More info on the SS Flying Hawk:
“The USS Alhena’s name was stricken from Navy records on August 15, 1946, transferred to the Maritime Administration for disposal on September 12, 1946 then placed in the Upper Hudson River Reserve Fleet. In 1960, the shipping company Isbrantsen Lines acquired a controlling interest in American Export Lines and acquired four of the old Robin Lines ships, “Cadillac C-2’s” as they were referred to, including Alhena, formerly the Robin Kettering. Captain Carl Shivers the director of Marine Operations for American Export Isbrantsen Lines inspected the four newly purchased ships and chose Alhena as the best ship of the four ships and assigned himself as the new captain. Alhena’s name was changed to SS Flying Hawk. The four newly acquired sister ships comprised American Export Isbrantsen Lines “Around the World” service, carrying 12 passengers and general cargo. The SS Flying Hawk was retired from service and scrapped in 1971. USS Alhena received five Battle Stars for World War ll service” ~ navsource dot org
I did not sail with Captain Kurt Carlsen, but I did sail aboard the SS Flying Hawk with his contemporary, Captain David Jones. These were men of grit who taught us young KP Cadets during our full sea year at KP, not that I can claim to be anything like them but it certainly had an important and dominating stamp on my life. I have no idea what “Kings Point Marine and Coast Guard Reserve Commander at age 19” means, if anything. Captain David Jones was a Vice President of American Export - Isbrandtsen Steam Ship Lines when he sailed Master of the SS Flying Hawk. He needed time to “get back to reality” so every so often he would go back to sea. “It’s in my blood” he told us. I sailed two back to back “round-the-world” voyages aboard the SS Flying Hawk. The first voyage was with Captain C. E. Shivers, who was the Chief Mate aboard the SS Flying Arrow with Captain Jones, The second was with Captain Jones. I remember him well, a man not easily forgotten.
There is controversy about Captain Jones’s decision to run the blockade, he was advised against it by the US Secretary-of-State. Captain Jones cabled the Secretary-of-State with these words: “Hans Isbrandtsen is my boss, signs my pay checks, he ordered me to deliver his ship’s cargo to Shanghai, as planned, even if it means being a blockade runner. When the US Secretary-of-State signs my checks I’ll listen to him.” Well, he did just that and the Nationalist Chinese gun boats opened fire. Nobody was hurt however an after hold loaded with cotton bales caught fire and severely threatened the ship. The fire was extinguished by the crew with assistance from US Naval vessels. The Flying Arrow was towed to a friendly port for repairs. She was in bad shape. There is more information available but it will take your interest to find it.
I’d like to read your take on all of this,
it’s your call.
Yes, I heard the stories about the gold.
“a man not easily forgotten”