Home

"The Ships"
 

  When Ships Die.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have had the good fortune to serve on ships navigating the Far East.
Especially on the  "Emma Jebsen" we had long periods of fixed trading routes between ports in Japan - Taiwan - Hong Kong - Philippines - Singapore - Port Klang and  Penang.
For a long period of time we only sailed between Hong Kong and Kaohsiung, Taiwan, sometimes with a "detour" to Japan, Keelung and Manila in the Philippines.
This service between Hong Kong and Kaohsiung took exactly 1 week, - and when you week after week stay a couple of days in the same port, you get a fairly good idea of what is going on.

In those days, the port of Kaohsiung was the scene of the biggest scrap yard in the world, - and that gave us fantastic possibilities to see ship after ship coming in to "die".  All sorts of ships, - cargo ships, navy ships, tankers and passenger ships, - everything.

One day a classic and well known passenger ship lined up along the scrap yard pier.
It was the "Niuew Amsterdam", - and just behind her was another great looking classic, - the "Homeric".
"Nieuw Amsterdam" I knew about since that very beautiful classic liner from HAL, was well known in shipping circles, - but the "Homeric" did not ring any bells, although it was quite clear, that this was "full blood", - an exceptionally beautiful and first rate classic liner -, but later I found out, that behind the anonymous name "Homeric" was in fact the "Queen of the Pacific", - Matson Line's famous  S/S "Mariposa"!
Also 2 classics from the yard of John Brown & Co. at the Clyde were there, - the "Patria" and the "Imperio".
In other words:  I had struck gold, - if this expression can be used when great ships are going to die  - - - -

I decided on the spot, that since we came to Kaohsiung so often, this was a splendid opportunity to experience how great ships die, and by photographing the process week by week it would be a unique record of how these famous and once great ships go from classic and famous passenger liners to heaps of scrap iron!
The first series of photos of the scrapping process, I took on July 8th. 1974 - and the last pictures I took in Sept. 10th. 1974.  That means, that scrapping of the two big ships took only about 2 months, - then they were gone, - converted from great and famous passenger liners to nothing!

In addition there were of course a constant flow of all sorts of other ships, classic cargo ships, a "Victory" ship and a real T-2 tanker and navy ships.

Today????  Well, - there is no trace left of this former huge scrapping industry in Kaohsiung.
Where once was worn out ships and heaps of scrap iron is now an industrial area, - a large section occupied by a big tank farm.

Please "enjoy" my series from the long gone scrap yard in Kaohsiung, - and watch the "death" of two great and famous liners.
It is now all history, - and a very interesting one -, but also a very sad story, because sailors hate to see fine ships die!
 
 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 


1974-04-036
Left to right: "Homeric" , "Nieuw Amsterdam" and "Patria".
A fine trio of classics waiting to die - - -
Photographed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1974.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)

"Patria":
Built in 1947 by John Brown & Co. at the Clyde.  Tons: 13178 , - Dwt.: - 10771, - LOA.: 161,8 m, - Beam.: 20,8 m., - Propulsion: 2 steam turbines, - 17 knots.  Broken up in Kaohsiung 1974.
 
 




1974-04-037
Holland - America Line's "Nieuw Amsterdam".
Photographed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1974.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)

"Nieuw Amsterdam":
Built in Rotterdam in 1938.  Tons: 36287, - DWT.: 8221, - LOA.: 231,2 m., - Beam: 26,9 m., - Propulsion: 2 steam turbines, - 20,5 knots.
Broken up in Kaohsiung 1974
 
 





1974-04-038
Holland - America Line's "Nieuw Amsterdam".
Photographed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1974.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 
 


1974-04-039
Holland - America Line's "Nieuw Amsterdam".
Photographed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1974.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 
 


1974-04-040
"Homeric", - ex. the famous Matson liner "Mariposa", - the Queen of the Pacific.
Photographed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1974.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)

"Homeric":
Built in 1931 as "Mariposa" by Bethlehem SB Corp, in Quincy, USA.  Tons: 18017, - LPP.: 184,1 m, - Beam: 24,2 m., - Propulsion: 2 steam turbines - 20 knots. Renamed "Homeric" in 1954, - Broken up in Kaohsiung 1974.
 
 




1974-04-041
"Homeric", - with "Nieuw Amsterdam" in front-
Photographed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1974.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 
 


1974-04-043
"Nieuw Amsterdam" with"Homeric" partly hidden behind, - and to the right, - the forward section af "Patria".
Photographed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1974.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 
 


1974-04-044
"Imperio" in front, - still looking fully intact. In the background, right, - "Sgt. Archer T. Gammon", - a Victory ship serving US Navy.
Photographed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1974.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)

"Imperio":
Again a classic from John Brown & Co. at the Clyde.  Built in 1948 for Portuguese flag.  Tons: 13186, - DWT.: 10565, - LOA.: 161,9 m, - Beam: 20,8 m.,-
Propulsion: 2 steam turbines, - 17 knots. (Take note of the similarity to "Patria" from the same yard.) Scrapped in Kaohsiung 1974.

"Sgt. Archer T. Gammon":
Built in Richmond, California in 1946 as a Boulder Victory class ship type VC2-S-AP2.  Displacement: 15589 tons, - LOA.: 455' , - Beam: 62', - Draft: 29'2"
Propulsion: Steam turbine  8500 Shp., - 15,5 knots.
 
 




1974-04-045
"Nieuw Amsterdam".
Photographed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1974.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 
 


1974-04-046
The bow of "Homeric" and to the right the remains of "Nieuw Amsterdam".
Photographed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1974.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 
 


1974-04-047
To the left, -he bow of "Homeric" and to the right the remains of "Nieuw Amsterdam".
In-between in the background:  "Imperio".
Photographed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1974.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 
 


1974-04-048
To the left, - the remains of "Homeric" and to the right the remains of "Nieuw Amsterdam".
Photographed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1974.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 
 
 


1974-04-049
"Nieuw Amsterdam".
Photographed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1974.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 
 


1974-04-050
"Homeric" .
Photographed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1974.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 


1974-04-051
"Neiuw Amsterdam".
Photographed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1974.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 


1974-04-052
"Homeric" .
- a sad sight of the former S/S "Mariposa"
Photographed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1974.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 
 


1974-04-054
"Nieuw Amsterdam" .
- an equally sad sight of the former proud ship -
Photographed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1974.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 
 


1974-04-055
"Homeric" and "Nieuw Amsterdam".
Take note of the classic dry cargo ship behind "Nieuw Amsterdam"!
She is "St. Constantine", - the former Norwegian classic "Hoegh Cairn" built in 1958 -, caught fire in the Pacific, - now waiting to be scrapped.
Photographed in Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1974.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)

"St. Constantine":
Built for Norwegian flag in 1958 as "Hoegh Cairn" by Blohm & Voss, Germany.
DWT.: 12387, - LOA.: 156,8 m., - Beam: 19,7 m., - Propulsion: Diesel - 16,5 knots.  Renamed "St. Constantine" in 1968.  Caught fire in 1973 in the middle of the Pacific, - and finally scrapped in Kaohsiung in 1974.
 
 


Continue  HERE  for part two.
 

Back to  "Ships Photos"
 
 

Back to "The Ships"

Page initiated: Dec.07 2012