3rd Generation "Bay" Class Container Ship

The Mariner Class C4 cargo ships were designed in the early 1950's for the US Maritime Administration (MARAD), under the leadership of Admiral Edward L. Cochrane, to provide a nucleus of fast sealift capacity for the US Military after the limitations of the World War II era Liberty / Victory Ships were highlighted by the Korean War.

A total of 35 ships were built to the Mariner Class C4-S-1a design under a commercial arrangement between the US Maritime Administration and various American shipping lines such as American President Lines, Matson Lines, Pope & Talbot Lines, and Pacific Far East Lines whereby the US government provided some of the funding and the ships were available for call up.

While American shipping companies were initially uninterested in purchasing the Mariner Class ships when put up for sale after the Korean War, on the basis that they were "too big", "too fast", and "too technological", they eventually came to appreciate the capabilities of these ships and went on to build an additional 80+ ships to derivative designs.

Free State Mariner and Pine Tree Mariner, were purchased by Matson Lines in 1955 and rebuilt by Williamette Iron & Steel Corp of Portland Oregon into the passenger ships SS Monterey and SS Mariposa respectively. The ships operated on a route from San Francisco to Sydney, Australia with port calls in Tahiti, Fiji, New Caledonia, Tonga, American Samoa and New Zealand.

Both ships were sold to Pacific Far East Line in 1970 and continued to operate in the Pacific until 1978 when both ships were withdrawn from service after the expiriation of their US government operating subsidies and laid up in San Francisco.

SS Mariposa was sold to China Ocean Shipping Company in 1983 and operated between Shanghai and Hong Kong as SS Jin Jiang before being scrapped at Alang, India in 1996 after suffering a substantial galley fire.

SS Monterey was eventually sold to Aloha Pacific Cruises and after extensive modifications

Badger Mariner was also converted into a passenger ship for American Banner Lines


Ships Built: Badger Mariner (7)
Beaver Mariner (3)
Buckeye Mariner (7)
Cornhusker Mariner (1)
Cotton Mariner (4)
Cracker State Mariner (5)
Diamond Mariner (6)
Empire State Mariner (6)
Evergreen Mariner
Free State Mariner (2)
Garden Mariner (6)
Golden Mariner (3)
Gopher Mariner (2)
Grand Canyon Mariner
Hawkeye Mariner (7)
Hoosier Mariner (7)
Keystone Mariner (7)
Lone Star Mariner (4)
Magnolia Mariner (4)
Mountain Mariner (2)
Nutmeg Mariner (1)
Old Colony Mariner (1)
Old Dominion Mariner (5)
Palmetto Mariner (5)
Pelican Mariner (4)
Peninsula Mariner (4)
Pine Tree Mariner (1)
Prairie Mariner (6)
Show Me Mariner (2)
Silver Mariner (6)
Sooner Mariner (3)
Sunflower Mariner (2)
Tar Heel Mariner (5)
Volunteer Mariner (5)
Wolverine Mariner (1)
Builders: (1) Bethlehem Steel Co. Ship Building Division, Quincy, Massachussetts
(2) Bethlehem Steel Co. Ship Building Division, Sparrows Point, Maryland
(3) Bethlehem Pacific Coast Steel Corp., San Francisco, California
(4) Ingalls Ship Building Corp., Pascagoula, Mississippi
(5) Newport News Ship Building & Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Virginia
(6) New York Ship Building Corp., Camden, New Jersey
(7) Sun Ship Building & Dry Dock Co., Chester, Pennsylvania
Built: Between 1952 and 1954
Displacement: 13,388 tons Full Load
Length (OA): 564 ft ( 171.9 m )
Beam: 76 ft ( 23.2 m )
Draft: 26 ft (7.9 m )
Propulsion: 2 Foster Wheeler WT boilers operating at 620 PSI (Wet Pressure), geared powered turbine, single shaft / screw, 19250 HP
Maximum Speed: 20 knots
Crew: 45
Passengers: 12
Cargo Capacity: 769,949 Cu Ft
Disposal: All of the Mariner Class ships have been scrapped with the exception of

T-AGM 23 USNS Observation Island (ex Empire State Mariner)

which is still in service with US Military Sealift Command


Break Bulk Cargo Ships Built in the US after WW II Tim Colton's Shipbuilding History Website
C4-S-1a Mariner Global Security Website
USNS Observation Island Wikipedia