News From Fort Schuyler

August 20, 2000 - Volume 4, No. 26

MAN AGAINST THE SEA - "I am reminded about the forces of nature and how small man is when reading about the Russian sub rescue efforts during this past week," writes OTTO LIEPIN, Class of 1946. "During the S.S. AMERICA's December 1946 west to east crossing we experienced one of the worst winter gale storms which stove in the box stem approx. 5 feet and tore off one of our bilge keels. Captain Manning [HARRY MANNING, Class of 1914] tried to keep the arrival time in Cobh Ireland on schedule, but I believe that we missed it by 24 hours. There was extremely strong competition between passenger liners of the era (Cunard Line QUEENS and US Lines AMERICA.) Needless to say, we lost an entire trip from our sailing sked. by having to go to Newport News for ship repairs. I have the greatest respect for nature and its power and I'm not ashamed to admit that there were times when I was hoping that God would hear my prayers."

In a followup note, Otto adds: "...the first post-war skipper on the AMERICA was Harry Manning. Were you aware that Captain Manning had a grand piano in his stateroom quarters ? I presume he could play it. During one of our North Atlantic winter crossings, the piano broke loose from its moorings and smashed up the furnishings in his quarters. Also on that trip, US Lines lost a large bundle of money in broken chinaware and broken passenger legs. In those days, if a person needed to get to Europe during the winter months, you did not have choice but to go by ship ' and face the reality of the North Atlantic."

CADETS RESCUE BOAT ON THE HIGH SEAS - The return trip of the EMPIRE STATE was made more memorable when "...cadets aboard the SUNY Maritime College training ship EMPIRE STATE VI spotted on empty vessel flying a British ensign on the horizon. Taking the 42-foot sailboat GREY GIRL in tow, the cadets hoisted the flag of New York Stare and brought the boat - which had been on the water nearly a month - safely to shore." As a result of the return of GREY GIRL, the college received a 10-year scholarship from the owner's insurer, MOAC/CNA. For the full story go to:

DREAM BOAT AT OP SAIL2000 - According to ALVIN GOLDEN, Class of October 1946: "Additional SUNY Maritime presence at New York's OpSail2000 in New York harbor was displayed by large signs on both sides of [my] trawler GOLDEN DREAM III. The signs read - SUNY MARITIME MUSEUM - CLASS OF '46. Joining Al on board "...were museum directors BOB McKEON, STAN BARTELS, Class of 1947, well as museum contributor and supporter Joe Bereswill."

UNWORLDLY SITES - Why is the name of FRED C. HESS, Emeritus Professor of Science, listed on NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab "Microchip Names" page at According to Doc Hess, "The International Astronomical Society has named an asteroid, 2844 HESS, in my honor. It was the 2844th asteroid ever discovered. It was spotted on a photographic plate taken through the same telescope in Flagstaff, Arizona, used during the discovery of the planet Pluto." By the way, Fred is the Secretary of the Amateur Astronomical Association of New York at

PRIME TIME FOR TSES IV - In a follow-up to the item about PETER HSU's drawings in the Maritime Industry Museum, ERHARD KOEHLER, Class of 1987, writes: "There is also a wonderful Peter Hsu drawing of the EMPIRE STATE IV (nee HENRY GIBBINS) in the schoolship wing of the museum. And, of course, we'll be dedicating the latest BARRY MARSH [Class of 1986] schoolship model, coincidentally again, the TSES IV, at Homecoming. Looks like it is all 'coming together' for the GIBBINS this year." [BTW - A website which mentions the role of the HENRY GIBBINS as refugee ship, including photographs taken aboard the GIBBINS by Ruth Gruber, author of Haven, may be found at Click on "The Safe Haven Story" for an outstanding online presentation.]

RECOMMENDED READING - The latest issue of the USCG Proceedings of the Marine Safety Council is devoted to the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) which go into effect in 2002. Contributing articles to this "report card" issue were: STEWART WALKER, Class of 1959, JOHN DUMBLETON, Class of 1961, CHRIS KRUSA, Class of 1962, and RADM ROBERT C.NORTH, Class of 1966. [Note, before you go to the following link for the Proceedings, please note that it is a huge PDF file (80 pages) and takes some time to load, even with a cable modem.] That said, go to the link, click on "This Quarter's Proceedings" in the right-hand "Hot News" column and select the January -March 2000 issue. (Thanks to Chris Krusa for this heads up.)

FROM START TO FINISH - It seems that Maritime College alumni have been with at least one Perry class frigate throughout its life cycle. JOHN DARCY, Class of 1979, writes: "CDR HOWARD STONE [Class of 1979] USN, will de-commission USS JOHN A. MOORE (FFG-19) on 1 September in San Diego. CDR Stone was commanded MOORE for about a year and will oversee the ship's transfer to the Turkish Navy. Interestingly (to some, maybe) I was part of the original commissioning crew way back in 1981; I was MOORE's first Damage Control Assistant and Auxiliaries Officer. One of those who will also be attending the ceremony will be Captain LEN HERING [Class of 1977] who is the Commanding Officer of the San Diego Naval Station."

FILLING SOME GAPS - Can NFFS readers provide any of the following to the Luce Library ? Marine Technology Society Journal - 29:2 (Summer 1995); Marine Technology and SNAME News - 32:4 (October 1995), 35:3 (July 1998); Journal of Marine Law and Commerce - 24:2 (1993), 25:2 (1194), 25:3 (1994). Please contact

ALT-CTRL-DEL - NFFS apologizes to NFFS to W.J.BUDD, Jr. Class of 1966, for completely neglecting to acknowledge him for providing most of the information contained in the "Under His Aegis" item in the last issue. There are some things that word processors still can't do, like flagging a missing sentence.