Fred R. White Jr.

Fred R. White Jr.

1979-Present

American Courage on the Cuyahoga River at Cleveland, Ohio, June 30, 2019. Photo by Isaac Pennock

Specs

Build Information

Year Built: 1979

Builder: Bay Shipbuilding Corp., Sturgeon Bay, WI

Hull #722

Registry: US 606421

IMO #7634226

Laid Down: April 4, 1978

Launch Date: November 16, 1978

Commissioned: May 26, 1979

Construction

The Fred R. White Jr. was constructed as a self-unloading bulk carrier for Oglebay Norton’s Columbia Transportation Division. She was constructed under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970.

The White was the third of four similar River class sister ships constructed by Bay Shipbuilding Corporation. The other two were the identical Sam Laud and Buffalo, and the American Republic [Great Republic, 2011], which has a near-identical hull. The White, unlike her sisters, had a raised forecastle, which was half a deck higher than her sisters. The rake on the forecastle gave her an additional 1’02” length over her sisters. She also never had a bow look out booth installed forward.

Her self-unloading equipment consists of a single hold belt leading to an aft incline-belt system to a 250′ deck-mounted boom. She is the only automated self-unloader on the Great Lakes, and is capable of being unloaded by a crewmember in a control room.


General Stats

Length Overall: 636′

Length Between Perpendiculars: 617′

Breadth: 68′

Depth: 40′

Loaded Draft: 28′

Capacity: 24,300 Tons

Vessel Type: Incline-Belt Self-Unloader

Self-Unloading Boom Length: Aft-Mounted; 250′

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

Number of Hatches: 20 [Dimensions: 40’x11′]

Primary Operations: Ore, Stone, Trades

Propellers: 1 Controllable Pitch Propeller

Rudders: 1


Engineering Equipment

Original

Engine

Engine Type: Diesel Engine

Engine Manufacturer: General Motors Electro-Motive Division, Chicago, IL

Engine Model: 20-645-E7

Number of Engines: 2

Rated HP: 7,000 BHP


History

Lineage

Fred R. White Jr. – 1979-1994

Owner: Oglebay Norton Co., Columbia Transportation Division, Cleveland, OH

Operator: Columbia Transportation Divison

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


Fred R. White Jr. – 1994-2006

Owner: Oglebay Norton Co., Cleveland, OH

Operator: Oglebay Norton Co., Marine Division

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


American Courage – 2006-2020

Owner: American Steamship Co., Buffalo, NY [GATX Corp.]

Operator: American Steamship Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


American Courage – 2020-2021

Owner: American Steamship Co., Buffalo, NY [Rand Logistics]

Operator: American Steamship Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


American Courage – 2021-Present

Owner: American Steamship Co., Buffalo, NY [Rand Logistics]

Operator: Grand River Navigation, Traverse City, MI [Rand Logistics]

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE


Her Story

The Fred R. White Jr. was constructed in 1979 as a self-unloading bulk carrier for Oglebay Norton’s Columbia Transportation Division. The White was built under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970. She, and her fleetmate Wolverine, replaced several older fleetmates when they entered service.

The keel was laid for the White on April 4, 1978, and her hull was launched on November 16, 1978. The Fred R. White Jr. entered service on May 26, 1979, departing her builder’s yard at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, bound for Escanaba, Michigan, to load iron ore for Cleveland.

In October 1994, Oglebay Norton Company assumed full ownership of the Fred R. White Jr., after the Columbia Transportation Division was dissolved. The Oglebay Norton logo was applied to the bow of the ship as well as the stacks soon after the restructuring.

In April of 1996, the White was called upon to lighter her fleetmate Buckeye, which was damaged in ice at Thunder Bay, Ontario. The White herself was damaged on the trip up to the lakehead, and was repaired by Pascol Engineering in Thunder Bay.

Oglebay Norton faced rough times in the early 2000’s, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on February 23, 2004. On June 6, 2006, Oglebay Norton announced that they had sold six of their remaining ships to American Steamship Company of Buffalo, New York for $120 Million. The Fred R. White Jr. was included in the deal, and was renamed American Courage soon after.

The American Courage entered long term layup at the end of the 2015 season, and returned to service in April of 2019. In February 2020, Rand Logistics announced that they purchased American Steamship Company from their parent company GATX Corp.

In March 2021, Grand River Navigation bareboat chartered the American Courage and her ASC fleetmates American Mariner, H. Lee White, John J. Boland {4}, and Sam Laud for the River class trade. She remains active, hauling ore for Cuyahoga River shuttles and stone to ports across the Great Lakes.


Compiled By Brendan Falkowski

Updated on March 31, 2021


Gallery


Sources

Ahoy & Farewell II. Marine Historical Society of Detroit, 1996. Pp. 39.

Berry, Sterling P. “White Jr., Fred R.”. Great Lakes Vessel History: Vessel Histories of Sterling P. Berry. N.d. Accessed 27 May 2020. <https://www.greatlakesvesselhistory.com/histories-by-name/w/white-jr-fred-r>

Devendorf, John F. Great Lakes Bulk Carriers, 1869-1985. John F. Devendorf, 1996. Pp. 192.

Greenwood’s Guide to Great Lakes Shipping 2016, Harbor House Publishers, 2016. Pp. 4.4.

LeLievre, Roger. “American Courage”. Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping Online. N.d. Accessed 27 May 2020. <http://boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/AmericanCourage.htm>

“M/V American Courage”. American Steamship Company, N.d. Accessed 27 May 2020. <http://americansteamship.com/fleet/mv-american-courage.php>