense of dependence on the shipping facilities of foreign flag lines, only to be rudely awakened by the coming of war and the withdrawal of the foreign flag ships.

The new company expanded after the war when a national policy was laid down which called for the operation of American tonnage on so-called essential routes, Mooremack serving both Scandinavia and South America with ventures into various other parts of the world. Mr. Cunningham was especially interested in the company’s ventures as a development of business for the people of the countries served by its ships.

Mr. Moore cited as an example of this our efforts in developing trade in Polish hams to the U. S. by the addition of refrigeration to our Scantic Line ships, another U. S. firm meanwhile having built a factory in Poland to furnish cans for the shipments. He also recalled the tremendous job done by the personnel and ships of the company during the war and again the feat of the Meredith Victory in evacuating more than 14,000 Koreans from Hungnam to Pusan in Christmas week of 1950.

All in all it made a splendid story, and movies showing Mooremack ships loading at Pier 32, North River, added punch to it. The company was signally honored in having been chosen, with American Airlines and Art-Kraft Strauss Sign Corporation for the first broadcast.

It was a coincidence that this honor came with a flood of others, in which personnel of the company participated. Only a few hours before the telecast, Emmet J. McCormack,Emmet J. McCormack is sworn in as a Deputy Commissioner in New York co-founder of the company, accepted in his office at 5 Broadway the designation of honorary citizen of the city of St. Louis.  A few weeks before he had been sworn in by New York's Commissioner of Commerce Walter Shirley as a Deputy Commissioner.

Nor were these honors confined to the shore personnel nor to the United States, for Commodore Robert C. Lee, executive vice-president had just returned from South America with a new decoration of the Merito Naval by the Brasilian government, and Captain Harry N. Sadler, master of the S.S. Brazil, brought his ship into port on June 9 with a gold medal which he had received in Argentina and sailed with her three days later possessing, like Mr. McCormack, the honor of citizenship in St. Louis.  

The St. Louis honors were borne to Mr. McCormack and Captain Sadler by Miss Judith Ann Hood, 15-year-old high school student who won a cruise to South America aboard the Brazil as first prize in a Captain Sadler becomes an honorary citizen of St. Louisnationwide essay contest on the value of the merchant marine, sponsored by the Propeller Club of the United States. Hon. Joseph M. Darst, Mayor of St. Louis and a personal friend of Mr. McCormack, handed the letters of designation to Miss Hood as she left home for New York to embark, with her mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph J. Hood.

The appointment of Mr. McCormack to his post in New York’s Commerce Department was a recognition of his long experience in the maritime affairs of New York.  Mr. McCormack joined a group of the city’s distinguished commercial leaders in accepting this honor, and will be called upon to share his keen knowledge of the world’s greatest port with his fellow citizens.

Captain Sadler’s gold medal was presented to him in Buenos Aires by a group known as Reunion Amigos del Central Coordinator, a group consisting of shipping men concerned with the furtherance of the maritime interests of the port of Buenos Aires. This was to commemorate the captain's thirty years at sea, most of which he has spent as a master of ships operating to Buenos Aires.

Captain Carl W. Finstrom, Mooremack’s operating manager in Buenos Aires is active in this group, has indeed been the leading factor in its development. It is described as a combination of the Propeller Club and the Maritime Association of the Port of New York, and is a growing factor in the shipping picture in B. A. Captain Finstrom recently was guest of the group at a dinner, attended by leaders in all phases of B. A. shipping, including ship operations, stevedoring and terminal operations.

In this issue we also report additional honors that have come recently to men of Mooremack, including the appointment of our medical director, Dr. Francis M. Donehue, as an honorary police surgeon in New York; the appointment of Arnold Fenger, Mooremack district manager in Portland, Oregon, as the chairman of the newly created Maritime Industry Committee of the Portland Chamber of Commerce; and the appointment of Joseph A. Medernach, our Director of Trade Development, as chairman of the Port Committee of the New York Board of Trade. These are only a few examples, as one can discover in reading further into these pages.

Somewhat along the line of the honor paid us by our appearance on the "Meet the Boss" television program was the appearance of our Eleanor Britton and a group gathered by her on the premier performance of a new radio program, "Summer Cruise" on an American Broadcasting Co. nationwide hook-up on June 20th.  Our Captain Lloyd Thompson was a member of the group and did himself proud, too. The theme of the program was travel to South America—via Mooremack, of course.

      

The Mormacgull In War

Every so often the magnitude of the Mooremack wartime operation is brought home to us, the tremendous variety of experience that came to the company's ships and personnel, the vast area of the world that was affected directly by what we were called upon to do in the waging of war.

Recently, this fact was brought home again in a strange manner.  Tony Baker, our cashier in Boston, responded to a letter from Warren T. Hendrikson of Cushing Veterans' Administration Hospital, in Framingham, Mass., requesting stamps for his collection.  Mr. Hendrikson’s reply, which we consider extremely interesting to every good Mooremackite, is as follows:

"Dear Mr. Baker: I received the stamps you sent and I wish to thank you very much for the trouble you took to collect them for us here.  We were especially pleased to obtain copies of the NATO stamp, for of all the five fellows in this ward who collect stamps only one had a copy of that stamp.

"You may have wondered why I originally wrote to your company for stamps; well, it is because of a kind of association with one of your ships.  You see, I was a Navy Quartermaster of the crew who took that former Mormacgull and served aboard her as the U.S.S. Alcyone. Hoping that you will be interested I thought I’d give you a brief history of this ship’s service in the war.

"Shortly after commissioning we went in convoy bringing marines and supplies to Reykjavik, Iceland; then followed three supply runs to islands of the Caribbean area (Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Kingston, Jamaica; San Juan, P. R., St. Thomas, B. W. I., and Port-of-Spain, Trinidad).  We were at Kingston, Jamaica, when war broke out on Dec. 7, 1941.  After this went through the Panama Canal to Wellington, N. Z., with the Guadalcanal attack force, but we were not destined to take part in combat and while a sister ship (the MormachawkU.S.S. Alchiba). went to Guadal we went to Auckland, N. Z.; Noumea, New Caledonia; Espirito Santo, New Hebrides; and Sydney, Australia.

"Returning to the West Coast we were sent to the Atlantic and later to Oran in North Africa to become part of the force attacking the islands of Sicily at Gela.  When we arrived back in the States we were sent to the Pacific and participated in the invasion of Manaus Is., Roi Namur, Kwajalein; Saipan and Guam. I left the Alcyone after Guam about 3½ years since I became a part of her crew; but since I was now with the Commander of the Third Amphibious Force I know the Alcyone was with us at Leyte Gulf and Lingayen Gulf invasions of the Philippines and finally located her in Tokyo Bay shortly after the Japanese surrender.

"In 1949 I was notified that as part of the crew during any of the above actions I was authorized a decoration because the Alcyone had been awarded the Navy Unit citation. Perhaps this letter has been of interest to you and I wish to thank you again for your kindness."

In a note to Fred B. Fitch, our Boston district manager, accompanying Quartermaster Hendrikson’s letter, Mr. Baker added this homely and nostalgic comment: "You may recall that this vessel was turned over to the Maritime Commission at Boston on May 31, 1941, at 10 A.M., at the Boston Army Base and shifted to the Navy yard where conversion was started while you and I were still on board.  In fact we missed lunch because while we were working on the payroll with Capt. Vomberg the Navy cleaned out the refrigerators and took all the food ashore."  The fortunes of war, indeed.

      

 

     

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