Frank Purnell {2}

Frank Purnell {2} – Steelton {4} – Hull No. 3 – Pioneer {3} – C. T. C. No. 1

1943-Present

C. T. C. No. 1 laid up at South Chicago, Illinois, December 28, 2020. Photo by Isaac Pennock

Specs

Build Information

Year Built: 1943

Builder: Great Lakes Engineering Works, River Rouge, MI

Hull #295

Registry: US 243587

IMO #5120013

Laid Down: September 24, 1942

Launch Date: May 8, 1943

Commissioned: August 28, 1943

Construction

The Frank Purnell {2} was constructed as the L6-S-B1 gearless bulk freighter McIntyre by Great Lakes Engineering Works at their River Rouge, Michigan shipyard for the United States Maritime Commission during World War II. She was traded to Interlake Steamship Company in early 1943 for older vessels, which were leased back until the end of the war.

The Purnell was one of 16 Maritime class freighters ordered by the U.S. Maritime Commission during World War II. Of the 16 vessels, there were two subclasses, the L6-S-A1 subclass and the L6-S-B1. The A1’s were constructed by the American Shipbuilding Company, and their design included a modern cruiser type stern, shorter stack, aft mast mounted behind the stack, a Lentz-Poppet double compound steam engines and a rounded pilothouse. The B1’s were built by Great Lakes Engineering Works, and their design included a traditional counter stern, tall stack, aft mast stepped forward of the stack, a triple expansion steam engine, and a square pilothouse. Of the 16 Maritime class ships constructed, 6 were of the L6-S-A1 designation and the remaining 10 were of L6-S-B1 designation.

Frank Purnell {1} was one of three Maritime Class ships traded to Interlake Steamship Company, the other two being the L6-S-A1 E. G. Grace and L6-S-B1 Frank Armstrong.

Modifications

  • Deck strapping added, 1943.
  • Boilers converted to oil-firing, Manitowoc Shipbuilding, Manitowoc, WI, 1971.
  • Pilothouse rebuilt, Herb Fraser & Associates, Port Colborne, ON, 1974.
  • Converted into a self-unloading cement transfer vessel, Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, WI, 1982.

General Stats

As Constructed

Length Overall: 620’06”

Length Between Perpendiculars: 604′

Breadth: 60′

Depth: 35′

Loaded Draft: 24’08”

Capacity: 15,800 Tons

Vessel Type: Gearless Bulk Carrier

Number of Cargo Holds: 4 [Hatch-Hold Arrangement: 4-5-5-4]

Number of Hatches: 18 [Dimensions: 38’x11′]

Primary Operations: Ore Trade

Propellers: 1

Rudders: 1

After conversion to cement transfer vessel, 1982

Length Overall: 620’06”

Length Between Perpendiculars: 604′

Breadth: 60′

Depth: 35′

Loaded Draft: 25’02”

Capacity: 16,300 Tons

Vessel Type: Self-Unloading Cement Transfer Vessel

Number of Cargo Holds: 4 [Hatch-Hold Arrangement: 3-5-5-4]

Number of Hatches: 17 [Dimensions: 38’x11′]

Primary Operations: Cement Transfer Barge at South Chicago, IL

Propellers: 1

Rudders: 1


Engineering Equipment

Original

Engine

Engine Type: Triple-Expansion Steam Engine

Engine Manufacturer: Great Lakes Engineering Works, Engine Department, River Rouge, MI

Engine Model: 3-Cylinder, 24”, 41”, 68”dia. x 42” stroke

Number of Engines: 1

Rated HP: 2500 IHP


Boiler

Boiler Type: Coal-Fired Water Tube Boiler

Boiler Manufacturer: —

Boiler Size: 14,748 sq. ft.

Number of Boilers: 2


History

Lineage

Frank Purnell {1} – 1943-1966

Owner: Interlake Steamship Co., Cleveland, OH [Pickands Mather & Co.]

Operator: Interlake Steamship Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


Steelton {4} – 1966-1978

Owner: Bethlehem Steel Corp., Great Lakes Steamship Division, Cleveland, OH

Operator: Bethlehem Steel Corp., Great Lakes Steamship Division

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


Hull No. 3 – 1978-1979

Owner: Cement Transit Co., Cleveland, OH [Medusa Portland Cement]

Operator: Cement Transit Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


Pioneer – 1979-1981

Owner: Cement Transit Co., Cleveland, OH [Medusa Portland Cement]

Operator: Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Co., Cleveland, OH [Charterer]

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


C. T. C. No. 1 – 1981-1999

Owner: Cement Transit Co., Cleveland, OH [Medusa Portland Cement]

Operator: Cement Transit Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


C. T. C. No. 1 – 1999-2000

Owner: Southdown, Inc., Houston, TX

Operator: Southdown, Inc.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


C. T. C. No. 1 – 2000-2005

Owner: Wilmington Trust, Wilmington, DE

Operator: Cemex [South Chicago Terminal]

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


C. T. C. No. 1 – 2005-2010

Owner: St. Marys Cement US, Detroit, MI

Operator: St. Marys Cement US

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


C. T. C. No. 1 – 2010-Present

Owner: Grand River Navigation Co., Traverse City, MI [Rand Logistics]

Operator: —

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


Her Story

The Frank Purnell {1} was constructed in 1943 as the L6-S-B1 gearless bulk freighter McIntyre by Great Lakes Engineering Works at their River Rouge, Michigan, shipyard for the United States Maritime Commission during World War II. She was traded to Interlake Steamship Company in August 1943 for older vessels, which were leased back until the end of the war. The Purnell was one of 16 “Maritime” Class ships constructed in 1943, and one of ten of her subclass. She was one of three Maritime Class ships traded to Interlake Steamship Company, the other two being the L6-S-A1 E. G. Grace and L6-S-B1 Frank Armstrong.

The keel for the McIntyre was laid on September 24, 1942, being launched on May 8, 1943. She was acquired by Interlake in August 1943 and renamed Frank Purnell {1}, departing the shipyard on August 28, 1943.

After her sisters experienced cracking on the spar deck during their first sailing season, the entire Maritime Class was fitted with 3’x2” strapping along the sides of the hull, increasing the strength of the spar deck in order to prevent future cracking.

In late 1965, the Frank Purnell {2} was traded to Bethlehem Steel Corporation’s Great Lakes Steamship Division for their identical L6-S-B1 Maritime Class vessel Steelton {3}. The two companies swapped the vessels because Interlake wanted to convert one of their Maritime Class ships into a self-unloader, but the Frank Purnell‘s tank top had recently been replaced. Bethlehem’s Steelton was in need of a new tank top, so the companies decided to swap the vessels, and the Frank Purnell {1} was renamed Steelton {4} and the Steelton {3} was renamed Frank Purnell {2}.

In 1971, Steelton‘s boilers were converted to oil-firing by Manitowoc Shipbuilding in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. She also received hull strengthening strapping while at the shipyard.

On August 25, 1974, Steelton struck the center span of Bridge 12 on the Welland Canal when the bridge failed to open. The allision caused extensive damage to the bridge and the vessel’s pilothouse. The bridge was never replaced, but the Steelton‘s pilothouse was repaired by Herb Fraser & Associates at Port Colborne, Ontario.

In 1978, Steelton was sold to Cement Transit Company, owned by Medusa Cement Company, of Detroit, Michigan. She was to be converted for use as a cement storage vessel. Steelton was renamed Hull No. 3, but remained in layup at Erie, Pennsylvania. She was chartered to Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Company in early 1979, being renamed Pioneer {3} in June. She operated for Cleveland-Cliffs for the 1979 season and a portion of the 1980 season before entering long-term layup at Toledo, Ohio.

Pioneer was towed out of Toledo on November 7, 1981, for Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, where she was converted into a self-unloading cement storage and transfer vessel by Bay Shipbuilding over the winter. She was towed to South Chicago, Illinois, in late April, to take up her duties at the new Medusa Cement terminal location on Lake Calumet. During this time period, Pioneer was renamed C. T. C. No. 1.

C. T. C. No. 1 served in her capacity as a cement transfer vessel until 2009, when she was shifted to one of the old grain elevator docks on Lake Calumet for long term layup. She was acquired by Grand River Navigation of Traverse City, Michigan, in 2010, but remained in layup. She will likely be sold for scrapping in the near future.


Compiled By Brendan Falkowski

Updated on January 30, 2021


Gallery


Sources

Berry, Sterling P. “Purnell, Frank 2”. Great Lakes Vessel History: Vessel Histories of Sterling P. Berry. N.d. Accessed 30 January 2021. <https://www.greatlakesvesselhistory.com/histories-by-name/p/purnell-frank-1>

Devendorf, John F. Great Lakes Bulk Carriers, 1869-1985. John F. Devendorf, 1996. Pp. 165.

The Great Lakes Engineering Works: The Shipyard and its Vessels. Marine Historical Society of Detroit, 2008. Pp. 436-440.

Wharton, George. “C. T. C. No. 1”. Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online. N.d. Accessed 30 January 2021. <http://boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/ctcno1.htm>