Winton & Cleveland Diesel: The List.

Over the last few months, I have been combing through the records for Winton, and later Cleveland Diesel, and put together the following master list of every engine produced by them. This is the result of several nights of going through 2000+ pages of entries, and then spending the following several months filling in the gaps with specifications using various manuals, brochures, company newsletters and everything else, and even still, there are many, many holes with the early engines.

The records start with engine #15 – thus I can not fill in those very first engines. Note that Winton assigned model numbers to several of their auxiliary units such as compressors and pumps, and are labeled as such below.

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The last Winton engine before being purchased by GM was engine number #3559 on 6/12/1930, a model 148 engine for Electro-Motive. Winton was purchased by General Motors on 6/20/1930.

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On 12/30/1937, Winton Engine Corp., was renamed to the Cleveland Diesel Engine Division of General Motors. The Final Winton Engine was #5359, A 12-201A for Railroad Service.
Note 1: 4432/3 are the prototype 201 engines, listed as “used 201” in records.

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When it comes to horsepower ratings, especially on the later engines (278A, 268A, 567C), there were simply too many horsepower numbers to list, as it varied by application.

Note that by now – we see engines that are made by sister companies including Detroit and EMC/EMD. Early on, the Detroit Diesel engines sold through CDED (typically part of a “package” for a boat) carried both a Detroit Diesel as well as a Cleveland Diesel builders plate. In the case of the Detroit engines, this was dropped by the 1940’s.

However – with the EMC/EMD 567 line, engines sold though CDED for marine and stationary use carried only a Cleveland builders plate well into the late 1950’s. Only the very last few 567 engines sold through CDED carried both an EMD and a CDED builders plate. More information on this can be found on our post documenting Winton/CDED linked below.

Also to note: This list covers only engines built or sold through Winton and Cleveland Diesel. This does NOT cover any additional engines or developments by Detroit Diesel (such as the 51 or 53 series and later) or EMD (184A, 645 etc.)

Thanks to J. Boggess and P. Cook for helping with this. As always, there are numerous holes in the listing, so please send us a message with any additions or corrections.

4/5/2020 : Since posting this, I have been able to fill in a number of holes in the list. At some point in the future, I will post a revised edition.

Cleveland Diesel Engine Division – GM’s war hero turned ugly stepsister.

Milwaukee Firsts

Nope, I am not talking about Pabst Blue Ribbon, or Miller High Life.   This past week I found myself heading to Wisconsin for a meeting and opted to make a stop over by where Great Lakes Towing operates in the Port of Milwaukee.    A pair of Great Lakes Firsts are spending this winter laid up in there. 

Back in the Menominee River, sits the tug North Dakota.   North Dakota, built in 1910 by the Towing Company, was the first “G Tug” converted to Diesel propulsion.   North Dakota was converted to diesel in 1949 by Paasche Marine Service in Erie, Pennsylvania, to plans laid out by Tams Inc., and Great Lakes Towing Company.  Under the hood so to speak, is a Cleveland Diesel 1200HP 12-278A, that was shipped 2/23/1949, part of order number 5641.  These engines drove Falk 12MB reverse reduction gears that swing a 102″ wheel.  Order 5641 encompassed the propulsion for four tugs, including North Dakota, Arkansas, Vermont and Illinois.  Today, all four of these tugs are still in service.   

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North Dakota had some major engine work done recently, and hopefully will be in the fleet for a few more years.   The crews in Milwaukee keep their boats looking sharp.   North Dakota would be a great museum piece one day, a true testament to the “G Tug”, now going on over 100 years old, and having spent more time with Diesel engines now, then their original steam plants. 

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Back at the Kinnickinnic River in the Port, is the Stewart J. Cort.   The Cort was the first 1000’ ship built for the Great Lakes, abit in an odd fashion.  The bow and stern sections were built by Ingalls Shipbuilding in Mississippi, welded together and sailed to the lakes.   On arrival, they were split apart, and a mid-section was added by Erie Marine, also in Erie, PA. The Cort went into service in 1972, on a run she still handles today between Superior, WI and Burns Harbor, IN.   The Stewart J. Cort is powered by a quartet of EMD 20-645E7 engines, rated at 3600HP each.  Each pair of engines drives an Escher Wyss controllable pitch prop.   EMD supplied several of what were essentially locomotive parts for the Cort, including many traction motors that power the Bow and Stern thrusters and various pieces of unloading equipment. 

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In front of the Stewart J. Cort, is the tug Louisiana.  While not a first, she was converted to diesel as part of the 2nd order of engines in late 1949 for Great Lakes Towing.  Unlike the first batch, all these engines were WWII surplus that went through Cleveland Diesel’s rebuild program and emerged as brand new engines with new serial numbers.   Louisiana’s engine originally powered the Landing Ship – Tank # 935.  For all intents and purposes, she is identical to the North Dakota. 

I am going to throw this one in also for the hell of it. On my way back to the highway, Amtrak’s Empire Builder was leaving. While I can’t say railfanning interests me like it used to, I opted to get a quick shot. In the lead is Amtrak 182, a 19 year old General Electric P42DC, followed by two more. Amtrak has begun the process to replace these tired engines with new Siemens Chargers…which, to put bluntly, are ugly as sin. But hey, they said that about the EMD F7 once upon a time also..

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Sun Sets on the North Dakota..

Aluminum in the Jungle – American Tugs in South America

What does one of the worlds most versatile elements have to do with a blog about 1950’s diesel engines?  Well, we will get to that.   Aluminum as we know it, is composed chiefly out of Bauxite Ore, which is ground into a powder and mixed with Sodium Hydroxide to produce Aluminum Oxide, which is then converted by electrolysis at an Aluminum smelter into Billets or Anodes, where it can be further formed.  I am not a chemist, so if you want to know more about making Aluminum, look elsewhere.

Being somewhat interested in Rocks & Minerals, I went up to my local shop and picked up a piece of Bauxite.

In 1907, the Aluminum Company of America was formed, later known as Alcoa.  Alcoa was the country’s leading Aluminum manufacturer, which was growing at a rapid pace with a slew of plants across the country by the time WWI rolled around.   Alcoa was, however, not just an American company.  They were worldwide by the teens, operating mines, refinery’s and smelters around the globe.   In 1916, Alcoa opened a new Bauxite Ore mine in Moengo, Suriname, part of what was Dutch Guiana– about 70 miles Southeast of the capital city of Paramaribo.

Our story begins in South America… Google Maps.

To get to Moengo:  We start at the Atlantic Ocean and begin a very short trip down the Suriname River.   We hang a left just inside the harbor and enter the Commewijne River.  The Commewijne heads South, and the Cottica River splits off a few miles in, and continues East, before making a hard turn and dropping straight south into Moengo.   

Now, most of us are familiar with the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio.  The Cuyahoga, which has literally burned 13 times, including a major fire in 1952, stretches (for the navigable section) 5 winding miles up the river to what is now the ArcelorMittal Steel Mills.   Great Lakes Ships traversing the river, would typically need a pair of tugs (until Bow/Stern thrusters came prevalent), one on the bow, and one on the stern to navigate the rivers bends and bridges.

A pair of Great Lakes Towing tugs assist the steamer Willowglen in the Cuyahoga River at the aptly named Collision Bend in 1985. Most ships today dont even take tugs, and better yet, they even back out! Unknown photographer, VDD Collection

A great video from Youtube user Wes Clanton of the M/V Sam Laud transiting the Cuyahoga. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5m_YLBnVHA

Well, the Cottica River, makes the Cuyahoga look like a drag strip.  And it goes for 40 some miles. 

The Cottica River down to Moengo. Note the several short cuts that I assume were man made. Be sure to click for the full size. Google Maps.

In Moengo, Alcoa subsidiary Surinaamsche Bauxite Maatschappij operated the Bauxite mine, which would ship the ore by rail a short distance to the processing plant on the Cottica, where it would be transloaded into ships.   From there, ships bound for sea would need to transit the Cottica, and naturally, a single screw steam ship of the day, would need an assist tug.  That’s where Tams Inc. comes into play. 

Alcoa, being an American company, went to Tams Inc. Naval Architects in 1952, and had them design a pair of sister tugs for doing assist work on the Cottica to replace some antique steam tugs.  Joe Hack at Tams would design a pair of 103’ tugs, which would be based off the very well received Moran shipdocking tugs of the late 1940’s.   

The first tug delivered was the Wana. In a few years Joe Hack would design the tug W.R. Coe for the Virginian Railway, which was almost identical, right down to the streamlined stack flared into the wheelhouse. Cleveland Diesel/Diesel Times.

The tugs were operated as day boats, much like traditional NY Harbor Railroad tugs, and thus did not have a need for any major accommodations outside of a small galley and some pipe berths in the bow.   For better control towing in the quick turns of the river, the stern H bitt was moved way forward.  The unique feature, and what was foretelling for the future of tugs in general, was that the sisters had a second set of controls on top of the wheelhouse, under a simple sunshade.  

Tamarin’s upper wheelhouse. Note the “airbrushed” out windows in the lower wheelhouse. Fun fact – That style of drop down window was built by Alco – Yes, American Locomotive built tugboat windows! Cleveland Diesel/Diesel Times

Propulsion would come from a 1640HP Cleveland 16-278A driving a Falk MB reduction gear and Falk Airflex clutches.   A pair of 30kW generatros driven by Detroit 3-71s would power the auxiliaries. The tugs were built by Gulfport Shipbuilding of Port Arthur,Texas.   The tugs, owned by Alcoa Steamship Co., and operated by Surinaamsche Bauxite Maatschappij would be named the “Wana” and “Tamarin”, and were delivered in late 1952/early 1953.   Both tugs were based out of Moengo.  Cleveland Diesel covered the tugs in the March 1953 issue of Diesel Times.

Looking aft in the engine room. Cleveland Diesel/Diesel Times.

Each day, one of the tugs would run upriver and meet the ship before the river became a roller coaster ride.  According the the NYT article linked below, it was around a 10-hour trip, and it was not uncommon to brush up against the trees or run aground. 

1964 NY Times : SCENIC ‘JUNGLE CRUISE’ FOR CARIBBEAN TOURISTS

Over the last few years I have been lucky enough to acquire some slides of the tugs in action, likely all taken by Alcoa Steamship passengers. Unfortunately I have no idea the photographer and cannot credit them for these rare views.

The Wana in 1956. I assume this is the location where the tugs would pickup the tows. Click for Larger. Unknown Photographer/VDD Collection
Kodak 126 slide of the Tamarin in March 1967. Note that the stack colors are the same as that of the ship in the above photo. Click for larger. Unknown Photographer/VDD Collection
In what looks to be almost the exact same spot as the above photo, the Tamarin makes a hard turn to pull the bow of the ship around the corner in February of 1958. Click for larger. Unknown Photographer/VDD Collection
Same photo as above, but cropped tighter. Note that the rear H Bitt has an awning. The upper wheelhouse has Canvas sides as well, the roof was aluminum. Unknown Photographer/VDD Collection
Tamarin dragging the bow of the ship around a bend, the same day as the above shot. The Cottica was home to several local tribes. Click for larger. Unknown Photographer/VDD Collection

Alcoa (now locally Suralco) would open up a new smelter and refinery in nearby Paranam in 1965, as well as building a massive hydro-electric dam, which would ultimately power most of the area.   Unfortunately, finding information about 67-year-old tugboats in South America, can be a bit of a challenge!  According to Tim Coltons Shipbuilding History page, the “Wana” was renamed the “Coermotibo” by 1968.  After finding one of the local facebook pages for the town of Moengo, and translating some posts, I was able to find out the “Wana” was unfortunately tripped while towing a ship in the river and sunk, killing her 5-man crew.   The tug was apparently raised and rebuilt, along with being renamed.   The upper wheelhouse was rebuilt into an actual enclosed wheelhouse at this time. 

A photo and drawing of the “Coermotibo” from Wazim Mohammed on the http://www.clydeships.co.uk/ website.

The history of Moengo and nearby Paranam mirror our own Rust Belt in America.   The industry pulled out, and the towns went into a slow downward spiral.  Alcoa/Suralco closed the Paranam refinery in 1999, and the smelter in in 2015.  Alcoa was by far the largest employer, as well as owning a good portion of the area including company housing projects.   The Bauxite mine in Moengo would operate until 2015 as well, however I can’t find out if they were still shipping by ship, barge or whatnot.   At one point Alcoa even sold tickets aboard their ships to visit Moengo.  

A fantastic read on the fate of the town of Moengo: https://newsinteractive.post-gazette.com/suriname/economy/

As well as a story on Paranam and Alcoa in Suriname:
https://newsinteractive.post-gazette.com/suriname/overview/

At the end of the day, I can’t find a peep on what happened to the “Tamarin” or the “Coermotibo/Wana”. I regret not talking to Joe Hack about them.   Quite a few former American tugs are working nearby in Guyana, however its unknown what became of these sister tugs.   I suppose they COULD still be running around somewhere down there…

If anyone happens to know what became of them, shoot me a message!

1960’s postcard? of Moengo, with one of the sisters. Note that the little overhang on the stern is gone now. From the Moengo Facebook group.

Some additional reading:
Railways of Surinam – http://www.internationalsteam.co.uk/trains/surinam05.htm
Alcoa –
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcoa
I cant read it, but this is a great gallery of a trip down the Cottica-
http://hrmsdubois.weebly.com/dias-vd-commandant.html

Missing Parts…

Several years ago, we were doing a gasket kit on a power pack on the Cornell. We had it torn almost all the way apart and I had a “brilliant” idea… Lets see whats in the exhaust.

So… I reach in….expecting some carbon chunks..

Huh..there’s a pile of something… I don’t think its carbon.. Its just this one pile..

There’s a lot. Huh. Lets see if I can get it out.

What the hell!

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Sure as shit, it was a pile of bolts. They were totally caked into the oil and carbon in the bottom of the manifold. Turns out – Once upon a time, somebody doing the same thing many years ago, must have pulled the exhaust jumper off, and stuck the bolts in the manifold so they don’t get lost. Because that seems like a great idea..

The exhaust jumper is held on with 12 bolts, 6 on top and 6 on the bottom. The kicker is the top ones are fine thread, but the bottom is coarse thread, so you cant mix them. In-between is a set of asbestos-copper gaskets between the elbow and the head/manifold.

We did not feel the need to put them back in.

A look into the manifold. Not bad considering the engine does not get worked hard at all. Click for larger.

Its been a busy holiday season. Hopefully I can get back on track soon with a weekly advertisement as well as getting some more in depth write ups done.

Seeking out leaking liner O rings. The Cleveland 278A uses a water deck style liner, somewhat like the early EMD’s. Yes, that is a piston by the stairs. Makes a great step stool. Click for larger.

Tugboats and Submarines

In 1948, the Lehigh Valley Railroad put in an order for a quartet of tugboats.    The tugs, designed by TAMS Inc. Naval Architects under Richard Cook and Joseph Hack, were a typical 106’ harbor tug.  I will get into this more in a future topic (or whenever I get my damn book finished!).   The Diesel-Electric tugs were powered through a package put together by General Motors Diesel – Cleveland Diesel main engine, Detroit Diesel generators, Allis-Chalmers main generator, Westinghouse propulsion motor, and electrical gear provided by Lakeshore Electric.   Construction of the tugs began in early 1949 at Jakobson Shipyard in Oyster Bay, Long Island.    The tugs would be named the “Wilkes-Barre”, “Hazleton”, “Cornell”, and “Lehigh”.   The 4 tugs were identical, with the exception that “Cornell” and “Lehigh” had wheelhouses slightly lower than the other pair for serving the isolated terminals on the Harlem River. 

The tugs were powered by the typical Cleveland Diesel Navy Propulsion Package.   A 16-278A engine, rated at 1655HP driving an Allis-Chalmers 1090kW DC generator, mounted on a common base.   In turn, this powered a Westinghouse 1380HP propulsion motor, driving a 10’ propeller through a Farrel-Birmingham 4.132:1 reduction gear.   At the time, WWII surplus equipment was vast.   Cleveland Diesel was acquiring little used engines from various craft and giving them a complete rebuild to as new condition, complete with new serial numbers.   The main generators and propulsion motors were both surplus Destroyer-Escort surplus equipment as well.

“Cornell” was launched on April 4th, 1950.   After launching, diver Edward Christiansen went down to remove launching timbers.   One of the large pieces of wood broke and not only pinned him against the tug, but also pinched off his airline.   His son Norman led a rescue effort, and in 21 minutes were able to get him back up to the surface after using a yard crane to roll the tug slightly.   Once on the surface, firefighters were able to revive Edward, and he was taken to the hospital. 

The “Four Aces” was a publicity photo arranged by Cleveland Diesel. This was used, both colorized and Black & White, in several publications of the era.

Cleveland Diesel order #5782 consisted of the following engines:

“Wilkes Barre”– Original engine #55341, installed in US Navy “LSM-277”, shipped 9/5/1944.  Engine removed upon decommissioning, factory rebuilt, and assigned new engine #55944 upon being shipped 5/13/1949 for use by LV.

“Hazleton” Original engine #55342, installed in US Navy “LSM-277”, shipped 9/5/1944. Engine removed upon decommissioning, factory rebuilt, and assigned new engine #55945 upon being shipped 5/13/1949 for use by LV.

Cornell”– Original engine #12001, installed in US Navy DE-526 “Inman”, shipped 10/15/1943.  Engine removed upon decommissioning, factory rebuilt, and assigned new engine #55946 upon being shipped 8/29/1949 for use by LV.  This engine was replaced 12/1950 with factory rebuilt engine #55956 (engine only, less base & generator, shipped 12/15/1950), originally from “LSM-184”, engine #55347, shipped 9/7/1944.  

“Lehigh”– Original engine #55654, installed in US Navy “LSM-436”, shipped 1/23/1945.  Engine removed upon decommissioning, factory rebuilt, and assigned new engine #55946 upon being shipped 3/21/1950 for use by LV. In the early 1990s, while owned by Moran Towing, the “Lehigh” (then called “Swan Point”) received the engine from the scrapped NY Cross Harbor tug “Brooklyn III”, the former New Haven tug “Cordelia”, which was a WWII surplus engine like all of the rest, originally in Navy DE-259 “William C. Miller”, which is ironic, as the Bethlehem below, also received one of her engines.

Lehigh Valley would return in 1951/53 for two more tugs of the same design, with some slight differences.   These tugs were powered by the same propulsion package, of WWII surplus equipment. 

Cleveland Diesel order #8112:

“Capmoore” Original engine #11734, installed in US Navy DE-259 “Wm. C. Miller” , shipped 5/1/1943.  Engine removed upon decommissioning, factory rebuilt, and assigned new engine #55964 upon being shipped 4/19/1951 for use by LV.

Cleveland Diesel order #314

“Bethlehem”– Original engine #11736, installed in US Navy DE-259 “Wm. C. Miller”, shipped 5/1/1943.  Engine removed upon decommissioning, factory rebuilt, and assigned new engine #55966 upon being sold for commercial use.  Original order canceled, reassigned engine #55991 upon being shipped 5/8/1953 for use by LV. “Bethlehem” was re-powered by an Alco 16-251 in the early 1990s, and is the only other surviving LVRR tug, now working in Guyana.

Naturally, with the downfall of the railroads maritime traffic, the railroad would start selling the tugs off starting in the early 1960s.   “Cornell” would last until 1970, with Bethlehem being the final LV tug, sold off in 1976.  As noted above, for an unknown reason, the engine in the “Cornell” failed almost immediately after delivery and the bare engine (no base or generator) was replaced by Cleveland.  

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The US Fleet Tug “USS Cabezon” – SS 334, slid down the ways of Electric Boat in Groton, CT on August 27th, 1944, sponsored by Mrs. T. Ross Cooley.   “Cabezon” was on the tail end of WWII sub construction, specifically part of the 120 boat Balao class.  Construction started with her keel laying on November 18th, 1943. She was placed into service on December 30th, 1944, and after training went on to Pearl Harbor in April of 1945, under the command of George W. Lautrup Jr., making this his 10 WWII patrol.

Launching of the fleet sub “Cabezon” at Electric Boat. USN photo # 80-G-448206 from National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, Maryland, courtesy of Sean Hert via Navsouce.org. Click for Larger.

“Cabezon” was powered by 4 Cleveland Diesel, 1600HP 16-278A engines, driving 4 GE 1100kW DC generators, with 4 GE 1375HP propulsion motors, rated for 5400HP on the surface and 2740 submerged.    She had a single Cleveland 8-268A 300kW auxiliary diesel, and 256 Exide VLA47B battery’s. 

Order sheets for the 4 main engines in the sub “Cabezon”, part of navy order NOBs 214/CDED 5413. J.S. Boggess Collection. Click for larger.
Cleveland 16-278A located in the sub “Becuna”, SS-319. “Becuna” is one of the sisters of “Cabezon”. Click for larger.

After arriving in Pearl, “Cabezon’s” crew underwent more training.   During which an accident occurred.   The 4 outer rear torpedo tube doors were opened, while 2 of the inner doors were open.   The sub immediately began to flood.  Reid Harrison Peach Jr., TM1c, William Cliffard Markland, TM1c and Brownie Walter Szozygiel, TM1c were each awarded the Navy Marine Corps medal for their action in saving the sub. 

An interested experiement conducted by the “Cabezon” early into her first patrol. From “Cabezon’s” War Patrol Report. Click for larger.

“Cabezon” went on her first WWII patrol starting May 25th, 1945, in the Okhotsk Sea and Kurile Islands, operating in attack task group 17.15 with subs “USS Apogon”, “USS Dace” and “USS Manta” “Cabezon’s” war patrol report is fairly tame, being so late into the war.   On June 1st, they spotted a floating mine, which they sunk with the .50 caliber machine gun.  A second was spotted June 6th, which exploded after they hit it with the .50 cal.   On June 18th, “Apogon” made contact with a Japanese convoy, attacked and sunk 3 ships by midnight.  At 0130, another contact was made, in range of “Cabezon”.  After 30 minutes of pursuit, she launched 3 Mk. 18-2 torpedoes from 2250 yards.  Two hits were observed from the bridge, as well as 3 timed explosions, and the contact was reported sinking at 0223.  June 29th – Another contact made at 2145, lasting until 0025, when it was discovered a shorting out heater was the cause.   “Cabezon’s” war patrol ended July 10th, when she arrived at Midway.  

“Cabezon” would be credited with sinking one unidentified Japanese escort (Later identified as the “Zaosan Maru”), rated at 4000 tons.   103,485 gallons of fuel were used during the trip, which covered 10,275 miles.  She had 21 torpedoes, 32,510 gallons of fuel and provisions left for 15 days.   “Cabezon” went on to Pearl for her refit period and left for Saipan on August 4th.   Hours before leaving for her 2nd patrol, WWII ended.   “Cabezon” stayed in the area, providing targeting practice for surface ships, before leaving for the Philippine Islands in early September to become part of the new Submarine Squadron 5, with subs “USS Chub”, “USS Brill”, “USS Bugara”, “USS Bumper”, “USS Sea Dog”, “USS Sea Devil” and “USS Sea Fox”.   In December, Squadron 5 returned to Manilla, and joined up with the “USS Chanticleer” and Destroyer Escorts “Earl K. Olsen” and “Slater” (Now a fantastic museum ship in Albany) for training exercises.    “Cabezon” would go on to do a short stint in San Diego, and later Pearl Harbor, doing trips for the Naval Reserve.  In 1947, she took part in Operation Blue Nose, exploring under the Polar Ice Caps along with subs “USS Boarfish”, “USS Caiman” and tender “USS USS Nereus”.  “Cabezons” final trips would be in two reconnaissance patrols, one in March-July of 1950, and the 2nd April-October of 1952 between Hokkaido Japan, and Sakhalin, USSR. 

“Cabezon” would set out for Mare Island in April of 1953 where she was laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet. She was recommissioned in April of 1960 as a Naval Reserve Training boat in Tacoma Washington, and reclassed in 1962 as an Auxiliary Research Submarine, until being decommissioned in 1970. She was struck from the roster on May 15th, 1970, and sold for scrap to Zidell Explorations, of Portland Oregon in December of 1971, for $69,230. 

While on Patrol, “Cabezon” had a unique engine failure, as outlined in her war patrol report below.    #4 main engine, is one of the Portside engines on the sub, on the after end (#2 and #4 are Port, #1 and #3 Starboard). The port engines are both left hand rotation engines.  

From “Cabezon’s” War Patrol Report. Click for larger.

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In 1970, Lehigh Valley sold the tug to Ross Towboat, of Boston Massachusetts, keeping her original name in the process.  Ross was actively engaged in Ship Docking, as well as barge towing in Boston, as well as all New England.   Ross would do some slight modifications to the tug, including adding an internal staircase to access the pilothouse, as well as add a full galley and staterooms to have a full-time crew on board, whereas the tug did only 8-hour day work for LVRR.    In early 1972 the tug had a catastrophic main engine failure. Thanks to my friend Douglas Della Porta of Eastern Towboat, he recounted the story of what happened.

Port side of the main engine in the tug “Cornell”. Click for larger.

While transiting the Cape Cod Canal, the tug lost oil pressure.   Unfortunately, they needed to keep moving, and thus at the end of the day, the engine was destroyed.   Ross found an engine out West – Engine 14974, and installed it in the tug as a replacement – The 3rd engine in the “Cornell” (same exact model every time).   This is the engine still in the “Cornell” today. Several years ago, my good friend J. Boggess presented me with the Cleveland records above, which is when we found out the engine in the “Cornell”, was actually from the “Cabezon”. There is a 50/50 shot that this is the engine that was almost destroyed while in the “Cabezon” as noted above.

This past July I embarked on a project I have been planning for some time – To repaint the engine finally. “Cornell” was a working boat – And shes a leaker (like all 278’s…EMD learned from this mistake, and put a box around them all!), thus painting was never a huge priority. Since being retired from towing service this year, and with some downtime, I got to it. The project commenced on the Starboard side, with 2 gallons of de-greaser, and lots of rags. I opted to paint her in Aluminum, the original color Cleveland Diesel painted all of their engines. Ill tell you – it was bright. Many years ago, one of the first things I painted on “Cornell” was the fuel lines on the block. Tugs typically have a good portion of the pipelines color coded for easy spotting of what they do – thus yellow for fuel. After repainting the fuel lines yellow, and the over speed trip line brown, I painted the hand hole knobs black, just to help break it up a bit, and give it a bit of her own character.

Original number stamping, found on the forward end of the block. Click for larger.
All done! Click for larger.
Still need to redo the blue on the water lines. Click for larger.
An individual pack. Click for larger.

Something on my wish list for several years has been a Cleveland Diesel issued 278A manual, specifically for a submarine. I was able to track one down earlier this year, and best of all, it is specific to the engine in the Cornell.

How the engine appeared out of the factory for the subs. Note it looks like the valve covers are actually polished! When put in the tug, the governor’s were switched over to Marquette’s, as well as the lay shaft arrangement to the more traditional, chest height one. Click for larger.
“Cabezon’s” insignia. At some point, I plan to paint this on the air intake.

“Cornell” spent the better part of the 1970’s for Ross, doing all kinds of odd jobs, including a long trip up to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin to pick up the Boston Aquariums new barge. Not long after the engine was swapped, the main generator, quite literally let loose while towing a barge, and was also swapped out. She would go on to work for Boston Fuel Transport/Boston Towing until being sold privately in 2003, and ultimately to Lehigh Maritime Corp. in 2007.

Ill close this post out with a photo of the “Cornell” at work. Now I just need to paint the other side of the engine…and everything else down there…

Click for larger.

A few sources:
Navsouce page on USS Cabezon
Wiki page on USS Cabezon
Wreck of the Zaosan Maru
Museum Ship “Slater”
“The Fleet Submarine in the US Navy” by Commander John H. Alden
USS Cabezon Report of War Patrol #1

Spencer Heads

A simple one for tonight – Spencer Heads.   

Spencer Heads Inc., devised a way in the 1960’s to “recondition” Cleveland and Detroit cylinder heads (Unknown if they did anything else).   I learned about these last year from one of Great Lakes Towing’s port engineers.  The Spencer Head, took a standard 278A/71 cylinder head and machined out the bottom of it, and inserted a new base and valve seat assembly.   The idea behind this was the help with heads cracking from around the valve seat – a common issue apparently with 278As when they are run hard for long periods or go through hard heat/cooling cycles.   

It does not seem like this style of head caught on all that much. From what I gather, the original style heads are preferred over these.

Follow the arrow to see the insert.

Re-purposed

In 1952, the Great Lakes Towing Company would purchase the former Milwaukee Fireboat “M.F.D. #15”.    Great Lakes Towing, looking to build a large lake tug, for doing offshore over lake towing chores, would purchase the fireboat, and strip it to its bare hull.   Over the next 2 years, the fireboat was rebuilt into a tug, including its conversion to Diesel Electric drive.   Now named the “Laurence C. Turner”, after the president of the company, she would become Great Lakes Towing’s largest tug.  The tug was no youngster, built in 1903 by the Ship Owners Shipbuilding Co., in Chicago, and came in at 118’ long, 24’ wide and a 13’6” draft. 

1954 Cleveland Diesel ad featuring the “Laurence C. Turner” – Great Lakes Towing’s 25th Diesel Tug. She would go on to become Great Lakes Towing’s flagship for quite some time.

Coincidentally a few weeks ago I was browsing a 1949 issue of Marine News, and came across an ad for Boston Metals Company, advertising a slew of surplus WWII vintage equipment.    Boston Metals was a rather prominent ship breaker and scrapped quite a bit of WWII era vessels such as Destroyer Escorts, Landing Crafts of all sizes, Liberty Ships and everything else you can think of. 

Naturally, doing all of the Cleveland Diesel research lately – two engines caught my eye.   While it was common to see these engines listed in the trade publications for sale, it was rare (as in, I have yet to see it anywhere other then this one ad) to see the actual engine serial numbers listed.   So, off to the records…

Record for Cleveland engines 11907-11909 – Collection of my Cleveland Diesel research partner J. Boggess. Click for a larger view.

Engines 11907 and 11909 were originally part of Cleveland Diesel order #4752, which covered a vast portion of Destroyer Escorts.   These specific engines (and two others) would go into 1943 built DE-278, to be named the “USS Tisdale”.  DE-278 was never commissioned in the US and went to Britain as part of WWII Lend-Lease and would be commissioned by the Royal Navy as the “HMS Keats”.  She would receive partial credit for sinking German U-Boat U-1172 as well as U-285.   After the war, the Royal Navy returned the “HMS Keats” to the US, where she would be sold for scrap in 1946.  The other pair of 16-278A’s from the “HMS Keats” would wind up in Norway, in the “MS Rogaland”.

Cleveland 16-278A Propulsion Package model.

“HMS Keats” was powered by 4 “Navy Propulsion Diesel Generator” packages.  These were a 1700HP Cleveland 16-278A engines, which drove an Allis-Chalmers 1200kW, 525V DC generator.   In turn these provided power to 4 Westinghouse 1500HP DC motors, of which two in tandem drove each prop shaft.    After the war, Cleveland Diesel would wind up purchasing back quite a number of engines, which in turn they rebuilt to new condition and resold.   In some cases, new serial numbers were added, however some kept their original number.    Cleveland would wind up with two engines from the “HMS Keats”.  Each of these engines were put on a single base, with one of the Allis-Chalmers generators, as well as adding a belt driven 35kW generator mounted on top of the main generator.   This power package (along with a single Westinghouse motor) would be a very common tug propulsion package, and we will dive into that more down the road in a future article. 

Engine room of the newly converted tug, from the 8/1954 issue of Diesel Times, which featured the “Laurence C. Turner”.

Engine 11907 was rebuilt and sold to Tracy Towing Line in NYC, and used in the tug “Helen L. Tracy”, and 11909 would go to Great Lakes Towing Co., for use in the “Laurence C. Turner”.   By now the “Laurence C. Turner” was totally rebuilt, and now looked like a tugboat, and not a fireboat.   The tug would have provisions for a crew of 13, a large central galley, 7 state rooms, 2 heads, and an 18 person lifeboat.   One interesting feature was the Almon-Johnson electric towing machine on the back deck.  

In 1972, the “Laurence C. Turner” was renamed as the “Ohio” to fit in more with the fleets state class naming.    In 1977, she was re-powered.    Out came the electric drive, and in went a brand new, 2000HP EMD 16-645E6 engine with a Falk reverse-reduction gear and air clutches. All of this drives a 102″x72″ 5 bladed wheel.

The new engine in the “Ohio” – a 2000HP EMD 645, taken in the same spot as the photo above. Ohio has one of the largest engine rooms of any single screw tug I have ever been on.

The “Ohio” would be Great Lakes Towing’s main lake tug until being laid up in late 2014.   111 years of service, 60 of which as a tug – Not bad!  But her life did not end there.    In 2018, the Towing Company donated the “Ohio” to the National Museum of the Great Lakes, in Toledo, Ohio.  The “Ohio” was moved into place at the Museum in October of 2018 and has been under restoration since.   “Ohio” has been fully water blasted, repainted, and cleaned up.   The Wheelhouse has been fully restored, and work is well underway by volunteers on the rest of the boat.   “Ohio” will be dedicated this coming week as a museum ship, and alongside her will be the new tug “Ohio” getting christened at the same time as Great Lakes Towing’s newest tug.  The “Ohio” will be an excellent addition to the museum and will be open for tours later this year.

“Ohio” now at home at the National Museum of the Great Lakes, in Toledo. In rear, is the “Col. James M. Schoonmaker”, one of the most exquisite museum ships I have ever seen. This was in October of 2018, before the restoration started.

National Museum of the Great Lakes

HMS Keats at Navsource