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Princeton / Esso Manhattan
Built August 1942 by Sun Shipbuilding Company, Chester, Pennsylvania,
as "Bennington" # 323, for Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey, Wilmington, Del.
Launched as PRINCETON
(Broke in two 29 March 1943, off New York, both sections towed in, rejoined and returned to service June 1943)
1950 - Esso Shipping Company, Wilmington, Del.
1959 - MARTHA MAC, Gulfcoast Transit Co., Tampa, converted to bulk carrier by Gibbs Corp., Jacksonville, Fla., 9,870 grt
1965 - MARINE PROGRESS, Marine Navigation Co., Inc., Wilmington, Del. [ Marine Transport Lines, Inc., New York ]
1966 - MARINE ENTERPRISE, s/o
1970 - ENTERPRISE, s/o, Panama, PA
Broken up at Hualien 1974 by Chou's Iron & Steel Co., Ltd., sold. Ulsan 08.05.1974 for Kaohsiung,
work began 27.06.1974
Sisterships are "Esso Gettysburg", "Esso Washington", "Esso Wilmington", "Esso Norfolk" and "Esso Paterson".
( See photos below )
The Miramar Ship Index for "PRINCETON"
ID No: 2242157 Year: 1942
Name: PRINCETON Launch Date: 1942
Type: Tanker Date of completion: 04.1942
Flag: USA Keel: -
Tons: 10172 Link: 1976
DWT: 16678 Yard No: 342
Length overall: 159.6 Ship Design: T2-SE-A1
LPP: 153.3 Country of build: USA
Beam: 20.7 Builder: Sun
Material of build: - Location of yard: Chester, Pa
Number of screws/Mchy/Speed(kn): 1TE-15
Owner as Completed: Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey, Wilmington, Del.
Launched as PRINCETON
1942 ESSO MANHATTAN - 1959 MARTHA MA -
1959 Converted to bulk carrier by Gibbs Corp., Jacksonville, Fla., 9,870 grt.
1965 MARINE PROGRESS - 1966 MARINE ENTERPRISE - 1970 ENTERPRISE.
Scrapped at Ulsan 27.06.1974.
See also : Convoy-Routes Esso Manhattan in WW2
Seen here loading at Corpus Christi, September 19th, 1953.
( Esso photo )
"Esso Manhattan" (ex "Princeton"), 29 march 1943, broken, in New York harbour, repaired.
Construction on top is to take cargo such as MTB´s (Motor Torpedo Boats).
"Esso Manhattan" (ex "Princeton"), in Drydock.
"Esso Manhattan" (ex "Princeton"), in Drydock, the two parts welded together.
"Esso Manhattan" (ex "Princeton"), after repair.
"Esso Manhattan" (ex "Princeton"), again in service.
"Esso Manhattan" (ex "Princeton"), during War time.
Miraculously, the submarine succeeded in clearing the tanker´s bows by a few feet. No one could say whether the
sub was friendly or hostile. It was not sighted again. Drawing by W. Spencer Wright illustrates one of the many
thrilling occasions during the South Pacific war service of the "Esso Manhattan".
"Esso Manhattan" (ex "Princeton"), plunging the waves.
Mr. Milton Bell, wrote me about the "Esso Manhattan", the following ;
Launched 1942 by Sun Shipbuilding Co, Chester, Pa as the T-2 tanker PRINCETON but completed as the
ESSO MANHATTAN. She highlighted the problem of the construction of these ships when on 29th Mar.1943
she left New York in fine weather and a slight sea, and suddenly broke in half. It was originally thought that she had
struck a mine, but after the two halves were towed to port, it was found that the damage was not caused by explosion.
She was later repaired and sailed again on 11th June ( I imagine that it was not easy to find a crew! ).
After completing her service as a tanker in 1959, she was converted to a self unloading bulker, by
Gibbs Corp, Jacksonville, Fla, and was equipped with two 30-ton cranes. The bridge housing was moved aft just
ahead of the funnel and she was renamed MARTHA MAC and operated by Gulfcoast Transit Company of Tampa, Fl
in the phosphat-coal trade between Florida and Louisiana.
1965 MARINE PROGRESS, Marine Nav. Co, USA,
1966 MARINE ENTERPRISE, same owner,
1970 transferred to Panamanian registry renamed ENTERPRISE.
1974 scrapped at Kaohsiung.
"Martha Mac", ex. "Esso Manhattan" (ex "Princeton"), after conversion, seen here at Myrtle Grove, Louisiana,
around 1965 while loading coal for Tampa.
( Photo thanks to Milton Bell )
( Photo from book "Victory Ships and Tankers" by Sawyer & Mitchell )