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Featured Lake Boat:

Winter Hill 1945 - 1961
Leon Falk Jr. 1961 - 1985

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Built by Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Chester, Pa as Hull #477. Launched on April 2, 1945 as the T2-SE-A1 tanker WINTER HILL for the U.S. Maritime Commission. Dimensions: 523' 6" loa x 68' 2" beam x 39' 2" depth; 10,537 GRT, 6,333 NRT. Powered by a 7,240 shp Westinghouse Electric steam turbo-electric engine and two Babcock & Wilcox oil-fired water tube boilers. The WINTER HILL was part of an emergency tanker building program during World War II in which 481 T2-SE-A1 tankers were completed by four U.S. shipyards. The T2s were built with nine cargo tanks with a total capacity of 141,200 bbl, three hydraulic cargo pumps of 2,000 gpm each, a cruising range of 12,600 miles, a mid-ship pilot house and accommodations for a crew of approximately 44. Built at a cost of nearly $3 million which included $850,000 of defense equipment, the construction time for these tankers averaged 82 days from keel laying to launching. The T2-SE-A1 nomenclature is defined as a Tanker (T), approximately 450 to 499 feet in water line length (2), steam powered turbo-electric engine (SE), and the first of the series (A1). Purchased by Cities Service Oil Co., New York, in 1949.

Sold to National Steel Corp., Cleveland in 1960. Converted to a Lake Bulk Freighter by removing the tanker mid-section and inserting a 503' bulk cargo mid-section constructed by Schlieker-Werft, Hamburg, Germany. The mid-section (Hull #556) was towed across the Atlantic to Baltimore where it was joined to the bow and stern of the WINTER HILL by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp., Kings Highway Yard at Baltimore. Her original mid-ship pilot house was moved forward onto the forecastle. New dimensions: 730' 0" loa x 75' 0" beam x 39' 0" depth; 12,501 GRT, 8,811 NRT. Renamed LEON FALK JR. Sea trials were completed on June 28, 1961 just off Baltimore. Departed Baltimore for her maiden voyage on June 30, 1961 bound for Sept Isles. Departed Sept Isles with her first load of 20,748 tons of iron ore on June 23, 1961 and arrived in Cleveland on July 20, 1961. Christened in Cleveland on July 20, 1961 after one trip to Duluth, MN for ore. Opened Duluth's season on April 8, 1969, loading 20,700 tons of ore for Detroit. Received new stern quarters and automated boilers, American Ship Building Co., South Chicago winter 1971-1972. New tonnage 12,496 GRT, 8,696 NRT. Opened Superior on April 17, 1974 and loaded 22,778 tons of ore for Huron, Ohio. Closed Superior on January 27, 1975, departing with 17,542 tons of ore for Detroit. Struck lock wall in St. Lawrence Seaway on July 25, 1976, causing $80,000 damage. Suffered a small fire ignited by a welder's torch on January 16, 1980. Firefighters had to cut through to get to the fire limiting the damage to rubber tires and mooring lines in the storage room. Laid up for the last time on August 15, 1981 at the Great Lakes Engineering Work's old slip in River Rouge.

The FALK departed River Rouge, crewed by retirees and former employees, August 16, 1985 under her own power for Quebec City arriving there August 19th. Departed Quebec for Vigo, Spain in tandem tow with MENIHEK LAKE, August 30, 1985 by the Canadian tug CAPT. IOANNIS S. The FALK, as a single tow, was taken to Gijon, Spain on the September 28th for scrapping by Desguaces Heme.


Winter Hill 1945 to 1949
(U.S. Maritime Commission)
Winter Hill 1949 to 1961
(Cities Service Oil Co.)
Leon Falk Jr. 1961 to 1985
(National Steel Corp.)

Collection of photos during the Atlantic crossing with the mid-section hull.

Fully loaded, 1961.
(Photo by Thomas Manse)

Under way, 1961.
(Photo by Thomas Manse)

Entering the MacArthur Lock in spring ice, 1960's.
(Photo by Thomas Manse)

Upbound in the Welland Canal at Lock 4, 1962.
(Photo by Rev. Cameron Orr, Skip Gillham collection)

Downbound in the St. Marys River off 6 Mile Pt., 1967.
(Photo by Thomas Manse)

In the evening light off 6 Mile Pt., 1967.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

Postcard view approaching the MacArthur Lock downbound.
(Don Geske collection)

Postcard view departing the MacArthur Lock downbound.
(Roger LeLievre collection)

Loaded in the St. Clair River, September 1967.
(Photo by John Mackay)

Going under the Glendale Bridge on the Welland Canal.
(Photo by Robert Walton, Skip Gillham collection)

Lowering a dozer into the hold to scoup up the remaining pellets, 1968.
(Photo by Wayne DeGrand)

Underway on the St. Clair River, September 1968.
(Photo by John Mackay)

First boat to arrive in Duluth from the lower lakes, April 8, 1969.
(Photo by Glenn Gudz)

Leon Falk Jr & Cliffs Victory in Cleveland, June 1969.
(Photo by Wayne DeGrand)

Upbound in the Davis Lock, July 1969.
(Photo by Wayne DeGrand)

Out in Lake Superior, July 1969.
(Photo by Wayne DeGrand)

Loading at Taconite Harbor, 1969.
(Photo by Wayne DeGrand)

Unloading at Zug Island, August 1969.
(Photo by Wayne DeGrand)

While heading towards the St. Marys River on upper Lake Huron on October 4, 1969, the Carnahan became disabled about five miles south of Detour Reef. After losing power, the ship drifted until reaching shallow water, where it anchored. The ship was later towed to the Lime Island fuel dock by the tug John McLean.
(Photo by Wayne DeGrand)

After a mechanic flown in to work on the ship was unable to get power restored, it was decided to have the Carnahan towed to Detroit by fleetmate Leon Falk, Jr. The tow down Lake Huron began on Monday, October 6, 1969.
(Photo by Wayne DeGrand)

Crossing Lake Superior in some rough seas, November 1969.
(Photo by Wayne DeGrand)

Falk and Carnahan tied up for the winter in Ecorse, December 1969.
(Photo by Wayne DeGrand)

Laid up for the winter with the Paul H. Carnahan in Ecorse, 1971.
(Marc Vander Meulen collection)

Downbound in Port Huron, July 6, 1972.
(Photo by Skip Gillham)

Downbound in the St. Marys River off 6 Mile Pt., 1972.
(Photo by Roger LeLievre)

Upbound in the St. Marys River, 1970's.
(Photo by Thomas Manse)

Downbound at Mission Pt., 1970's.
(Photo by Thomas Manse)

Upbound in the St. Clair River, 1970's.
(Photo by Thomas Manse)

Collection of images by Capt. Duncan Schubert during 1973-74.

Underway fully loaded, June 1974.
(Marc Vander Meulen collection)

Clearing the Poe Lock upbound, 1975.
(Photo by Thomas Manse)

Leon Falk Jr., Paul H. Carnahan, and Joseph H. Thompson tied up together for the winter.
J. A. W. Iglehart and another cement boat on the right.
(Marc Vander Meulen collection)

Upbound in the St. Clair River above Port Lambton Generating Station, July 1981.
(Marc Vander Meulen collection)

Ready to be unloaded at C&P dock in Cleveland, Summer 1981. New
(Photo by Ken Gerber)

Porter and his uncle at the C&P dock, Cleveland, Summer 1981. New
(Photo by Ken Gerber)

Crew relaxing while in the St. Clair River, Summer 1981. New
(Photo by Ken Gerber)

3 of the 4 galley crew, Summer 1981. New
(Photo by Ken Gerber)

Coming along side the dock at Zug Island, Summer 1981. New
(Photo by Ken Gerber)

Just arrived final lay-up at Nicholson's, and pumped out, August 1981.
Taken from the George M. Humphrey. New
(Photo by Ken Gerber)

Falk and Carnahan in lay-up, winter 1981-82.
Note the work barge at bowthruster hole. Bowthruster was just installed on the Falk and was never used in active service.
Taken from the laid-up George A. Stinson. New
(Photo by Ken Gerber)

The Leon Falk Jr. in long term lay up at Ecorse with the still in service Paul H. Carnahan along side, September 1983.
(Marc Vander Meulen collection)

Leon Falk Jr. and George M. Humphrey in long term lay-up at Nicholson's, July 1985. New
(Photo by Ken Gerber)

Stern view, July 1985. New
(Photo by Ken Gerber)

Approaching Lock 1 downbound for the last time, August 17, 1985.
(Photo by Don Dube, Skip Gillham collection)

Clearing Lock 1, August 17, 1985.
(Photo by Bill Bruce, Skip Gillham collection)

Clear of Port Weller Piers and making her turn to head down Lake Ontario for the last time, August 17, 1985.
(Photo by Don Dube, Skip Gillham collection)

Trip summary for 1974.
(Compiled by Skip Gillham )

Trip summary for 1985.
(Compiled by Skip Gillham )



Masters and Chief Engineers of the Winter Hill
(Courtesy of Russ Plumb)
Masters Chief Engineers
Unknown 1945 - 61 Unknown 1945 - 61
Masters and Chief Engineers of the Name (3)
(Courtesy of Russ Plumb)
Masters Chief Engineers
C. E. Anderson 1961 - 65
George W. Reiber 1966 - 70
K. M. Minwegen 1971 - 71
G. Victor Chamberlain 1972
Duncan C. Schubert 1973 - 74
George N. Baker 1975 - 79
R. M. Olson 1979 - 80
C. L. Gilstead 1981
R. M. Olson 1982 - 84
Thomas P. Garvey 1985
John Lindsay 1961 - 63
Walter A. Cook 1964
George W. Sherwood 1964
Henry D. Burrows 1965 - 69
Donald W. Gannon 1970
Melvin R. Mattson 1971
Alfred E. Spragge 1971
Melvin R. Mattson 1972 - 78
P. E. Bender 1978
James A. Bort 1979
P. E. Bender 1979
James A. Bort 1980
P. E. Bender 1981
James A. Bort 1981
P. E. Bender 1982 - 84


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Last updated: July 10, 2014.

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