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Trying to track down where I might be able to obtain any information on the history/travels of the SS Bladensburg in the Pacific theater of WW2. My dad spent some time on this ship and I am curious to possibly learn more about this ship to appreciate the environment that my dad had to endure.
From what I understand, the ship collided with another and possibly sank.
Thanks.
 

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Stein. Thank you SO MUCH for providing this information. This is my first exposure at historical data on naval vessels. It appears that the USS Bladensburg had its name changed several times and that it did not sink during WW2.
Would you think that the old ship logs (i.e. where it sailed, and when) might be accessible or would such items be destroyed?
Thanks again. I really appreciate your time and help.
 

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Stein - interesting to see, that in the first pics, the bridge superstructure is midships, whereas in the later pics it has been sliced off and relocated aft.
How common was this ?
 

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I'm guessing that the 1967 lengthening of the ship had a lot to do with the changes in appearance. But it is interesting to see the differences in its outline.
 

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The correct designation for this ship is not “USS” BLADENSBURG but rather “SS” BLADENSBURG. “USS” means “United States Ship” and designates a commissioned vessel in the U.S. Navy, generally but not exclusively a warship. A merchant ship typically is denoted “SS” meaning “steamship.”

BLADENSBURG was a type T2-SE-A1 tanker constructed by the Kaiser Swan Island shipyard in Portland, Oregon, USA, in 83 days between June and September 1943. As noted, she survived World War II; I could find no evidence that she was damaged during her wartime career. She was sold into private service in 1948, resold and renamed several times, and was finally scrapped in Brownsville, Texas, in 1981. See http://shipbuildinghistory.com/shipyards/emergencylarge/kswanisland.htm and scroll to hull number 26. Also see http://www.mariners-l.co.uk/T2B.html and scroll to the name of the ship.

The Australian Navy website includes images of ship movement cards for vessels operating in the Pacific during World War II. There is one card for BLADENSBURG, listing what appears to be a single lengthy voyage from October 1943 to March 1944, with numerous ports of call. The ship departed on another voyage on April 23, 1944, but there is no additional information of interest. See https://www.navy.gov.au/media-room/publications/wwii-merchant-ship-movement-records-australia and go from there. Much of the pertinent information on ship movement cards is handwritten and sometimes difficult to decipher.

Additionally the subscription website Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/) has images of war diaries that apparently reference BLADENSBURG. A free seven-day subscription is available.

As to logs of U.S. merchant ships, the United States National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) maintains original “official logs” of merchant ships from World War II. Official logs are not the day-to-day operational logs (e.g., deck logs) showing the ship’s position, course, speed, etc. Instead official logs contain primarily “administrative” information, so to speak, concerning a voyage. Among other things, official logs include the names and ratings of the merchant crew and inclusive dates and destinations of a voyage. See https://www.archives.gov/research/military/logbooks/merchant-vessels.html for a description of the contents of official logs. Masters of merchant ships were required to turn over their official logs to the U.S. Coast Guard at the end of a voyage. Note, however, that there is no central repository of official logs of U.S. merchant vessel. Rather they are maintained by the National Archives facility nearest the port in which a given voyage ended. The voyage noted above ended March 23, 1944, in San Pedro, California. Presumably the official log for that voyage, for instance, would be found in the National Archives facility in San Francisco.

Was your father a merchant mariner or was he in the U.S. Navy Armed Guard that supplied personnel to man defensive weapons on merchant ships? If the latter, NARA maintains other records that would be of interest.
 

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Thank you rcarl616, for your time and great feedback. I really appreciate your insight and additional resources for me to pursue.
My dad didn't talk much about his time at sea, other than he somehow learned to barber while on-board and he continued to practice on us three kids. He was just an electrician on-board and was brought ashore by his employer (Deconhil) to work in the shipyard repairing other ships.
Thanks again for your time and help.
 

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You're absolutely right rcarl616! They were all brave men. My dad sure down-played and was really quiet about his time in the service. Thanks for reminding me.
 

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Ray Terrill -Ray served on the SS Bladensburg

Trying to track down where I might be able to obtain any information on the history/travels of the SS Bladensburg in the Pacific theater of WW2. My dad spent some time on this ship and I am curious to possibly learn more about this ship to appreciate the environment that my dad had to endure.
From what I understand, the ship collided with another and possibly sank.
Thanks.
https://www.armed-guard.com/terrill.html - link to Ray at this site
 

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Thank you Harry T, for the link and information on Ray. I assume that he is your dad. Thanks to both you and your dad for your service. The only thing I personally recall my dad telling me was how he evidently ended up becoming a part-time barber on board ship. Life in the Pacific must have been tough.
Thanks again for your time and feedback.
 

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hi and hello jgrant, no, no relation. email the man and possibly you will hear something of interest. on ships the two men much appreciated and best to keep onside, the cook and the ships (acting) barber.
 
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