SS Antigua

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SS Antigua on 27 November 1942
SS Antigua on 27 November 1942
History
United States
Name:

SS Antigua (1932–58)[1]

SS Tortuga (1958–64)[1]
Namesake:
Owner: United Mail Steam Ship Co. (1932–58)[2]
Operator: United Fruit Company[2]
Port of registry: United States New York[2] (1932–58)
Builder: Bethlehem Shipbuilding, Quincy, MA[2]
Laid down: 30 April 1931[3]
Launched: 12 December 1931[3]
Completed: delivered 1 April 1932[3]
Acquired: War Shipping Administration under bareboat charter 26 December 1941[4]
Identification:
Fate: scrapped 1964[1]
Notes: Not commissioned into the US Navy.[6] Returned to United Fruit by 17 March 1947.[4]
General characteristics
Tonnage:
Length:
  • 415.7 ft (126.7 m)[2]
  • 447 ft 10 in (136.50 m) LOA[3]
  • 428 ft 9 in (130.68 m) on designed waterline[3]
  • 415 ft 0 in (126.49 m) between perpendiculars[3]
Beam: 60.3 ft (18.4 m)[2]
Draft: 24.1 ft (7.3 m)[2]
Depth: 34 ft 9 in (10.59 m) moulded to upper deck side[3]
Propulsion:

SS Antigua was a United Fruit Company passenger and refrigerated cargo liner built at Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation of Quincy, Massachusetts completed in 1932.[2] She was owned by a United Fruit subsidiary, United Mail Steam Ship Company, which registered her in New York.[2] She carried bananas from Central America to the USA and passengers in both directions.

Construction[edit]

The ship was one of six built under the Merchant Marine Act of 1928 for the United Mail Steamship Company, a subsidiary of the United Fruit Company, designed with specialized cooling and handling arrangements for transporting bananas with Babcock & Wilcox boilers and General Electric turbo-electric transmission: Chiriqui, Peten (originally Segovia) andTalamanca from Newport News Shipbuilding and Antigua, Quirigua and Veragua from Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation's Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts.[3][7] The six ships were of the same basic design with specific developments of that design left to the two builders.[3]

Antigua was the first of the ships from Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation with keel laying 30 April 1931, launch on 12 December 1931 and delivery on 1 April 1932.[3] Design specifications were length overall 447 ft 10 in (136.50 m), length between perpendiculars of 415 ft 0 in (126.49 m) and 428 ft 9 in (130.68 m) on designed waterline[3] Beam of 60 ft 0 in (18.29 m) with a design draft, molded of 24 ft 0 in (7.32 m) and depth, molded to upper deck of 24 ft 0 in (7.32 m).[3] Tonnage, in U.S., was displacement to designed waterline 10,928, gross 7,035.12 and net 3,523 with cargo capacities of 240,070 cubic feet refigerated space in two holds forward, two aft and two special low temperature holds aft with 5,370 cubic feet of mail and baggage storage.[3] Normal service speed of 17.5 knots was driven by engines with of 10,500 normal shaft horsepower and the ship reached 19 knots during trials.[3] A crew of 112 served the ship and up to 113 passengers.[3]

Commercial service[edit]

On delivery Antigua was placed in the Pacific coastal passenger and banana trade between San Francisco and Armuelles.[3] Between 1935 and 1936 schedules the ship changed from Pacific service to service from New York to Cuba and Puerto Barrios, Guatemala with that service continuing through 1941.[8]

War Shipping Administration service[edit]

Antigua was delivered by United Fruit Company to the War Shipping Administration (WSA) on 26 December 1941 at New York and assigned to United Fruit for operation under WSA agreement as agent.[4] On 27 December 1941 the US Navy designated the ship as the Mizar-class stores ship Antigua (AF-17).[6] Navy records indicate the ship was allocated to Navy and perhaps considered for acquisition and commissioning; however, Antigua never got a naval crew or formally taken over by the Navy.[6][9] Navy cancelled the name "Antigua" on 22 May 1944.[6]

5"/38 caliber gun with crew of 12–20 men

The ship underwent a limited modification at Maryland Drydock Company, of Baltimore, Maryland.[9] Armament included a single 5"/38 caliber gun and four 3"/50 caliber guns[6] for anti-aircraft and anti submarine use and up to eight Oerlikon 20 mm cannon anti-aircraft guns.[citation needed] With some modification Antigua was able to carry a number of troops as well as refrigerated stores.[citation needed]

The ship operated under WSA with United Fruit Company acting as its agent and providing the civilian crew.[4] The ship apparently continued to operate in the Pacific with mentions at Eniwetok late September 1944 and being aground and pulled off a reef in Hawaiian waters during 14—21 October 1944 by USS Jicarilla (ATF-104).[10][11] Antigua continued to operate under WSA until returned to United Fruit 17 March 1947.[4]

Later career[edit]

Postwar Antigua resumed operations departing from New Orleans for destinations in Cuba, Guatemala and Honduras.[8]

In December 1957 Antigua was sold to Swedish owners who renamed her Tortuga.[1][4][12] She was scrapped in 1964.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Colton, Tim (6 July 2011). "Bethlehem Steel Company, Quincy MA". Shipbuilding History. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Lloyd's Register, Steamers & Motorships (PDF). London: Lloyd's Register. 1933. Retrieved 5 May 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Pacific Marine Review (1932). "New Turbo-Electric Steamship Antigua". Consolidated 1932 issues (July 1932). 'Official Organ: Pacific American Steamship Association/Shipowners' Association of the Pacific Coast. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Maritime Administration. "Antigua". Ship History Database Vessel Status Card. U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  5. ^ Lloyd's Register, Steamers & Motorships (PDF). London: Lloyd's Register. 1934. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Naval History And Heritage Command. "Antigua". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History And Heritage Command. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  7. ^ Pacific Marine Review (1932). "American Shipbuilding: Fore River Launches Quirigua". Consolidated 1932 issues (March 1932). 'Official Organ: Pacific American Steamship Association/Shipowners' Association of the Pacific Coast. Retrieved 1 September 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Larsson, Björn (April 20, 2010). "United Fruit Company". Maritime Timetable Images. Maritime Timetable Images. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Roberts, Stephen S. (15 September 2001). "Class: MIZAR (AF-12)". ShipScribe. ShipScribe. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  10. ^ Naval History And Heritage Command. "Fanning". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History And Heritage Command. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  11. ^ Naval History And Heritage Command. "Jicarilla". Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. Naval History And Heritage Command. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  12. ^ Swiggum, Sue; Kohli, Marj (23 November 2006). "United Fruit Company". The Ships List. Retrieved 23 July 2013. 

External links[edit]