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USNS SOUTHERN CROSS

USNS SOUTHERN CROSS

Taken in the Firth of Clyde outbound in June 1985. She was originally a Moore-McCormack ship, MORMACTRADE completed in 1962 by the Sun yard at Chester.
She became part of the Sealift Command in 1980 and I think is scrapped now after a layup period.

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One of the best ships I ever sailed aboard...1982-1983, went to Mcmurdo station on her in early 1983...Sweetest little steam plant that i ever steamed...
 

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A friend of mine fired her up out of the James River Reserve Fleet in 1991- for desert storm, she went to Charleston and then laid up, yes, I heard she was scrapped in Brownsville last year. I joined her in Oakland Ca in 7/82, as 3rd Engineer, Oakland-Chin Hae, Sasebo, Yokosuka, Oakland, Portland OR- (further ice reinforcing) Port Hueneme, Mc Murdo, Christchurch NZ, Port Hueneme, Mobile, Cherry Point, Bayonne (NJ), Rotterdam, Bremerhaven, Haifa, Cherry Point, Boston- got off her on 06/01/83.
 

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Paul:
Having spent some time in the caravan-site above the Cloch, I have seen some pretty weird-looking American ships in the Clyde - all heading for the Holy Loch nuke-sub base - but I never saw this one and the ones that I did see all came in at night, when I couldn't photograph them!.
I also remember the Moore-McCormack ships that used to come to Europe, but not one of this class.
I find it amazing that (thanks to the Jones Act) the US shipbuilding industry in 1962 - when this ship was built - was still exclusively building steamers!
The USA singularly failed, because of its protectionist policies, to get licences to build European-designed, Burmeister + Wain or Sulzer, 'cathedral' two-stroke engines. Sun Shipbuilding did have a licence to build Doxford engines but these were 'old-hat' by the '60s, anyway.
Your picture clearly shows that the over-large 'funnel' on the old MORMACTRADE was a dummy and that the boiler exhausts came from the 'kingposts' immediately aft the superstructure.
A very interesting photo, though.
Bob
 

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Bobs- this class of ship, Commonly referred to as "Moore-Mac 1624's" ran on the west africa an east south america runs almost exclusively.

The class that ran to europe was the Constellation Class- or "Connies's" as they were referred to. Mormac Argo, Vega, Lynx, Rigel, Altair, Draco. These vessels changed hands after 1980, as did their individual silhouettes..they were nice, high speed cargo vessels.

Remember that there was a post war shipbuilding boom between 1952 and 1962, when the wartime builds were either phased out or rebuilt. The majority if these vessels were built under subsidy in exchange for emergency defense usage.
This defense usage also came along with strict requirements- namely one for minimum speeds- dollar for dollar, pound for pound, foot by foot, there were no two stroke or four stroke marine diesel engines which could crank out (forgive the pun) that kind of HP....They 1624's were rated at 15,800 SHP, the Connies at 24,500 SHP....in the size and weight limitations given, there weren't many competitors.
 

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Oh, by the way- the 1624's housed their emergency generator sets and emergency switchboard in the dummy stack....
 

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Steamers? Yes............But I don't know of any diesel ships of that period who could hang with these MM ships at 23 knots.
 

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