SS/Westward Venture Returns to the Delaware River


The SS/Westward Venture was delivered on April 20, 1977 and departed from Sun Ship for Tacoma, Washington.  The 790 foot, 24 knot trailership was operated by TOTE, an Alaskan corporation offering a shipping service between Tacoma, Washington and Anchorage, Alaska. (The aforementioned was a press release from Sun Ship dated April 22, 1977 for immediate release).   After 28 years,  she returns to the Delaware River, for the first time, under charter to the Military Sealift Command and berthed at the Philadelphia Packer Ave. Terminal.  She arrived on April 24th and departed on April 27th, 2005.  We were made aware of her arrival and schedule by communications with both Patt (Bersky) Nowland and Rich Griffith.  John Curdy, a friend of the Sun Ship Historical Society, was able to get to Fox Point Park, off of 495 in Delaware for her arrival on April 24th and took some pictures.  In addition to John's photographs, I was able to get some pictures of her while at the Packer Ave Terminal from Glouster Park, NJ on the 25th and then again on the 27th from Fox Point Park while heading down river to the bay.  Seeing one of our ships going down the river brought back many pleasant memories and I am grateful for those who helped document her return to the Delaware River.  Dave Kavanagh
Note 1: Photographs preceeding with HML are the property of the Hagley Museum & Library, Wilmington, DE, USA                 and cannot be used without their express permission. (Contact bdhall@hagley.org)
Note 2: Photographs preceeding with SSHS are on loan to the Sun Ship Historical Society by John Curdy
Note 3: Photographs preceeding with DMK are the property of David M. Kavanagh and cannot be used without his
           express permission. (Contact davek@cdmint.com)
Launching from #8 Shipway
HML:74.319.3521
Sailing down the Delaware on trail trip
HML:74.319.3369a
At outfitting pier
HML:74.319.3532a
Loaded for trip to Alaska
HML:74.319.3339
Bound for Alaska in Puget Sound
HML:74.319.3530
Bound for Alaska in Puget Sound
HML:74.319.3533
Photo taken from Fox Point Park, DE by John Curdy on April 24th, 2005, while on charter to the Military Sealift Command.SSHS: 050424.001
Photo taken from Glouster Park, NJ by Dave Kavanagh on April 25th, 2005, at Philadelphia's Packer Ave Terminal
DMK: 050425001
Photo taken from Fox Point Park, DE by Dave Kavanagh on April 27th, 2005
DMK: 050427013
Photo taken from Fox Point Park, DE by Dave Kavanagh on April 27th, 2005
DMK: 050427015
Photo taken from Fox Point Park, DE by Dave Kavanagh on April 27th, 2005
DMK: 050427020
SS/Westward Venture Returns to the Delaware River, again
On Dec 10, 2005 the SSHS was invited to visit the Westward Venture while docked at Philadelphia's Packer Ave. Terminal.  This visit was made possible thru the efforts of Rich Griffith (Sun Ship and Amership Group) and Vince Corry and Captain Loftfield.  Attending this tour was Ed Horn of 82D & 69D, Ed Logeman of 33I, Dave Johnson of 82D, John Curdy, Dave Boone and Dave Kavanagh (33M) of the Sun Ship Historical Society.  Captain Loftfield met us at the ship's ramp and we had a tour of the decks, quarters and a lunch was arranged where we had the opportunity to listen to some of Captain Loftfield experiences. Touring the ship brought back many great memories of the shipyard.  Captain Loftfield was given a framed duplicate of the original launching invitation by Dave Kavanagh and Dave Boone gave him a picture of the S.S.United States that he had painted himself.  Dave Boone is a well known marine artist and samples of his work can be seen at www.tugboatpainter.com/artist.htm (07.19.06)
View of bow while at Packer Ave Terminal, Philla.PA
View of house while at Packer Ave Terminal, Philla.PA
Sun Ship Builders Plate
Dave Kavanagh (l) and Ed Horn (r) on either side
of Sun Ship Builders Plate
Ed Horn (l/r), Dave Kavanagh, Capt' Loftfield, Dave
Johnson and Ed Logeman
John Curdy(l/r), Capt' Loftfield and Dave Boone
Dave Boone giving his painting of the S.S. United
States to Capt' Loftfield
Capt' Loftfield receiving a framed duplicate of the launching ceremony invititation by Dave Kavanagh
Dave Boone giving his painting of the S.S. United
States to Capt' Loftfield
Ed Logeman, Dave Johnson and Ed Horn talking
over old times
Ed Horn, Dave Johnson and Logeman in the
Officer's Mess
This is a copy of the original launching invititation and you may notice something interesting in that the hull number is 674 not 675.  Thanks to Rich Griffith, we now know the rest of the story.
Sun Hull 674 was launched as the Westward Venture, but prior to delivery, she was being chartered to the Middle East and her name was changed to the Atlantic Bear. Hull No. 675 was launched and delivered as the Westward Venture as shown on the Builder's plate in the above picture.