Final Message from the SS Wilson--- FWE

The SS Wilson, most recently operated by Sealift Inc. was scrapped early this morning. She began her life in 1968 as the Hong Kong Mail for American Mail Lines. She was also know as the President Wilson during her years with APL, and then as the Sue Lykes, before being picked up by Sealift. She was a great ship, which I had the pleasure of making several trips on as third mate- old school sailing. The best times I had at sea were spent upon the old gal. Her sister ship the, SS Cleveland, is now one of the last active stick ships in the US Merchant Fleet, and with the rising price of fuel nobody can be sure for how much longer.<br><br>This is the email sent out by Capt. Paul Mallory, Master of the Wilson this morning. I think you will enjoy.<br><br><br>Last Message from the mighty SS Wilson<br>
We are underway steaming full ahead with 18 nozzles steering straight<br>
at maritime death row - a beach littered with the dozens of half eaten<br>
ship corpses. She shaking like crazy now, the phrase “death rattle”<br>
crosses my mind. Another two miles and we’ll be at the final FWE. By<br>
the time you read this, this lovely old tramp will have steamed her<br>
Gotta go now…<br>
Capt Paul Mallory, Chief Tom Shaw, 1st Asst Ed Luke, C/Mate Jay Burke

The breakbulk general cargo ship at its finest and the zenith of going to sea for one’s living and one’s life. Three month voyages throughout the Far East and South Asia stopping for at least 3 but often 10 days in port. <br>
<P align=left><img title=“the SS PRESIDENT ADAMS once upon a time” style=“MARGIN: 4px; WIDTH: 306px” alt=“the SS PRESIDENT ADAMS once upon a time” src=“” _height=“75” _width="75]<br><br>Now if there was some way in heaven that all the fine Cape A’s, B’s, C’s, G’s and all the other stickships mouldering away in the ghost fleet could do any useful work in the world other than to serve as paperweights, but alas the world has no use for <STRONG><EM>any</EM></STRONG> old steamship regardless of its condition. Each and everyone of them is living on life support only.<br><br>A damn shame if there ever was one…<br><br>cheers</P>

I sailed aboard the Wilson as a Third Assistant Engineer for the first two years I worked after getting out of school. She was an amazing ship, and, on the engineering side crewed up by a bunch of cranky old men (my first hitch the next youngest engineer was about 60, I was 23) who refused to accept this whole motor-ship nonsense. It was a fantastic experience and I had a lot of fun.<br><div>I sailed with Ed and Tom (and Cap’t Paul, too) and can vividly picture what the scene of her final moments must have looked like in the Engine Room: Ed next to the throttles, eyes narrowed as he watches how his plant is taking the unusually high load (we only ever sailed on 12 or 15 nozzles), and Chief Tom pacing in front of the Bailey Board (boiler combustion controls), hands in his pockets, occasionally quipping to Ed.</div><br><div>I wish I could have been there for her final run.<br></div>

I did about 60 days on the Wilson as a cadet in '03 from Lake Charles to Douala, Cameroon and back. She was an interesting ship and had alot of things that you don’t see on newer ships. Her Officer and Crew messes were on different decks and food was brought with up with a dumb waiter. She had a library and a Card Room on board that had etched glass partitions and mahogany furniture. She even had an entire passenger deck with passenger staterooms. I’ll never forget being inside her main condenser and I’ll surely never forget Captain Mark T. Clark (although he was a Maineiac that had a hatred towards Kings Pointers for some reason). RIP old girl!!