Tanker M/V POLARIS Records

Identifier: GLMS-0012

Collection Overview


Bethlehem Ship Building Co. built the POLARIS in 1945 as LST 1063 for the U.S. Navy at Hingham, Massachusetts. Cleveland Tankers acquired the vessel in 1949 and rebuilt the ship as a tanker. The collection spans the years from 1958 to 1977 when the POLARIS was scrapped and includes correspondence, injury reports, vessel casualty reports, wage scales, and individual trip records. there is no information for the years 1945-1957.


  • 1958-1976


1 Cubic Feet (2 legal manuscript boxes)


Scope and Contents

This 1.5 cubic foot collection documents the Great Lakes service of the tanker POLARIS for the years 1958-1976. Files in this collection concentrate heavily on daily maintenance activities. Within the folders of this collection, three-fourths pertain to maintenance issues. Box 2 contains records for individual trips sailed in 1976 by the POLARIS. These seventy-five reports provide detail on the daily operations of a tanker for a complete shipping season.

Financial documents include pay vouchers for the crew from July and August 1976. Wage scales in effect at the time are also present. Small series of correspondence and personnel records complete the collection. Routine operational matters are discussed in the correspondence for 1963-1975. Personal injury reports and lists of discharged seamen are found in the personnel files for 1963-1976.

Vessel History

The POLARIS (US 257935) was built as a LST vessel for the US Navy in 1945 by the Bethlehem Ship Building Company of Hingham, Massachusetts. The original name for this vessel was LST 1063. In 1949 the Cleveland Tankers, Inc., company purchased the LST 1063, converted the vessel to a tanker and assigned the name POLARIS to their new boat during conversion work at the Moore Dry Dock Company in Oakland, California.

The POLARIS set out for the Great Lakes from California by sailing to Panama and using the canal to reach the Caribbean Sea. A voyage to the Mississippi River brough the POLARIS back to the United States. This was a rare event in itself because most LST vessels converted to tankers were sold to foreign owners. The POLARIS traveled through the Illinois Canal System and then to Chicago. The POLARIS departed on its first Great Lakes trip on May 22, 1949 with a load of gasoline bound for Bay City, Michigan. The cargoes carried during its 28 years with the Cleveland Tankers, Inc., company generally were gasoline and oil. Liquid chemicals were also carried on occasion.

Few accidents marred the record of the POLARIS. On February 17, 1964, a grounding occurred in Lake Michigan near Two Rivers, Wisconsin. The Coast Guard's MESQUITE soon had the POLARIS back in service. On May 27, 1974, another grounding occurred near Buffalo, New York. The POLARIS was repaired after this incident in Superior, Wisconsin at the Fraser Shipyard. The Cleveland Tankers, Inc., management sold the POLARIS in 1977 to Sam Simon's Acme Scrapping Company of Ashtabula, Ohio after deciding its economic value had decreased below maintenance costs. The POLARIS was then scrapped to end its career.

Conditions Governing Access

No known access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers using this collection assume full responsibility for conforming to the laws of libel, privacy, and copyright, and are responsible for securing permissions necessary for publication or reproduction.

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Related Materials

For records of other vessels scrapped by Triad Salvage, see the GLMS 14 - G.A. TOMLINSON records and GLMS 13 - Steamer PAUL L. TIETJEN records.

For maintenance records of work done by Triad Salvage, see the GLMS 53 - Triad Salvage, Inc. records.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection of records regarding the POLARIS (US 257935) was donated to Bowling Green State University on August 16, 1977, by Robert Weiner of Triad Salvage, Inc., of Ashtabula, Ohio when the vessel was delivered to his company for scrapping.



Guide to the Tanker M/V POLARIS Records
Mark Sprang
June 2018
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