H. Lee White {2}

H. Lee White {2}


H. Lee White unloading, August 7, 2018. Photo by Isaac Pennock


Build Information

Year Built: 1974

Builder: Bay Shipbuilding Corp., Sturgeon Bay, WI

Hull #711

Registry: US 556460

IMO #7366362

Laid Down: March 28, 1973

Launch Date: December 6, 1973

Commissioned: June 1, 1974


The H. Lee White was constructed as the third of ten vessels constructed for the American Steamship Company under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970 at a cost of $15 Million.

The White was the second of four similar sister ships built by Bay Shipbuilding, the others being the Charles E. Wilson,  Joseph L. Block, and American Mariner. The following ships were each slightly longer versions of the Charles E. Wilson, with the H. Lee White being 24′ longer than her older sister.

Her self-unloading equipment consists of a single hold belt leading to an aft incline-belt system to a 250′ deck-mounted boom.

General Stats

Length Overall: 704′

Length Between Perpendiculars: 689’10”

Breadth: 78′

Depth: 45′

Loaded Draft: 34′

Capacity: 35,200 Tons

Vessel Type: Incline-Belt Self-Unloader

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

Number of Cargo Holds: 6 [Hatch-Hold Arrangement: 3-4-4-5-4-3]

Number of Hatches: 23 [Dimensions: 44’x11′]

Primary Operations: Ore, Coal, Aggregate, Grain Trades

Propellers: 1 Controllable Pitch Propeller

Rudders: 1

Engineering Equipment



Engine Type: Diesel Engine

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

Engine Model: 20-645-E7B

Number of Engines: 2

Rated HP: 7,000 BHP



H. Lee White {2} – 1974-2020

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

Operator: American Steamship Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE

H. Lee White {2} – 2020-2021

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

Operator: American Steamship Co.

Flag: United States

Home Port: Wilmington, DE

H. Lee White {2} – 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 H. Lee White {2} was built in 1974 as a self-unloading bulk carrier for American Steamship Company. She was the third of ten vessels built for American Steamship under Title XI of the Merchant Marine Act of 1970. She was launched on December 6, 1973, and sailed on her maiden voyage on June 1, 1974 for Escanaba, Michigan to load ore.

The H. Lee White suffered many notable accidents in her earlier years. She grounded at Port Dolomite, Michigan, on June 26, 1974, sustaining heavy damage. She later collided with the Greek vessel Georgios while on the St. Clair River on December 11, 1974. Then, on July 4, 1976, the White struck the dock at the Algoma Steel mill at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Possibly her most notable one, the H. Lee White struck a section of the Grosse Ile Toll Bridge while being towed through the Trenton Channel. She knocked down a 150′ span of bridge, but came out undamaged. the bridge was repaired and was back in service in early 1993. The White also lost power while sailing in Lake Huron in May 1994, being taken to Toledo, Ohio for repairs.

The H. Lee White made her first Welland Canal transit on July 1, 1997, with ore for Hamilton. This was the first of many transits that she would make in the future.

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 H. Lee White and her ASC fleetmates American Courage, American Mariner, John J. Boland {4}, and Sam Laud for the River class trade. The H. Lee White continues to be an active member of the American Steamship fleet.

Compiled By Brendan Falkowski

Updated on March 31, 2021



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

Berry, Sterling P. “White, H. Lee 2”. Great Lakes Vessel History: Vessel Histories of Sterling P. Berry. N.d. Accessed 11 May 2020. https://www.greatlakesvesselhistory.com/histories-by-name/w/white-h-lee-2

Greenwood’s Guide to Great Lakes Shipping 2016, Harbor House Publishers, 2016. Pp. 4.17.

“M/V H. Lee White”. American Steamship Company, N.d. Accessed 11 May 2020. http://americansteamship.com/fleet/mv-h-lee-white.php

Wharton, George. “H. Lee White (2)”. Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping Online. N.d. Accessed 11 May 2020. http://boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/HLeeWhite2.htm