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SS West Arrow
underway in mid 1918
SS Black Osprey was a cargo ship for the American Diamond Lines and the British Cairn Line. She was formerly known as SS West Arrow when she was launched for the United States Shipping Board (USSB) during World War I. The ship was inspected by the United States Navy for possible use as USS West Arrow (ID-2585) but was neither taken into the Navy nor ever commissioned under that name.
West Arrow was built in 1918 for the USSB, as a part of the West boats, a series of steel-hulled cargo ships built on the West Coast of the United States for the World War I war effort. Information about her early career is largely absent, but by the 1920s, news reports revealed that the ship was sailing on the North Atlantic. By the mid 1920s, West Arrow was sailing for American Diamond on their cargo service to Rotterdam and Antwerp. In 1935, American Diamond changed the ship's name to Black Osprey and the ship continued in Rotterdam service.
After the outbreak of World War II, Black Osprey, still under the registry of the still-neutral United States, was detained twice by British authorities, before the U.S.-established "Neutrality Zone" ended Black Osprey's Dutch service in late 1939. Sailing under charter to the Isthmian Line in 1940, Black Osprey called at various ports in the Pacific Ocean. American Diamond sold Black Osprey to the British Ministry of War Transport in late 1940. During the ship's first transatlantic crossing under the British flag, she was sunk by German submarine U-96 on 18 February 1941, with the loss of 25 men. The 11 survivors were picked up by a Norwegian ship and landed in at Barry.
Captain and crew of a new Liberty Ship SS Booker T. Washington just after it completed its maiden voyage to England. (L-R) C. Lastic, Second Mate; T. J. Young, Midshipman; E. B. Hlubik, Midshipman; C. Blackman, Radio Operator; T. A. Smith, Chief Engineer; Hugh Mulzac, Captain of the ship; Adolphus Fokes, Chief Mate; Lt. H. Kruley; E. P. Rutland, Second Engineer; and H. E. Larson, Third Engineer." Captain Hugh Mulzac is fourth from the left on the first row. February 8, 1943.
Sergeant First Class Lawrence Joel
(February 22, 1928–February 4, 1984) was an American military veteran
. He served in the United States Army
in both the Korean War
and the Vietnam War
. While serving in Vietnam
, as a medic
assigned to 1st Battalion
of the 503rd Infantry in the 173rd Airborne Brigade
, Joel received the Silver Star
and the Medal of Honor
for his heroism in a battle with the Viet Cong
that occurred on November 8, 1965. He was the first living black American to receive this medal since the Spanish–American War
Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Joel attended city public schools, including Atkins High School, and joined the Merchant Marines for one year. In 1946, at age 18, Joel decided to join the United States Army, making a career out of it. He enlisted in New York City.
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The U.S. Fleet
Ships registered in U.S.: As of 2006, 465 ships of 1,000 gross register tons (GRT) or over were registered under the Flag of the United States. This amounts to a total of 10,590,325 GRT, or a capacity of 13,273,133 metric tons of deadweight (DWT). Of these, 414 are owned by American interests and 51 are owned by foreign interests. Australian owners account for 2 of these ships, Canadian 4, Danish 24, German 2, Greek 1, Malaysian 4, Dutch 4, Norwegian 2, Singaporean 2, Swedish 5, and Taiwanese 1.
U.S.-owned ships registered abroad (700): Antigua and Barbuda 7, Australia 3, Bahamas 121, Belize 5, Bermuda 27, Cambodia 8, Canada 2, Cayman Islands 41, Comoros 2, Cyprus 7, Greece 1, Honduras 1, Hong Kong 21, Ireland 2, Isle of Man 3, Italy 15, North Korea 3, South Korea 7, Liberia 93, Luxembourg 3, Malta 3, Marshall Islands 143, Netherlands 13, Netherlands Antilles 1, Norway 13, Panama 94, Peru 1, Philippines 8, Portugal 1, Puerto Rico 3, Qatar 1, Russia 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 21, Sierra Leone 1, Singapore 7, Spain 7, Sweden 1, Trinidad and Tobago 1, United Kingdom 6, Vanuatu 1, Wallis and Futuna 1.
Source: The 2006 CIA World Factbook which, as a US government publication, is in the public domain.