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Building & Launch of the "Schenectady"
Source : Pacific Marine Review, Volume 40, May 1943.


THE SWAN ISLAND yard of the Kaiser Company was designed and built for the production of large tankers. The site is on an island in the Willamette River, just down stream from Portland. Here ground was broken late in March, 1942, and a modern yard for the erection and equipment of these big steel tankers was built and equipped in record time.
The yard is just getting into production and the administration of the plant consider that their high light for 1942 is the first launching of a tanker hull, which took place on October 24.

This hull was christened Schenectady by Mrs. Alexander Bruce McEachern, who was attended by her mother, Mrs. Herbert D. Brachen as matron of honor, and by her 4 1/2-year-old son John Alexander McEachern as flower bearer.
The program, which was scheduled for and [tut through in 27 minutes, contained an address by Harry Corbett, chairman of the Port of Portland; an address by Fred L. Peterson, acting Mayor of the City of Portland ; an address by Charles A. Sprague, Governor of the State of Oregon; an invocation by a Presbyterian minister : and two selections by the Portland Air Base Band.

SWAN ISLAND'S FIRST SPONSOR SPONSOR OF THE SCHENECTADY (right), Mrs. Alexander Bruce McEachern. and mother Mrs. Herbert Brachen. matron of honor, and sponsor's son, who acted as flower boy.

The ship slid down the ways into the Willamette with flags flying amid the cheers of thousands of workmen and their friends.
The hull had been 115 days on the ways and the date of the launch was just seven months from the date of breaking ground.
This is a very excellent record for a new yard on vessels of the great size of these tankers. With an overall length of 523 feet and a
rated full-load displacement of 21,670 tons, these hulls are something far different from the Liberty cargo steamers. Each tanker
has a cargo capacity for 138,000 barrels of oil, and for the heating of this cargo, its loading and discharge, and the handling of ship's fuel, steam, water, and various other services, some 70,000 feet of piping has to be installed.

The propulsion power will be of the turbo-electric type. High-pressure steam boilers deliver steam to a turbine driving an electric generator which in turn delivers power to a motor driving the single screw.

The speed and efficiency which characterized both the construction of the yard facilities and the building of hulls at Swan Island
are tributes to the ability and the energy of the executives who have trained inexperienced workers to do a real job of shipbuilding under adverse circumstances. Especial credit is due to A. R. Nieman, assistant general manager, and Elmer Hann, yard superintendent, for their magnificent and untiring labor in developing the yard and
speeding construction on the ways.

SAILORS' SUPERSTITION. . . . THE RIGGERS at Swan Island revived the old sailors' superstition of nickels and coppers under the mast to assure the S.S. Schenectady good luck.

WHIRLEY CRANE drops mast into position on Swan Island's 1st tanker.

THE HUGE PROPELLER and the rudder of the S.S. Schenectady are caught in this unusual photo, which shows their massive size as compared with the men in the background.

S.S. SCHENECTADY is here shown the night before Swan Island's first launching. when all through the yard. every worker was
anxious for the morrow's event.