Welcome to Sun Ship's Bulletin Board
Steps have been taken to create the Sun Ship Historical Society.  We will keep you updated as the process goes forward.
Some of the yard cranes have been torn down in the process of making way for the Racetrack. To date,  the 6 & 8 way gantry cranes, 2 Pier forward and 47 Shop High Bay Cranes have been removed.
We will be adding an additional section to the site's Picture Gallery, which will include pictures of the yard as it exists today, in 2004 as well as some pictures of the demolition of various yard cranes and buildings.
The demolition to make way for the racetrack is proceeding.  To date the following has been removed; (1) both Heede cranes in the plate yard, (2) the plate yard bridge crane and craneways, (3) both plate yard tower lights, (4) all Fab shop bridge cranes, (5) Power House air compressors and M/G sets.
Both the Main Tool Rm (74 Dept) and Central Maintenance (33M) Buildings have now been torn down.  The Central Yard Power House is scheduled for demolition next week.
The 2004 "All Chester Reunion" was a success with a number of past employees getting together and discussing their "adventures" at the yard.  Next year, it will be held at the same Salvation Army facility, in Chester in early Oct.  
Since our last update on the demolition,  the Power House and Dispensary Complex have been 
torn down.  
Demolition update,  the Time Office wooden structure including the Time Alley were demolished today with the Security Building, both first and second floors, are scheduled for demolition  tomorrow.  The Main Locker Room building has been cleaned out inside and with all the windows and doors removed will be demolished next week.  Siding has been removed from both the lower levels of the Pipe Shop and Garage.

As of August,  the Sun Ship Historical Society is officially registered with the State of PA.
At this time,  80CY and 33I buildings are completely torn down,  Main Office is approximately 25% down and the Garage is approx. 80% down.  

Main Office is totally down, #8 Shipway is approx. 50% gone and 6 and 8 way plattens are being broken up.  Siding is coming down from Boiler Shop, Fab Shop, Blacksmith Shop and Pipe Shop.  As far as the Fab Shop complex is concerned,  the current plan is to remove the NC Shop, Lo-Lo Bay, Low Bay and Blacksmith Shop.  It seems that the High Bay may remain and become a multi-level parking garage and restaurant.   
The demolition is moving along at a rapid pace at this time,  last week the following were tore down; Boiler Shop large furnace, Annex and Lean-To.  #3 HiBay crane in the Boiler Shop has been sold and will be lowered next week.  All the siding has been removed from the Pipe Shop and the North side Pipe Shop Offices including the electric room, air conditioning room and old time clock repair room have been removed.  Almost all the siding and roof panels from the Fab Shop have been removed and the N.C. Shop, Lo Lo and Lo Bays are scheduled for demolition.  It appears at this time that the 47 Shop Hi Bay will remain and be converted into a multi-storage garage and restaurant.  Both furnaces in the Blacksmith Shop have been removed along with all the siding and roofing panels.  The No. 1 Pier Pump House and the Paint Shop Locker Room have also been removed.
This week, 1) The Pipe Shop is completely down and the foundation is being broken up, 2) 100 Ft. of the inshore end of the Boiler Shop was dropped and the steel is being sheared, 3)  The last roof panels from the Fab shop have been removed, 4)  The river end of the NC shop has been burned loose from the LoLo Bay of 47 Shop and has been dropped.  The current schedule is to have the Boiler Shop completly torn down within 2 weeks.  
All the buildings in the yard are now down with the exception of the Blacksmith Shop and the High Bay of the Fabrication Shop.  The Fab shop will become the Casino and parking area of the facility.  The Low and Low-Low bays are being demolished and new portions of the casino will be added to the high bay where the Low and Low-Bay once stood.  The piles have been driven for the paddock area (at the location of the Pipe Shop).  It appears at this time that the Blacksmith Shop will be the Maintenance Bldg. for the facility.
Sorry it's been so long since the site has been updated and will work on more changes shortly.  The Pennsylvania Historical Commission has approved our application for a historical, roadside marker, at the intersection of Morton Ave and Route 291.  More work needs to be done on this and we will be proceeding with the various tasks during the summer.  It's our hope that the roadside marker will be installed prior to the scheduling opening of the racetrack, which I understand is to be in September of this year.

The Electrical Department has lost three of it's past members this year.  Whitey Sellers(Electrical Maint/Transportation/2nd Shift Asst' Supt), Ed Brennan (Electrical Maintenance/2nd Shift) and Robert 'Bobby' Broyles (Electrical Maintenance/1st Shift)
(Note: If anyone would like to have a name posted, please forward a copy of the obituary either by email to davek@cdmint.com or to Sun Ship Historical Society, 401 Crum Lynne Rd, Ridley Park, PA 19078.  Please include the date that the obituary appeared in the newspaper)
On Dec 12, 2005 the SSHS was able to board the Westward Venture (Hull 675), while in Philadelphia,  through the courtesy of Rich Griffith, Vince Corry and Capt' Loftfield.  SSHS attendees were; Ed Horn (69,82,etc),  Dave Johnson (82D), Ed Logeman (33I), Dave Boone, John Curdy and Dave Kavanagh.  Check the website for pictures.
1.  The Saugatuck (Sun Hull  250), which was launched as the Newtown on 12.07.42 was moved yesterday from the James River Ready Reserve Fleet to the Bay Bridge facility for breaking-up.  Above and beyond that it's one of our ships, she is either one of, or the last, T2 tanker left.
2.  Received correspondence from Jim Smith concerning his father Jim 'Farmer' Smith of the Pipe Shop who had passed away on June 6, 2006 at Christiana Hospital, in Newark, DE.
On Wed, Aug. 2nd, 2006, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission honored the Glomar Explorer (Sun Hull 661) with a placement of a historical marker in front of the Independence Seaport Museum at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, PA
The obituary of Mr. Dominic (Nick) Pinto, 81 Department was posted in Del. Cnty. Daily Times on Saturday, August 5, 2006.  Nick worked at Sun for 42 Years and passed away on August 3rd.
George Howarth passed away on August 26th, he was 91 years old.  George worked at Sun Ship for 48 years on 2nd Shift in 59 Dept. George had been involved in the Sun Ship Historical Society, had made donations of Sun Ship memorabilia and had made numerous trips to the Yard during the Harra's demolition process during 2004 & 2005.  George also participated in a verbal history of the Yard that was conducted by John Costello. See picture gallery, personnel page for photos of George.
The following information is related to Sun Ship  life insurance  and pension.  Questions can be directed to:
Life Insurance:
Aetna Insurance, Sun Ship Employee, c/o Colleen Zoto, 2201 Renassance Blvd, Mail Stop F245, King of Prussia, PA 19406.  Contact Phone Number is 484.322.6531
MetLife: Contact Number is 800.638.5656
The Sun Ship Historical Society in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Histrical and Museum Commission  and through the courtesy of Harrah's Chester Race Track and Casino unveiled a Sun Ship historic marker at the entrance to Harrah's with over 100 attendees.
The Sun Ship Historical Society's Sun Ship exhibit opened at the Delaware County Historical Society's Research Museum and Library in the city of Chester, PA for a 4 month run.  The exhibit featured a Sun Ship time line from 1916 through the sale of the yard on Feb. 8, 1982, Many artifacts acquired by the Sun Ship Historical Society and scheduled lecture and exhibit tours.
Final historic text and graphics for the pending Harrah's Sun Ship memorial submitted to Harrah's for review.
The Sun Ship Historical Society, with the co-operation of the Delaware County Historical Society has concluded the 4 month Sun Ship Historical Exhibit on January 27, 2008.  We conducted a total of 5 lecture/exhibit tours in Dec and Jan. with attendance at over 180.   The exhibit will be removed during the week of Jan. 28, 2008, making way for the DCHS's next exhibit "The Olympians of Delaware County".
Members of the SSHS visited the Suisan Bay, National Defense Reserve Fleet in Benica, CA on 2/27/08.  Currently on site are the American Racer (Hull 629), American Reliance (Hull 631), U.S.S. Comet (Hull 601) and the U.S.S. Mispillion (Hull 526).  We wish to thank the Suisan Bay personnel for their assistance and courtesy in reviewing the aforementioned ships.  We will shortly  be posting a page on the website to cover this tour.
The SSHS was invited to give a lecture on the 'History of Sun Ship'  at the monthly meeting of the 
Oliver-Evans Chapter of the Society of Industrial Archeologists.  The lecture was held at the Philadelphia
Water Works Interpretive Center on the Schuykill River next to the Art Museum on March 5, 2008.  Our thanks to the OE/SIA for the invitation.
The SSHS started working with the Hagley Museum and Library in January of 2008 on identifying particulars associated with individual photographs in their Sun Ship collection including; hull name and numbers, launch dates, ship type, description of photo and helping to establish a listing of keywords.
The results of this continuing effort are currently in a beta test and when complete, will make their Sun Ship photographic collection both viewable and searchable on their website.  Dave Kavanagh of the is a volunteer at Hagley and is assisting in cataloging the aforementioned information.  When this goes on-line, we will post a notice and link.  At that time, the hull pictures on our website will be removed and replaced with 'Ship / Plant Specials' , where we will do a detail on a particular ship or part of the Yard.

Westward Venture fires warning shots at 'Fast Boats' in international waters of coast of Iran
 Event occurred on Thursday Apri 25th, 2008
The Westward Venture (Sun hull 675) was in international waters, approximately 80 miles off the coast
of Iran, when she was approached by two 'fast boats', country of orign unknown.  Failing to establish 
'Bridge-to-Bridge' communications, followed by flares and the ship's whistle, military personnel on-board, opened fire with warning shots when the boats got to within 100 yards of the ship, causing the two boats to veer off.  The Westward Venture is chartered to the military and was carrying military cargo.  
Note 1: USA Today carried the story on the internet along with a link to the www.sunship.org website
and it's history of the Westward Venture. 
Note 2: For SSHS Westward Venture page, go to 'Trailership' on selection page and 'click on 'West-
ward Venture Special'

The SSHS was awarded a historic preservation award by the Delaware County Council and the Heritage Commission for the Sun Exhibit  and lecture series on May 6th, 2008  in Media, PA.  The exhibit was held at the Delaware County Historical Society Library and Museum in Chester, PA between Oct. 6, 2008 and Jan. 27, 2008.
The SSHS was informed by Rich Griffith (TOTE) that the Aetna Group Life Insurance contact number was no longer valid.  The new contact information is:  Colleen Zoto at 215.775.0354 and this information has been updated on our 'Front Page'.
The SSHS conducted a presentation on the history of Sun Ship on May 20, 2008 at the Marcus Hook
Community Center.  There were 50 attendees and Dave Kavanagh put together a power point that lasted for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Many of the attendees stayed around after the presentation to reminisce old times at the yard.  Our sincere thanks to the Borough of Marcus Hook, Bruce Dorbian (Borough Mgr.) and Helen Imburgia of the Marcus Hook Historical Society.
The Sun Ship Historical Society was contacted by Jo Flannery and told us that she was in possession of the Sun Ship builders plate from Sun Ship Hull 244.  Sun' s Hull 244 was the Harlem Heights, our 4th T-2 tanker, which was launched on May 30, 1942.  Jo Flannery has since donated  the builder's plate to the Sun Ship Historical Society in memory of her husband Paul Flannery, who had the forsight to acquire this artifact.  We are extremely grateful to both Jo and her husband Paul in making this significant piece of Sun Ship history available to the society.  We will shortly be adding another icon to the introduction page for 'Builder's Plates' which will include the Harlem Heights.
OBIT: George Howarth passed away on August 26th, he was 91 years old.  George worked at Sun Ship for 48 years on 2nd Shift in 59 Dept. George had been involved in the Sun Ship Historical Society, had made donations of Sun Ship memorabilia and had made numerous trips to the Yard during the Harra's demolition process during 2004 & 2005.  George also participated in a verbal history of the Yard that was conducted by John Costello. See picture gallery, personnel page for photos of George.
OBIT: Richard N. 'Dick' Carr passed away on 11/03/2008.  Dick worked for both Sun Ship and Penn Ship as a supervisor in 81 Department for over 20 years.  Please see his obituary in the Delaware County Daily Times, Friday's  Nov. 7th issue  Services on Monday, 10:00 AM Nativity BVM Church, in Medial PA.  Condolences: www.carrfuneralhome.net.  Dick was a friend of the Sun Ship Histoircal Society, donating memorabilia and a model of the hospital ship S.S. Hope, built by William 'Bill' McGonigle of 95 Department.
OBIT: Joseph G. Osifat passed away on 11/26/2008.  Joe worked for both Sun Ship and Penn Ship  in 88 Department (Security).  Joe was a Captain in the Security Department during my time at the Yard and he always greated me with a smile (dmk) Please see his obituary in the Delaware County Daily Times, Thursday's  Nov. 27th issue  Services on Monday, 11:00 AM at the Minshall Shropshire-Bleyler Funeral Home, Middletown and Knowlton Road, Middletown, PA.  Joe was a friend of the Sun Ship Histoircal Society, donating memorabilia to the society and attended many of the 'Old Chester' reunions, meeting many Sun Ship retireees at these events.
OBIT: Frank Metrick passed away on Jan. 17th, 2009.  Joe worked for both Sun Ship and Penn Ship.  I knew Frank primarily as Foreman of the Pipe Shop (DMK).   Frank's obituary was in the Jan. 22nd edition of the Delaware County Daily Times.  Services will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday at St. Mary Magdalen Church, 2400 N. Providence Road, Media.  Visitation will be from 9:30-10:45 AM at the church.
The local Philadelphia Chapter of SNAME (Society of Naval Architects and Engineers) had a meeting at the Raddison Hotel in Essington, PA on Feb. 18, 2009.  The guest speaker was Gene Schorsch (ex-VP of Sun Ship)  Gene held the audience captive while reviewing Sun Ship's history.  It was very rewarding to review many of our 'recent' accomplishments at Sun Ship including the GTS Callaghan, the ice-breaking tanker S.S. Manhattan, the Glomar Explorer and of course the new North Yard.  We will be posting a picture of the Sun Ship attendees under the 'Reunion' icon.  Our thanks to SNAME for choosing the history of Sun Ship as the topic of this meeting.
OBIT: Mary Yaworsky passed away on Mar. 11th, 2009.  Mary worked at the Human-Relations Dept at Sun Ship for 20 years.  Services will be held at 11:00 AM on Tuesday at St. John Chrysostom Church, 615 S. Providence Road, Wallingford, PA.  Visitation will be from 9:30-10:45 AM at the church.
OBIT: Walter R. Sidner passed away on April 26th, 2009.  Walt was an electrician  both in new ship construction (33I) and electrical Maintenance (33M).  He was 94 years old and a Class of 1934 graduate from Chester High School and his wife of 47 years passed away in 2004.
OBIT: Henry J. Kunzig passed away on August 5th, 2009.  Henry was the plant electrical engineer for many years at Sun Ship out of 82 Department (Plant Engineering). He passed away at Paul's Run in Philadelphia, PA.  Hery was a past president, financial secretary and treasurer for the Philadelphia Mummers Assoc.  Husband of the late Marion, Henry was the loving father to four children, six grandchildren and also nieces and nephews. Viewing will be on Monday August 10th at the Burns Funeral Home, 9708 Frankford Ave, Phila. PA.  Note: Many of us had worked closely with Henry for many years and have many fond memories of that relationship.  Thanks to Hank Shaefer for forwarding the information on Henry's passing, Dave Kavanagh
OBIT: Paul Atkinson passed away on August 4th, 2009 at 88 years old.  His obituary was in the Delaware County Daily Times and Philadelphia Inquirer. After graduating from Webb Institute of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering in 1942, he started working at Sun Ship in the Yard's production departments.  He was named Vice-President of Operations and supervised modernization of the Yard in 1956/1957.  From 1961 until 1977, he served as president of Sun Ship. Paul conceived the gas turbine-propelled 'Admiral Willam M. Callaghan' vessel and he was a pioneer in the development of roll-on/roll-off vessels and the shipping diversification strategy.  During his tenure, he oversaw the conversion of the ice-breaking tanker 'Manhattan', the building of the 'Glomar Explorer' that retreived a section of a Soviet submarine in the Pacific, built the largest floating dry dock in the United States at the time, design and building of environmentally-friendly double-hull tankers, which are now standard in the industry.
OBIT: James Bockius of 69 Dept. passed away, from cancer at his daughter's home in Philadelphia, on August 19th, 2009.  Jim worked at Sun Ship and Penn Ship for 23 years, retiring in 1990.  He was the widower of Elizabeth T. Schluth and father of the alte William Bockius.  He is survived by 7 sons and daughters and 14 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. Thanks to Bill Martin for informing of us of his passing.  Look at guest book for Bill's comments on Jim.
NOTICE 08/29/2009: Histories Detectives will air a show on WHYY Channel 12 on Monday, August 31st at 9:00 PM on the 'Seadrome'  Sun Ship was involved with Engineer Edward R.  Armstrong in the commercial development of his floating airport concept in the 40's.  Hagley Museum and Library, Delaware County Historical Society Library and Museum and the Sun Ship Historical Society were involved in the research of the historical data for this program.
OBIT: Harry Larkin, he worked in both  33I and 33M Dept's. He passed away on October 4th, 2009 at 91 years old.  Harry worked at Sun Ship for 35 years.  He was the widower of Anna Mullen Larkin to whom he was married for 52 years.  He is survived by his daughter Mary Ann and son Edward (also a past Sun Ship employee) and five grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and three step-great-grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.  Services and burial are private. Note: It was through the effort of Harry that I was given the opportunity to start working in the electrical department at Sun Ship and for this I will always be grateful, Dave Kavanagh
OBIT: William Henry Buchy, Jr, passed away on Oct. 7, 2009.  Bill worked at Sun Ship in the Engineering Department and also worked at the Aker Yard in Philadelphia.  "He was the loving husband of Gail Marie (nee Smith) and devoted father of Dawn (Brian) Allwein, Brian (Jennifer) and David (Crissy).  He is also survived by 8 grandchildren.  He was also the brother of the late Bruce Buchy".  Visitiation: D'Anjolell-Stigale Memorial Home.  3260 Concord Road Aston, PA US 19014. 610-497-5505. www.danjolell.com.  
Visitation to be held on Friday, Oct. 16, 2009 12 Noon.  Thanks to Dave Moorehead for this information.

SSHS Update:   
Even though there has not been a recent update to the website, We have been busy!  We just started an accession list/finding aid for each of the Sun Ship items in the various collections, which numbers in the thousands of items..  Each item, which could be a single sheet of paper, Sun Ship publication or blueprint  is being placed in the finding aid, which is a spreadsheet with columns for; accession numbers,date accessioned, item, source, description, location and 'keywords'  Hopefully, this will make researching the Sun Ship archieves easier in the future.
While reviewing the accessioned items, we will try and find an item to send out weekly to those on the Sun Ship email list. If you have not received the initial mailing from December 21/22, 2009 on Hans Bolch and First Aid, and would like to be added to the list or, if you know of someone that would like to be added to the list, please contact them and have them email me.  On the other hand, if you do not wish to receive these, also let me know and I will remove your name from the list.  

And finally, we wish to thank those that have donated items to the Sun Ship Historical Society.  We will make every effort to start posting items more frequently on the website after the first of the year.  
Thank You all very much for your contributions of Sun Ship memorabilia and words of support in the Guest Book and emails,
Dave Kavanagh 

OBIT: Betty Montgomery passed away on DEC. 28th, 2009.  Betty started here working career at the Eddystone Print Works,  worked at Sun Ship for 40 years and during my time at Sun Ship, she was the secretary to Bob Gallaway (VP of Operations) and John Serrie (VP of Operations for Penn Ship).  Not only did I know Betty from Sun Ship, but she was also a Sun Village resident, one block from where I grew up.  She was always a lady with a smile for everyone.  "She was a former member of the Madison Street Methodist Church in Chester.  She volunteered at Fair Acres Geriatric Center in Middletown after she retired.  She was the widow of George Montgomery, who died in 1973, sister of the later Richard, Fred and Bob Mushlit.  She is survived by her daughter Betty Ann D'Amato and one grandson. Services & Visitation: Rigby Harting & Hagan Funeral Home 15 E. Fourth St., Media. Visitation to be held on Saturday 10:30 - 11:00 at the funeral home.  Obituary in the Delaware County Daily Times of Thursday 12/31/2009. 
OBIT: Frank Soltis passed away on Jan. 2nd, 2010.  Frank's obit mentioned he had worked at Sun Ship for 40 years.  Frank had worked under Gene Schorsch at the Tool Room (Courtesy of Gene Schorsch).  I remember him as Foreman of the Tool Room during my time  at the Yard (Dave Kavanagh) and then he moved to Foreman of the Plate Yard (info courtesy of Bill Martin).  Both Gene Schorsch and Joe DeGregorio remember Frank as an avid motorcyclist.  Frank's obituary was in the Delaware County Daily Times of Wednesday,  Jan 6, 2010.
OBIT: Andy Jarusinski passed away on Jan. 25th, 2010.  Andy's obit mentioned he had gone to school at St. James H.S. in Chester and worked at Sun Ship for many years before his retirement.  Andy had worked primarily in 33I (ship elelctrician) but believe he had also spent time n 33F (Temp.Facilities) and 33M (Electrical Maintenance.  Andy's  obituary was in the Delaware County Daily Times of Wednesday,  Jan 27, 2010.
OBIT: Robert (Bob) MaGee passed away on Nov. 30th, 2010 after a four year battle with cancer.  Bob worked a few years at the shipyard and was involved in TOTE's startup in 1975 before moving to PRMMI in the Puerto Rican market.  He came to TOTE in 1986 as VP or Marine Operations.  He then became President and CEO of TOTE in 1994 and then President and CEO of the holding company, the American Shipping Group, 2003.  Bob had many friends in the marine community and was awarded most of its highest honors. Notice of Bob's passing was forwarded to SSHS by Rich Griffith, Senior VP Operations, American Shipping Group and past Sun Ship member. Note: Bob Magee was the Program Manager for the Waterman ships before he left in 1982 (Courtesy Bruce Shipley).
OBIT:  George Liberator passsed  away on 2/9/2010.  George was a brick-layer in 81 Department.  Thanks to Connie Estep for forwarding the information on George's passing. If anyone would like add or correct any information about George, please leave a note in the Visitors Log.
OBIT:  Thomas M. Keeley passsed  away on 3/3/2010 at the age of 94.  Tom was a leader in 95 Department and was responsible for the Yard Patrol 7 day / 3-shift operation which was responsible for the HVAC systems for the E&M Building, Main Office, portable Yard portable boilers, Propane Plant, river water pumps, Oxygen Plant, both fresh and sanitary water systems.  I Especially remember Tom as a being a real gentlemen, with never a cross word for anyone and always with a smile on his face.  Tom was at the Yard for 45 years.    If anyone would like add or correct any information about Tom, please leave a note in the Visitors Log. Note: Thanks to John Glanfield for letting me know about Tom's obituary.
OBIT:  Al 'Mac' McCann passsed  away on 3/3/2010.  'Mac' was a Maintenance Dept. Asst' Foreman (33M) on Second Shift during my time at the Yard and he retired in 1981 with 28 years of service.  As Second Shift AF, he was responsible for all of the 'Green' hats on second shift including, Transportation (76), Tool Room (74), Electrical Maintenance (33M) and Electrical Facilities (33F), Temp. Ventilation (33V), Mechanical Maintenance (84), Power House (83), Pipe Maintenance (34M) and Yard Patrol/Heat Plant (95).  He reported to each Maintenance Foreman on Day Shift as well Bob Martin (2nd Shift Supt.).  'Mac' was also influential in my career at the Yard. Between 'Mac', Whitey Sellers (Second Shift Asst. Supt), Bill Martin (Foreman 33M) and Nick Foreacre (Leader 33M Crane Repair),  I was given an opportunity to become Electrical Maintenance Leader on 3rd Shift.  Later I would be Facilities Leader (33F) on Second Shift with 'Mac' for four years and during that time he was a great 'boss' and good friend. Dave Kavanagh. Note: Services will be held on April 10th, at the First Presbyterian Church in Glenolden, PA.  If anyone would like add or correct any information about Al, please leave a note in the Visitors Log.
OBIT:  William A. Graham passsed  away on 3/7/2010.  William was a supervisor in 45 Department and worked at the Yard for 25 years.  If anyone would like add or correct any information about William, please leave a note in the Visitors Log.
'Glomar' Explorer and the 'Azorian Project'
I received an email from Gene Schorsch on Feb 4, 2010 giving me a website with the 'Azorian' story.  It turned out to be the Michael White film on the retrieval of the Soviet K-129 submarine by the 'Glomar Explorer'.  I ordered the DVD and it's phenomenal.  The video, graphics and interviews tell the whole story.  The graphics depicting the various phases of the testing and retrieval have done so much to visualize the magnitude of the tasks accomplished.  Please stop  by www.white.at, click on 'latest films' and 'Azorian' and 'Trailer'.  Also, click on the 'IMAGES' tab and view them.  The DVD is worth buying and it's in 'PAL' format, that works on my PC, laptop and DVD player, but not on some others.  The following was pulled off the internet: What is NTSC and PAL?  Basically it is the difference in frames per second used by televisions in different parts of the world.  There are two television display systems in commercial use: PAL (common in Europe and parts of Asia) delivers a frame rate of 25 fps (frames per second) with 625 lines, while NTSC (used in the U.S. and Canada) delivers a frame rate of 30 fps using 525 lines.  I'm not sure why some equipment tested did work and others did not.

OBIT:  William Jannie has passsed  away.  He was an Assistant Foremena in 59 Department on 2nd Shift and was 78 years old. Friends may visit Monday March 22nd at Gbhart Funeral Home, 3401 Philadelphia Pike, Claymont Delaware beginning at 11AM followed by a service at 1 PM.  Burial will be privaate.  If anyone would like add or correct any information about William, please leave a note in the Visitors Log. (Thanks to Rich Janney for information)
OBIT:  Charlie J. Meyers 
Charles J. Meyers,  age 82, died after a long illness Tuesday, March 23, 2010 at Christiana Hospital. Charles retired 20 years ago as a foreman with Sun Ship Chester for 45 years in shipbuilding. He was a U.S. Army Veteran and served with the occupation forces in Japan immediately following WWII. He was the son of the late Charles and Lucey Meyers. He was also preceded in death by his sisters and brothers, Elizabeth Drake, Theresa Godby, Ann Meyers, Robert Meyers, Charles E. Meyers, Lawrence Meyers. He is survived by his sister, Helene Robinson of Prospect Park, PA; and his friend and caregiver, Barbara Gott; 5 nieces and 4 nephews. 
Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Graveside Service at Immaculate Heart Cemetery, Twp Line Rd. & Mkt St., Linwood, PA Monday, March 29, 1:30 p.m. 
In lieu of flowers please make donations to Our Lady of Fatima, 801 North DuPont Hwy., New Castle, DE 19720. 
Krienen Funeral Home.  If anyone would like add or correct any information about Charlie, please leave a note in the Visitors Log. (Thanks to Connie Estep for full-type of obit)
Sea Star Lines's El Faro (ex-Tote 'Northern Lights and ex-PRMSA 'Puerto Rico' - Hull 670)
Our Ro/Ro the 'El Faro' has made her first visit to the Philadelphia Tioga Marine Terminal on 4/18/2010.  Both Hank Shaefer and John Curdy were kind enough to get pictures of her in the C&D Canal (H.Shaefer) and Pennsville, NJ and Harrah's (John Curdy). In a short while, will be placing a new posting on the site under 'Trailerships with a ship's history and additional pic's or her transit thru the canal and on the Delaware River.  Our additonal thanks to John Glandfield and Dave Boone for the initial heads-up and Vince Corry Port Captain, Interocean American Shipping Group.for putting us in contact with  Capt. Earl Loftfield of the 'El Farro'. (If additional information or corrections, please email me at address on 'home page', Dave K.

Courtesy of: Hank ShaeferCourtesy of: Hank Shaefer
'El Faro' in C & D Canal    'El Faro' going under the Reedy Point Bridge.

'El Faro' off Pennsville, NJ heading to Philadelphia, PA    El Faro' off Harrah's Casino in Chester, PA
Courtesy of: John Curdy. (Sun Ship's old home!) Courtesy: John Curdy
HELP:  The SSHS is looking for a hi-res scanned copy of the launching invitation for the 'Westward Venture' Hull 675.  Note: This is not Hull 674 that was  5/3/2010  launched as the 'Westward Venture' and delivered as the 'Atlantic Bear'.  We would appreciate any help we can get on this.  Please email info to the address above. Thank You, Dave K.
p.s.: This request is also on the home page, but put it here in case it was missed.

1.  Another leader of the post-war maritime industry went to the great shipyard in the sky last week.  Merv Willis was Chief Naval Architect at New York Ship, in Camden, and later at Sun Ship, in Chester.  I knew him during the short life of Penn Ship, when he designed the system by means of which we brought two SL-7s - each of about 26,000 tons light weight - back on shore to be converted into T-AKRs.  Capable, thorough, unflappable, all those good qualities and more.  Read his obituary on philly.com here.  November 17, 2010.(Posted from email to Sun Ship Historical Society)

2.  Posted on Wed, Nov. 17, 2010 Philly.com
Merville E. Willis, 91, formerly of Northeast Philadelphia, a naval architect and engineer, died Friday, Nov. 12, at Normandy Farms Estates, a retirement community in Blue Bell.  After graduating from Glen-Nor High School, Mr. Willis was a shipfitter's apprentice at Sun Ship in Chester and took night classes at the University of Pennsylvania. He later earned a degree in naval architecture and marine engineering from the University of Michigan.  During World War II, he was assistant foreman in the hull-fabricating shop at Sun Ship, supervising 800 workers, his family said.  After the war, he was a draftsman in the engineering department at Sun Ship. In 1947, he joined New York Ship in Camden. He eventually became chief naval engineer there and was involved with the hull design for 40 ships, including the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk, tankers, and nuclear-powered submarines.  
In 1968, Mr. Willis returned to Sun Ship, where he supervised hull engineering for commercial ships, including a double-hulled oil tanker.  After Pennsylvania Shipbuilding Co. took over Sun Ship in 1980, Mr. Willis was naval architect and then chief engineer there and designed a unique floating dry dock and marine railway for Penn Ship. He retired in 1984. As a hobby, he built ships in bottles and designed ships on his computer. He enjoyed travel and fishing and snowmobiling in Maine. Mr. Willis' wife of 58 years, Minetta Gladeck Willis, died in 2005. He is survived by a daughter, Minetta O'Boyle, and a son, Frederick. A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, at Normandy Farms Estates, 9000 Twin Silo Dr., Blue Bell, where he had lived for six years.

​NOTICE 11/08/2014:

 I was invited to do a power point presentation on the history of Sun Ship at the Wallingford, PA Presbyterian Church on Tuesday November 11, 2014. Due to a death in the family, I had to cancel the scheduled event. It has now been rescheduled to December 9, 2014. The presentation was possibly placed in both the Daily Times and the local Town Talk. I am sorry if this has caused an inconvenience to anyone. Dave Kavanagh
Obit:     Clarence Edward E. 'Bud' Austin. Jr.

From:   The Daily Times (Delaware County, PA) 
Date:    2/29/2016

Clarence Edward E. Austin, Jr., 85 of Upper Chichester Twp. passed away on February 23, 2016 surrounded by his loving family. Edward was born in Drexel Hill on January 7, 1931 and raised in Darby by his late parents, Clarence E., Sr. & Esther (Dickerson) Austin. He retired from Sun Ship and was twice a Past Master and brother of the Scott and Chester Lodges of the Free & Accepted Masons. Edward also proudly served in the US Army Druing the Korean Conflict.

He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Harriet (Nee Conard) Austin; his children, C. Edward E., III (Angie), Arnold D. (Kathy), Donald C. (Sandy), John W. and June G. Austin; Also survived by 8 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren, all of whom he loved and adored.

Family and friends are invited to attend his viewing on Tuesday March 1st from 7 to 8 PM at the Cavanagh Family Funeral Home, 301 Chester Pike, Norwood. His funeral service will immediately follow at 8 PM including Masonic and Military Honor Services. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations payable to : Crescenz VA Medical Center: Attn: Voluntary Service (Hospice), 3900 Woodland Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19014. 

SSHS Note: Another one of our Sun Ship family has passed away. ‘Bud’ Austin was a Shop Steward, in 59 Department (Welding), for Local 802. ‘Bud’ attended the opening of the Sun Ship exhibit at the Delaware County Historical Society on Oct 6, 2007. At this meeting, ‘Bud’ donated a “Sun Ship Trowel Club” (Masons) banner to the Sun Ship Historical Society. Our condolences to ‘Bud’s’ family.
Obit: Richard Griffith

From: The Daily Times (Delaware County, PA) 
Date: 3/15/2016

Tacoma, WA
    Richard Griffith passed away peacefully on March 10, 2016. He was an honorable man who embodied the meaning of grit and left a lasting impression on the people he met.
    Richard could say a lot by saying very little. He was known for his one-liners and sense of humor. He loved good times, laughter and the occasional martini. He carried a cribbage board wherever he went was know as "dark cloud" to some of his colleagues. 
    He is survived by his daughters Beth (Boshon), Linda (Kevin) and Jennifer (Mark).
   He leaves behind five beloved grandchildren; Isabella, Anneliese, Alexandra,Arianna and Drake. He was also generous and thoughtful to his bonus-grandchildren Conor and Allie.
    Raised in Aston, Pennsylvania by Frank and Helen, he never lost his lover for the place he came from. He coveted Philly cheesesteaks, hoagies and scrapple. He stayed close to childhood friends and attended every high school and neighborhood (Green Ridge) reunion. He was preceded in death by his older brother, Frank.
    His tastes in life were simple -  he loved his family, friends, golf and the ships he cared for during his career.
    He was an engineer by trade and started his career at Sun Ship in Pennsylvania. Through his work there he obtained two patents for ship equipment designs.
    In 1977 he moved West to Tacoma, WA to work for TOTE and manage the SS Great Land and the SS Westward Venture. He helped TOTE to launch the Northern Lights and the Orca Class vessels-the North Star and the Midnight Sun.
    His connection to his work and the ships he looked after was deep. His daughters often called the ships "the other sisters" as they were very close to his heart. He cared for the ships as if they had souls. Much of his personality was reflected in them - rough and sturdy on the outside, but intricate on the inside.
    In his final days he remarked to his daughters, "There are no ends not found." While he wished for more years with those he loved, he accepted his body had met its end. He approached his death with strength and dignity, and not long ago referred to a John Lennon quote, "Death is like getting out of one taxi and into another."
    What Richard Griffith leaves behind is a legacy all his own - a life full of hard work, laughter, family, deep and meaningful friendships and too many  games of cribbage to count.
    Richard Griffith - son, brother, father, grandfather, friend, engineer - Fair Winds and Following Seas.
    A celebration of his life will take place on March 26th, 2016 at the Browns Point Improvement Club from 2 to 5 PM. An East Coast celebration to be announced at a later date.
    In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Foss Water Seaport, 705 Dock St. Tacoma, WA 98402, 253.272.2750.

SSHS Note; On Wed. March 9, I received a phone call from Rich. He was home and under hospice care and was having trouble talking, so our conversation was relatively short. I was grateful that I had the opportunity to thank Rich for all his assistance in helping us through the years with our history of Sun Ship, the history of the ‘Ponce de Leon’ class RO/RO vessels and the history and current events associated with TOTE. D.Kavanagh

Sun Ship Historical Talk
The Sun Ship Historical Society gave a talk on the 'Glomar Explorer' (Hull 661) to the '707 Club' at the Springhaven Country Club in Nether Providence, PA.
Sun Ship Historical Talk
The Sun Ship Historical Society gave a talk on Sun Ship's history of the ten RO/RO ships of the 'Ponce de Leon' class to the Steam Ship Historical Society of America at the Independence Seaport Musuem.