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Ray Cocchi

Ray Cocchi writes:

I have pictures of the Golden State II (ex Legion Victory) as she was loading lumber in Port Angeles, Washington State (summer 1965). I spent all of 1965 aboard as 8-12 Third Engineer. She was Captained by Christian Meyer. The 2nd Mate was Archie Bergstrasser from Pennsylvania and the relief 2nd Mate was Ted Villa from the Boston area. The CE was Frank Schonebachler from Enumclaw, Washington, and Steve Barlow from Florida was the 1st engineer. The radio operator was Joe Tilimony from Toledo, Ohio, if my memory serves me right.

The Golden State was on the Trans-pacific/inter-coastal runs all of 1965. After leaving Oakland Army Base we would hit various Japanese ports, then Keelung & Kaushung in Taiwan. Then Inchon & Pusan in Korea. We would then return to the pacific northwest to spend two weeks loading lumber in various ports in Puget Sound and head for Connecticut/NJ/Red Hook/Baltimore until all the lumber was discharged. Then start back loading in Baltimore/New Orleans/San Pedro/Oakland. Each Voyage took about 4 months. Who wouldn't love a schedule like that now-a-days.

She had damaged her reduction gears (1964) after hitting a buoy with the propeller while departing NY harbor and running all the way to San Francisco before having a diver cut off the damaged section of propeller blade. I saw her again in Manila Harbor in '66 after she hit and sunk a ferry upon arrival (disaster) with the loss of many lives. President Lyndon Johnson was at the Manila Hotel at the time for some Vietnam conference when this happened.

I saw her for the last time laying at pier 38 SF in 1969 and her reduction gears were now about finished. I believe she was proceeding to the scrapper at this point.

SS Golden State #2

Port Angeles, Washington

Ted Villa and Joe Tilimony

The information and photos on this page are courtesy of Ray Cocchi 2007. All rights reserved.

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