Length, overall _ 520′ O” Beam 72′ O” Draft ____ 30′ 0″
Gross tons 11,757
Speed (knots) 17
Radius (miles) 14,000 Propulsion __ Turbine
Cargo (cu. ft.) __ 104,000
Built in 1944 by Sun Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Chester, Pa.
Operated during World War II by United States Lines Co.
T HE MARINE RAVEN was the first C4 type vessel of the “Marine”
class to carry troops. Following completion as a troopship at the
building yard (where she was originally commenced as a freighter) in
late January 1944, the ship went to New York from where she made 16
round trips to Europe before leaving on a voyage around the world.
The vessel’s first six voyages were from New York to various ports
in the United Kingdom, such as the Clyde, Belfast, Newport, Swansea,
Barry and Southampton. From the last of these trips she returned to
Boston in November and from there voyaged to Plymouth and Swafisea.
Return from that voyage was to New York in late December 1944.
In January 1945 the MARINE RAVEN sailed from New York on the
first of six consecutive voyages that were to either or both, Le Havre and
Southampton. Returning in late June from the last such voyage, the ship
left in early July for the Mediterranean, visiting Naples, Leghorn and
Gibraltar. Beginning in August, the vessel made two trips from New
York to Marseilles, returning from the second to Hampton Roads in early
On 13 October the MARINE RAVEN departed from Newport News
for Port Said, Egypt. She transited the Suez Canal, visited Colombo,
stopped at Manila, and continued eastward to Seattle arriving there on
11 December 1945. In mid-January 1946, the ship left Seattle, via San
Francisco (to embark German prisoners of war) for the Canal Zone.
After passing through the Canal, she proceeded, via Bermuda, to Liver-
pool and Le Havre, and returned to New York on IS February. From
the latter port the vessel made two European cruises; the first to Downs,
Antwerp and Le Havre during March; the second to Liverpool and Le
Havre during April. The MARINE RAVEN was released by the Army
on 9 May 1946.
Michael “Mike” Brown served in the United States Navy during WWII onboard TROOPSHIP “MARINE RAVEN” He was a RD3?
An RD, or Radarman, was a rate in the US Navy and Coast Guard during and after World War II. An RD3 would be a Third Class Radarman, or E-4. RD’s operated and maintained radar sets. The RD rate was converted to the current Operations Specialist.
TROOPSHIPS OF WORLD WAR II
N aya/ Architect
With a Foreword by
MAJOR GENERAL EDMOND H. LEAVEY
Chief of Transportation, U. S. Army
Published and Distributed by
The Army Transportation Association
Washington, D. C.
April 1947 FIRST EDITION
WAR Department troopships for many years prior to World War II
were under the jurisdiction of The Quartermaster General. At pres-
ent they are operated by the Transportation Corps of the U. S. Army. The
wartime Chief of Transportation was Major General Charles P. Gross, now
Chairman of the Board of Transportation, New York City. The present
Chief of Transportation is Major General Edmond H. Leavey, holder of
many War Department decorations, who was Chief of Staff of the Medi-
terranean Base Section in North Africa before serving in the Pacific where
he personally received from General Yamashita the surrender of the Japa-
nese-held Philippines in 1945. The Assistant Chief of Transportation for
Operations during World War II was Brigadier General Robert H. Wylie.
Major General John M. Franklin, president of United States Lines
Company, served during the period of World War II as Assistant Chief
of Transportation with special duties pertaining to water activities. He
was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal for his wartime work.
Colonel Clarence H. Kells (later Major General in command of the Bos-
ton, San Francisco and New York Ports of Embarkation, successively)
was in direct charge of the Water Transport Service, OCT, during the
early part of World War II. In 1942 he was succeeded by Colonel Ray-
mond M. Hicks, now Secretary-Treasurer of United States Lines. Cur-
rently in charge is Colonel Wilbur S. Elliott, who was on General Eisen-
hower’s staff in the European Theatre of Operations.
On Pearl Harbor Day 1941, the officer in charge of the maintenance,
repair and conversion of Army Transports was Colonel Duval C. Watkins
(now retired). The officer at present in charge of this work is Colonel
Werner W. Moore, who served in the Antilles Department, and later be-
came Chief of Transportation, Pacific Ocean Areas, preceding his present
assignment to the Maintenance and Repair Branch.
In this branch is ~~the Grand Old Man of the Army Transport Service,”
Mr. George A. Anthony, with service dating back to the Spanish-Ameri-
can War of 1898, when he supervised the alteration of vessels going
to Cuba and the Philippines. Mr. Anthony personally previewed the plans
for troop berthing and messing arrangement on practically all of the ves-
sels referred to in this book. To him goes a large share of the credit for
the success of the troopships of World War II.
Space does not permit mention here by name of the many persons at
ports of embarkation and overseas, whose planning and attention to thou-
sands of details enabled the . vessels described in this book to complete
their missions successfully. The teamwork involved must be apparent to
aU readers, and, of course, is already known by actual participants, from
the lowliest deckhand to such persons as Colonel Thomas J. Weed (CO at
Le Havre and later in command of the Bremen Enclave, ETO) and Major
General Homer M. Groninger (wartime commander of the two great Ports
of Embarkation of New York and San Francisco, This, however, is intended to be a record of the ships, rather than of the personnel
whose job it was to move those ships.
As indicated in the individual histories, Army troopships have come
from various sources; some are Army-owned while others are on bareboat
charter, sub-bareboat charter, or loan basis (See Appendix ~~B,” page 354,
for definitions). All are normally manned by civilian crews, employed
under Civil Service regulations and carried on the rolls at the home ports
of vessels. Some military members of ships’ crews are in an administrative
capacity and are not charged with physical operation of vessels.
Of the 65 large Army operated troopships described herein, eight de-
serve special mention by reason of being veterans of both world wars.
These vessels are:
Name During World War II
CHARLES A. STAFFORD and SIBO-
EDMUND B. ALEXANDER
H. F. ALEXANDER and GEORGE S.
U. S. GRANT
Name During World War I
Few of the Army troopships enumerated in the following pages are
being retained in the Transportation Corps’ peacetime fleet of transports.
Retirement of over-age or surplus vessels with simultaneous acquisition of
modern, larger, high speed ships has already given the War Department
a :fleet of troopships totally different from that portrayed in the following
section of this book.
The above Download is a very good read about this Ship-
I was allowed leave to spend time with my family before going to sea.
My orders arrived in January of ’44. They directed me to go to the
Philadelphia Navy Yard to pick up the S S Marine Raven, wh’ch had just been
converted from an arm am ent (tanks) carrier to a troop ship. Pig iron ballast
was added above the keel to make up for our bantam weight cargo, but as it
turned out, not enough. The Marine Raven was over four hundred feet long
with a sixty foot beam . The superstructure was aft, similar to the construction
of a tanker. She had steam turbine engines. There were probably four or five
decks. Each deck was packed with all the bunks it could contain. Each bunk
location had five bunks tiered from deck to the overhead. They were so
closely stacked that the occupant had to exit his space just to turn over. The
bunks were pipe framed with a platform of stretched canvas. I was even
more thankful that my family had m ade the arrangements it had. Even if I
had escaped a worse fate as a GI, I learned that the Army had no plans to
make you comfortable. After boarding I took my hazing from the old salts
aboard, but it didn’t last long. There was still that job to do.
Our first mission was to get degaussed (Gauss was a German mathematician
who discovered magnetism). Degaussing was performed to take the natural
magnetism out of the ship. When a ship is in dry dock for a period of time
and is worked on, it takes on a magnetic field of its own, sympathetic to the
earth’s own field. Some types of mines are triggered when they sense a
m agnetic field. So the Marine Raven was wrapped in huge electric cables,
making it the core of a magnet. Then direct current was put through the
cables to counteract the existing field, making it invisible to m agnetic mines.
Thus, another possible vulnerability thwarted.
Our first voyage was from Philadelphia to New York City to provision and pick
up or cargo: troops. The captain and officers were of great help to me,
allowing me hands on sextant work and bridge duty. I remember the food as
being great, with two menus offered for each meal. It was a well run ship
with only occasional tirades from the skipper. These usually happened over
dinner, and pretty much ruined the whole meal.
In late February we stood out from New York harbor headed for a
rendezvous with a convoy making up off the coast of Maine. My duties were
checking watertight doors for security, bridge watches and navigation
checks. By the time our convoy was completed we were about forty ships of
numerous nationalities. These were ships that had been at sea or had
escaped to sea when the German Blitzgrieg overran their home ports. Most of
our convoys included Norwegian diesels. Sailors began to becom e very
suspicious of the Scandinavians, who almost invariably pealed off with
engine trouble to head for Halifax after two days at sea. We used to take bets
Ship Build Diagrams-
SS Marine Marlin
SS Marine Marlin was a type C4-S-A3 ship built in 1945 by Kaiser Shipyards, Vancouver, Washington, as a troop transport ship with capacity to carry 3.485 troops for operation by the War Shipping Agency.
In 1946 she was made for United States lines and adapted for the carriage 926 tourist class passengers. She made her first voyage from Bremen to new York, 7-16 September 1946 and finished her last voyage from Bremen to new York, July 17, 1949, on which the passengers were mostly from Stuttgart, Germany, and was of Armenian origin. In 1952 it was designed to be transferred to US Navy as transport, but was not purchased.
In 1965 she was converted to a freighter for Central steamship Corp. Gulf and renamed green Bay. On 17 August 1971, she was sunk in qui-Nonh harbour after underwater explosion caused by Viet Cong swimmers when performing military supplies. On 1 September 1971, she was refloated and towed to Hong Kong where she was scrapped in 1972.
But there is another piece of history involving the SS MARINE RAVEN that many know nothing About-
SUN SHIPYARD LAUNCHES SECOND VESSEL BUILT BY ALL COLORED LABOR
Sun Shipyard Launches Second Vessel Built by All Colored Labor
Sun Shipyard, Chester, Pa; shipbuilding; African-American workers
This newspaper article discusses the launch of the S.S. Marine Raven, the second vessel built by an all African American crew, at Sun Shipyard in Chester, Pennsylvania. This ship was built 30 days after the launch of the S.S. Marine Eagle, the first seagoing vessel built by an all African-American crew.
Philadelphia Tribune, “Sun Shipyard Launches Second Vessel Built by All Colored Labor,” Goin’ North, accessed May 16, 2021, https://goinnorth.org/items/show/152
History is Fun and in the last two days. I’ve learned more About the Ship my father, A 16 year old kid, served on for two years. Then he returned back to High School to finish his High School Degree.