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SS Pendleton
Pendleton Sinking Ship.jpg
Bow section of Pendleton sinking.
Name: Pendleton
Owner: War Shipping Administration (1944-48)
National Bulk Carriers (1948-52)
Operator: United States Marine Corps (1944-48)
National Bulk Carriers (1948-52)
Port of registry: United States Portland, Oregon, United States
Builder: Kaiser shipyards, Portland, Oregon
Yard number: 49
Launched: 21 January 1944
Completed: February 1944
Out of service: 18 February 1952
Identification: United States Official Number 245152
Code Letters KWAA
ICS Kilo.svgICS Whiskey.svgICS Alpha.svgICS Alpha.svg
Fate: Broke in two, subsequently scrapped
General characteristics
Type: Type T2-SE-A1 tanker
Tonnage: 10,448 GRT
6,801 NRT
16,613 DWT
Length: 504 feet 0 inches (153.62 m)
Beam: 68 feet 2 inches (20.78 m)
Depth: 39 feet 2 inches (11.94 m)
Installed power: Steam turbine
Propulsion: Screw propeller
Speed: 15 knots (28 km/h)
Crew: 41

SS Pendleton was a Type T2-SE-A1 tanker built in 1944 in Portland, Oregon United States for the War Shipping Administration. She was sold in 1948 to National Bulk Carriers, serving until 1952 when she broke in two in a storm. The story of her loss is to be told in a film due to be released in 2016.

Description[edit | edit source]

The ship was built as yard number 49 by Kaiser Shipyards, Swan Island Yard, Portland, Oregon.[1] Assessed at 10,448 GRT, 6,801 NRT,[2] 16,643 DWT,[1] she was 504 feet 0 inches (153.62 m) long, with a beam of 68 feet 2 inches (20.78 m) and a depth of 39 feet 2 inches (11.94 m). She was driven by a steam turbine driving a screw propeller. The turbine was manufactured by General Electric of Worcester, Massachusetts.[2] It could propel her at a speed of 15 knots (28 km/h).[1]

History[edit | edit source]

Pendleton was launched on 21 January 1944 and completed in February. She was built for the United States Marine Corps.[1] She was owned by the War Shipping Administration. Her port of registry was Portland, Oregon. The United States Official Number 245142 and Code Letters KWAA were allocated.[2] During WWII, Pendleton was a member of Convoy ON 249, which departed from Liverpool, Lancashire, United Kingdom on August 18, 1944 and arrived at New York on September 2.[3]

Pendleton was transferred to National Bulk Carriers of Wilmington, Delaware in 1948.[1] In July 1951. Pendleton ran aground in the Hudson River, New York. She was refloated the next day. The part of her hull that was aground was in the area where the ship was to break in two nine months later.[4]

Loss[edit | edit source]

While en-route from New Orleans to Boston, she broke in two on February 18, 1952, south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts in a gale.[1] A United States Coast Guard Consolidated PBY Catalina aircraft was diverted from searching for T2 tanker Fort Mercer to search for Pendleton, and located both sections. At this point, the Coast Guard realized that they were dealing with two ships that had broken in two. The motor life boat CG-36500 was dispatched from Chatham, Massachusetts. She only had four crew on board as the rest of her crew had made themselves scarce on hearing that the 36-foot (11 m) CG-36500 was to be sent out to Pendleton's aid.[5] Nine of Pendleton's 41 crew were lost - all eight that were on the bow section and the ships' cook from the stern section,[4] who had unselfishly assisted the rest of the crew off the vessel before him. He was lost when he mistimed his jump from the ship to the lifeboat. With the survivors on board, a row developed over how they should be dealt with. The coxwain of CG-36500 decided not to transfer them to USCGC McCulloch and headed for the beach. The survivors were safely landed at Chatham.[5]

The rescue of the survivors of the shipwrecked Pendleton is considered one of the most daring rescues of the United States Coast Guard.[6] All four crew of CG-36500 were awarded the Coast Guard's Gold Lifesaving Medal.[4] At the time of her loss, Pendleton was insured for US$.[7]

Her afterpart went aground near Chatham Bar and her forepart grounded on Pollock Rip Shoal. The stern section was sold in 1953 to North American Smelting Co. for recycling at Bordentown, New Jersey. However, it was stranded on June 4, 1953 in the Delaware River and dismantled there c.1978 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Visser, Auke. "Pendleton". Auke Visser. http://www.aukevisser.nl/t2tanker/id246.htm. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Lloyd's of London. "Lloyd's Register Steamers and Motorships". Plimsoll Ship Dara. http://www.plimsollshipdata.org/pdffile.php?name=45a0816.pdf. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  3. "Convoy ON.249". Convoyweb. http://www.convoyweb.org.uk/on/index.html?onz.php?convoy=249!~onzmain. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Visser, Auke. "Pendleton Wreck". Auke Visser. http://www.aukevisser.nl/t2tanker/id916.htm. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Webster, W. Russell (December 2001). "The Pendleton Rescue". United States Coast Guard. http://www.uscg.mil/history/articles/Pendleton_Webster.asp. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  6. "Pendleton Rescue". United States Coast Guard. http://www.uscg.mil/history/Pendleton_Index.asp. Retrieved September 30, 2014. 
  7. "Error: no |title= specified when using {{Cite web}}". February 20, 1952. 

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