Headline: The Atlantic Transort Line 

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The Missourian, "first steamship entering Los Angeles Harbor, Wilmington, coming through the Panama Canal, Aug. 27, 1914."

S.S. Missouri (II)

Other name: Missourian
Sisters: Massachusetts (II), Mississippi (II), Maine (II)
Builder: Maryland Steel Co., Sparrows Point, Maryland
Launched 1903; torpedoed April 4, 1917
Hull: length 491' 6"; beam 58' 3"; 7,924 tons
Power: twin screws; triple-expansion engines by builder, with cylinders of 25", 42 ½", and 72" diameter, stroke 48"; 935 n.h.p.
Steam pressure 200 lbs; 12 knots


This ship was one of four freighters (and two Minne class ships) built in the United States for the Atlantic Transport Line using money loaned by J. P. Morgan & Company early in the chain of events that led to the creation of the International Mercantile Marine Company (IMM) in 1902. The other freighters were the Massachusetts (II), Mississippi (II), and Maine (II) of which Maine (II) was built in the same yard. Her construction evidently "delayed in building by fire," The Missouri (II) was completed in December 1903 at a cost of about $729,000 (£150,000), and was operated under the American flag. International Marine Engineering (Volume 12, 1907, p.342) described this vessel in some detail when noting her sale:

The International Mercantile Marine Company has recently sold the steamers Maine and Missouri, built in 1903 and 1904 by the Maryland Steel company, sparrow's point, MD, for the Atlantic Transport Company. These steamers each have a length of 492 feet 5 inches; a beam of 58 feet 2 inches and a depth of 24 feet 4 inches ; the net and gross tonnages being respectively 5,077 and 7,014. The steamers are of the three-deck and shelter deck type, with nine bulkheads and a double bottom. They are propelled by twin screws actuated by triple expansion engines with cylinders 25, 42 ½ and 72 inches in diameter, with a common stroke of 48 inches. The indicated horse power is 4,800. Steam is supplied by two double-ended and two single ended Scotch boilers, each of a diameter of 14 feet 9 inches, and with lengths respectively 19 feet 3 inches and 10 feet 9 inches. The working pressure is 200 pounds per square inch. The grate area and heating surface are respectively 322 and 12,700, giving a ratio of 395 to 1.

When the Ship-subsidy Bill, which would have made the profitable operation of these ships possible, failed the International Mercantile Marine Company decided to dispose of the Atlantic Transport Line's American-registered ships. The Missouri (II) was sold to the American Hawaiian Steamship Company and renamed Missourian in 1908. On August 15, 1914 the Panama Canal was opened and Missourian was one of the very first vessels to make the passage, and the first vessel to dock at Los Angeles Harbor after passing through the canal. She was sunk by the U 52 (Kapitänleutnant Hans Walther) in the northern Mediterranean on April 4, 1917.

Sources: The Atlantic Transport Line, 1881-1931; The Ships List; Merchant Fleets in Profile 2; the Ships of the Cunard, American, Red Star, Inman, Leyland, Dominion, Atlantic Transport and White Star Lines, Duncan Haws, 1979; The New York Times, January 12, 1901: June 4, 1907

The sister ship Maine II in later years as the Virginian (Naval Historical Center) i03284
The Missourian, "first steamship entering Los Angeles Harbor, Wilmington, coming through the Panama Canal, Aug. 27, 1914."
(Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division [pan 6a02029])

For more information ...

Kinghorn "The Atlantic Transport Line 1881 - 1931" McFarland, 2011

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