Capulin (5543grt/1920) U.S. vessel

2nd March 2006, 17:51
Hi all

On the 10 Feb 1924 the Capulin was in collision with the British Coastal Collier Brook some 2 1/2 miles southwest of the Shipwash Lightvessel and the Brook was lost.

Can anybody help me with some details of the Capulin. ie Owners, subsequent history and final fate. A pic would be great but unexpected.

(The impossible we do, miracles take 5 minutes more)



2nd March 2006, 18:04
Have just looked a war sailors and there was a Capulin (US) on convoy HX204 and a Capulin (Pan) on convoy HX172.

Don't know if there was any connection.


Hugh MacLean
2nd March 2006, 18:50
Hello Nigel,

For starters then. (Merchant Ships - Talbot Booth 1942).

American Hampton Roads Line (Southgate Nelson Corp)
(Yankee Line) Norfolk VA.

Capulin Built 1920, 5,000gt
Distinguishing features: Hulls: Black. Boot-Topping: Red

Website has a picture not brilliant.


Bruce Carson
2nd March 2006, 20:49
She was one of 122 ships built by the American International Shipbuilding Corporation at Hog Island, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia.
A government scheme to build standard type freighters for WWI service that was plagued by gross mismanagement and financial scandal, none of the ships ever saw service in WWI.
The yard, with fifty ways created from scratch on a bog, was for a short time the largest shipyard in the world before it was was shut down in early 1921. Hog Island ships came in two types, Type A were freighters, 122 of which were eventually built , and a Type B, a troop transport. The cargo ships measured about 5,750GT, 3,550 Net, 7,000 Dis. T. Single screw, DR turbine powered with a service speed of 9-10 knots, they were 390' (410' OA) x 46' with a fully loaded draft of 24'.
The 'Capulin' (5,543GT, 3,407NT) was launched on March 31, 1920 and delivered to the Shipping Board in June.
In the twenties she sailed for the American Hampton Roads Line (Export Transportation Co., managers) from Baltimore to the UK and then for the American Merchant Line (J. H. Winchester Co., managers) from New York to Britain.
In the thirties she was variously with the American Hampton Roads Line and the Oriole Line, both managed by Southgate Nelson Corporation.
These lines chartered their ships, including the 'Capulin', to the United States Lines in September, 1939.
The 'Capulin' was next chartered to the Compania Sud Americana de Vapores under the Chilean registry in 1943 and renamed 'Illapel'.
She was returned to the Government in 1947 and her original name was restored before she went to the breakers in the same year.
I believe she was government owned for her entire career, the vessel never having been bought by any of her operators.
Many of the Hog Islanders did make their way into to private ownership between the wars and many of the prominent US steamship companies of the time owned this type---American Export, Moore & McCormack, Alcoa, Delta and Waterman, for example.

Bruce C.

Bruce Carson
2nd March 2006, 21:11
WWII picture of the ship added to the Gallery:

Bruce C.

Oops, it's the same photo that Hugh has URL'd previously.

3rd March 2006, 09:21
Tks Hugh & Bruce for you help