Headline: The Atlantic Transort Line 

Home    |    History    |    Ships    |    Miscellanea    |    Search   

 

A photograph of the MInnewaska (III) in port (Kinghorn)

S.S. Minnewaska (III)

Sisters: Minnehaha, Minnetonka, Minneapolis, Mongolia, Manchuria, Arabic
Builder: Harland & Wolff, Belfast, yard number 397
Launched November 12, 1908; delivered April 24, 1909; maiden voyage May 1, 1909; mined on November 21, 1916
Hull: length 600' 4"; beam 65' 5"; 14,317 tons; depth of hold 39' 6"; 4 masts; 4 decks and shelter deck; fitted with electric light, submarine signaling device and refrigerating machinery; water ballast
Power: twin screws; quadruple expansion engines by builder with cylinders of 30", 43", 63", and 89" diameter, stroke 60"; 1,222 n.h.p.; steam pressure 200 lbs.; 16 knots
Registered in Belfast; official number 124674; call sign MMW; code letters HNTB

 

Economic conditions having deteriorated during the construction of the Minne class ships the fourth was transferred before completion to the White Star Line to become the Arabic. It was several years before the International Mercantile Marine Company felt able to order a fourth Minne for the Atlantic Transport Line. The experience gained operating the first three Minnes informed improvements in the design of the fourth, chief among which was greatly increased passenger accommodation. She was fitted for wireless communication from the outset and accommodated the operators within her superstructure; the call letters for this ship were "MMW."

In late April 1911 19-year-old seaman J. W. Browning fell overboard when his lifeline broke while he was working on the lifeboats. According to the New York Times he fell sixty feet from the "speeding liner" and "had to swim desperately" in his sea boots to avoid being drawn into her screws. "Within a few seconds after the alarm the Minnewaska (III) had cut a wide circle to port and was heading back over her course." A boat under the command of Chief Officer James Grant Hutchison was soon lowered and Browning was back on board thirteen minutes after his fall, but without his sea boots.

Organized deck sports competitions had long been a popular feature of extended voyages, and these events were occasionally held on board Atlantic Transport Line ships even before World War One. A printed program for one such event held on bord the London-bound Minnewaska (III) on June 9 and 10, 1911, (Kinghorn collection) lists events including the Men's Potato Race, Ladies Bell Ringing, Men's Bun Eating, Spar Fighting, and Tug-o'-War.

In October 1914, while the Minnewaska (III) was taking on cargo in New York, a fire developed in number two hold, where a consignment of sugar had been loaded. The blaze was extinguished only when the hold was flooded to a depth of twenty feet. The fire destroyed sugar worth $120,000 and there was some concern that it may have been deliberately set by German agents. But it seems to have been an accident and was blamed by Captain Thomas F. Gates, on spontaneous combustion. The Minnewaska (III) was not materially damaged and sailed on schedule.

The Minnewaska (III) is recorded in the Morton Allan Directory of European Passenger Steamship Arrivals making 66 voyages to New York between May 1909 and January 1915. She then served as a British Army troop transport. The Minnewaska (III) sailed from Avonmouth on Friday March 5, 1915, bound for Alexandria, which she reached early in the evening on Sunday, March 14. She sailed next for Gallipoli on April 18, with the headquarters of the Ist Australian division and many troops on board. A number of officer's horses were also shipped to the Gallipoli Peninsula but were not landed. The Minnewaska (III) was present at the Gallipoli landings and was involved in a minor collision with Derfflinger off Anzac Cove on April 28. The Australian War Memorial collections include several photographs of taken on board Minnewaska (III) or showing her in service as a transport, and these can be found by searching the website.

The Minnewaska (III), defensively armed with a gun mounted on her stern, made five voyages ferrying troops and artillery to the Dardanelles. She had some narrow escapes but on November 29, 1916, she finally struck a floating mine in Suda Bay, Crete, en route to Saloniki. She was transporting 1,600 troops on this occasion and had a crew of 200. She took on a rapidly increasing list but Captain Gates decided to steam at full speed to the nearby shore and successfully ran her aground 50 yards west of Cape Deutero at the entrance to Suda Bay. Gates was decorated with the Order of the British Empire for his actions, which saved many lives. It took about two hours to evacuate the ship and the men were rescued without loss by the trawler Danestone, the drifters Principal, Trustful and Deveronside, and the destroyer Grampus. But her bottom had been torn away by the mine and the Minnewaska (III) had to be abandoned on the beach where she lay. In 1918 she was sold to shipbreakers for scrap and was broken up in situ. Parts of the wreck remain on site.

Sources: The Atlantic Transport Line, 1881-1931; The Ships List; Passenger Ships of the World Past and Present, Eugene W. Smith, Massachusetts, 1977; Gilbert Provost's Register of Ships; The Great War Forum; Australians at War; 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; Atlantic Transport Line brochures of c.1909, August 1913, and c.1914 (Kinghorn collection); The New York Times, June 4, 1907; May 1, 1911; October 22, 1914; January 28, 1917

Painting of the Minnewaska, from a brochure of c.1914
A photograph of the Minnewaska (III) in port (Kinghorn)

The Upper Promenade Deck from an Atlantic Transport Line rates brochure of August 1913 (Kinghorn)
The upper promenade deck from an Atlantic Transport Line rates brochure of August 1913 (Kinghorn)

The Promenade Deck from an Atlantic Transport Line rates brochure of August 1913 (Kinghorn)
The promenade deck from an Atlantic Transport Line rates brochure of August 1913 (Kinghorn)

The Saloon Deck of Minnewaska from an Atlantic Transport Line rates brochure of August 1913 (Kinghorn)
The saloon deck from an Atlantic Transport Line rates brochure of August 1913 (Kinghorn)

This brochure, probably printed in Baltimore, was probably issued early in 1909.
This brochure, probably printed in Baltimore, was probably issued early in 1909.
It promotes the new Minne class steamer then coming into service (Kinghorn)
Click for PDF file (19,479 KB)

Minnewaska entrance hall
The entrance hall, from an Atlantic Transport Line brochure published c.1914 (Kinghorn)

Minnewaska lounge
The lounge, forward of the entrance hall, from an Atlantic Transport Line brochure published c.1914 (Kinghorn)

Minnewaska smoking room
The smoke room, from an Atlantic Transport Line brochure published c.1914 (Kinghorn)

Minnewaska reading room
The reading room, from an Atlantic Transport Line brochure published c.1914 (Kinghorn)


A photo postcard depicting the Minnewaska (III) in the Thames (Kinghorn)

The Upper Promenade Deck, Minnewaska (III)
The upper promenade deck looking forward, pristine and deserted, and perhaps photographed soon after her completion?
From an Atlantic Transport Line brochure published c.1914. (Kinghorn).

Boat drill above the Upper Promenade Deck, MInnewaska (III) c.1911  (Ian Newson)
Boat drill above the upper promenade deck (Ian Newson)

Minnewaska dining saloon
The dining saloon, from an Atlantic Transport Line brochure published c.1914 (Kinghorn)

Minnewaska promenade deck
The upper promenade deck, from an Atlantic Transport Line brochure published c.1914 (Kinghorn)

promenade deck cabin, Minnewaska
A promenade deck cabin, from an Atlantic Transport Line brochure published c.1914 (Kinghorn)

promenade deck cabin, Minnewaska
Another promenade deck cabin, from an Atlantic Transport Line brochure published c.1914 (Kinghorn)

he new Minnewaska (III) illustrated in The Spere (Ian Newson)
The new Minnewaska (III) illustrated in The Spere (Ian Newson)

A painting of the new Minnewaska from an Atlantic Transport Line brochure published c.1914
A painting of the new Minnewaska from an Atlantic Transport Line brochure published c.1914 (Kinghorn)

A lithographed color postcard depicting the Minnewaska (III) (Kinghorn)
A lithographed color postcard depicting the Minnewaska (III) (Kinghorn)

A photo postcard depicting the Minnewaska (III) (Ian Newson)
A photo postcard depicting the Minnewaska (III) (Ian Newson)

A StevengraphTinted Minnewaska postcard
Left: A Stevengraph (woven silk image) printed with the name of this ship (these were captioned for sale, presumably
by the barber, on many other ships also). Right: Postcard depicting the Minnewaska (III) (both eBay)

photographs recording Chief Officer Hutchison's rescue of seaman J. W. Browning after his dramaticphotographs recording Chief Officer Hutchison's rescue of seaman J. W. Browning after his dramaticphotographs recording Chief Officer Hutchison's rescue of seaman J. W. Browning after his dramatic
Three photographs recording Chief Officer Hutchison's rescue of seaman J. W. Browning after his dramatic
fall from the Minnewaska in April 1911 and Browning on deck afterwards, wet and without his sea boots.
The photographs appear to have been taken by the ship's Purser. (Ian Newson) Click images for larger views.

the Minnewaska (III)'s superstructure from the foredeck (Ian Newson
Views of the superstructure from the foredeck (Ian Newson)

the Minnewaska (III)'s superstructure from the stern (Ian Newson
View of the superstructure from the docking bridge at the stern (Ian Newson)

An event such as a Men's Potato Race taking place in front of a considerable audience on Minnewaska's forward deck c. 1910
A sports day Men's Potato Race taking place in front of a considerable audience on the forward deck c. 1910 (Ian Newson)

The passenger list issued by the New York office for the voyage commencing June 3, 1911 (Kinghorn)
The passenger list issued by the New York office for the voyage commencing June 3, 1911 (Kinghorn)
Click for PDF file (7,352 KB)

Programme for a charity concert given on Minnewaska, June 10, 1911. (Kinghorn)
Programme for a charity concert given on Minnewaska, June 10, 1911. (Kinghorn)
Click for PDF file (1,929 KB)

 


Concert program, July 22, 1911 (Ian Newson)

 

Monochrome Minnewaska postcard
Postcard depicting the Minnewaska (III) (Ian Newson)

An unusual and rather inaccurate postcard depicting the new Minnewaska (III) (Ian Newson)
An unusual and rather inaccurate postcard depicting the new Minnewaska (III) (Ian Newson)

Australian War Memorial catalogue number G00899
The steamer to the right in this photograph showing the destroyer H.M.S. Scourge towing boats ashore during
the landing at Anzac Cove, 25 April 1915, appears to be Minnewaska (III) (Australian War Memorial)

The wreck of the Minnewaska (III) from a photograph album compiled by James Grant Hutchison.
The wreck of the Minnewaska (III) from a photograph album compiled by James Grant Hutchison. Hutchison had served on the Minnewaska (III) before
the war and this was presumably taken from his next ship, the Menominee, which also served as a transport during the Gallipoli campaign. (Ian Newson)

 

For more information ...

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

Home   |    History   |   Ships   |   Miscellanea   |   Search


© 2005 - 2014, Jonathan Kinghorn, all rights reserved

This Site and all its Contents are intended solely for non-commercial use. You may download or copy the Contents and other downloadable materials displayed on the Site for your personal use only. No right, title or interest in any downloaded materials or software is transferred to you as a result of any such downloading or copying. You may not reproduce (except as noted above), publish, transmit, distribute, display, modify, create derivative works from, sell or participate in any sale of or exploit in any way, in whole or in part, any of the Contents, the Site or any related software.