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I love it when followup appears, especially when I don’t expect it.  Like this . . . over three years ago, I did this post about the 1952 race.  Much later .  . a little over a month ago, this comment from Robert Sullivan registered on the blog:  “great article. my grandfather –R. Sullivan–was the captain of the Shamokin (Reading Company) and I have in my office the plaque he won that day. Shamokin is still working now in Norfolk but for a while was owned by Express Marine towing coal from Baltimore to Trenton.”   Two weeks later,  this response came to a question I’d asked:  “Yes … I have a picture of Shamokin at the dock from Sept. 1952 with the crew and names listed on the back of the photo. … When I found out that Express Marine was still running the boat out of Pennsauken NJ,  I called them and was connected to the president of the company. The first thing he said was “Do you know the Shamokin won the 1952 tugboat races!?”

Well, the races took place on August 27, 1952, which means that this is a victory photo.  For a full photo of the tug at the dock, click here and scroll to the bottom of page 1.

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All these photos come from Robert Sullivan, who photographed both photo and info on the back, which I’ll transcribe here:

“Left to Right.  Ed Good, Shore Capt Reading Lines.  Ed Walters, Mrg of P Reading Term.  R Sullivan, Capt of Tug Shamokin.  G Mosenthine, Engineer.  A Ivanick, Steward.  G Milonakis, Steward.  F Pauleson, Engineer.  M Yurmason, Oiler.  B Wescott, Deckhand.  C Bloodgood, Deckhand.”  Any transcription errors are mine.

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Here’s another shot, Shamokin with a scow on both hips.

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And verso on this photo I read “O’Neil, Sorsa, Dad, Herpo, & Jim Rea.”

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Here, from tugboat information.com, is a summary of Shamokin‘s working life, which goes on 63 years later.  All that’s missing is a photo of the tug today as Alfred Walker.  Can anyone send one along?

Click here and scroll for an Express Marine photo of the boat.  Shamokin was launched from RTC Shipbuilding in Camden a decade and some after John B. Caddell, and about the same time as Ocean King, Edith Thornton, and Big Daddy, pictured below in a photo I took near the Hays yard in June 2010.

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Many thanks to Rob Sullivan for sharing these photos.

December is classic boat (more than a quarter century old) month on tugster.  Please contact me –see the left side navigation bar here–if you have photos and stories to contribute.

The race took place exactly 60 years ago today, and megathanks and superkudos to Harold Tartell for finding fotos of more than half of the boats involved in the race.

Top Class A (over 1250 hp) finisher was Reading Lines Shamokin.

Second was Barbara Moran.

No foto found yet of third place Socony 11, but fourth place was William J. Tracy of  Tracy Towing Line.

Again, no foto of Dauntless #14, but here’s sixth place finisher Russell #17.

Number seven finisher was this Turecamo Girls, painted in “wood.”

And rounding out Class A, here’s Dalzelleader.

In the Class B division (850 to 1250 hp), top boat was Pauline L. Moran.

Number two finisher was Red Star Towing & Transportation‘s Huntington.

In Class C (less than 850 hp), the top finisher was steam vessel Latin American, operating for the Texas Company.

Number two Class C boat was Providence, of the Red Star Towing & Transportation.

Third place Class C finisher was  Ticeline, of Tice Towing Line, Inc.

Unranked Class B boats include Fred B. Dalzell here and

here, as well as

Anne Carrol, a 1910 steamer of Carroll Towing Line also ran.

I’m reposting this image, made available by Paul Strubeck and posted yesterday.   1952 is especially significant for me because it was the year I was born.  It was also the year that

Queen Elizabeth was crowned, nuclear sub Nautilus keel was laid, a B-52 first flew, SS United States first crossed the Atlantic, Ike became President, the word “smog” was coined in reference to London weather, Albert Schweitzer won the Nobel Peace Prize, lots of UFOs buzzed  Washington DC airport, and Werner von Braun published Man Will Conquer Space Soon.

This last entry reminds me of the Mr Armstrong that died a few days ago.  I’ll never forget the July night in 1969 that I, age 17 then, stayed up all night even though it was haying season;  I’d worked in the hay all day July 20, and stayed up much of the night before working again all day on the 21st.  My father thought I was crazy but my mother came downstairs to watch with me a few times during the night.  “What will it change?” she asked in different ways, and I surely had no answer, as excited as I was.

A few days later a farmer nearby told me it was all a hoax.  “Nobody really walked on the moon,” Elmer said.  “It’s all just a movie they made in Hollywood.”

43 years and a month later . . . well, maybe it didn’t change anything related to our travel destinations, but the some of the technology we  live with on earth stems from those efforts.

A final thought:  I recently read a statement by Robert Ballard saying that the NASA budget (I’m not sure which year he was talking about.) for ONE year equals the NOAA budget for 18 years.  As much admiration as I have for Neil Armstrong, maybe the next heroic explorations should involve walking along the bottoms of the oceans.

Harold . . . I hope your family illness will subside so that you can attend the tugboat race this coming weekend.   Thanks again for these archival fotos.

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