Training Ship Gallery

Training Ships of the SUNY Maritime College

USS St. Marys (1875-1908)

A sloop of War built in 1844, USS ST. MARYS served in the Pacific Fleet during the Civil War and made some patrols against the slave trade. She was assigned to the City of New York as a training ship to the newly formed New York Nautical School by the Secretary of the Navy by Act of Congress. After thirty-three years of service, the longest of all the training ships, she was retired.


USS Newport (1908-1931)[PG-12]

At the end of the nineteenth century steam had begun to replace sails. The Newport built in 1895, with its triple expansion steam engine in addition to her sails, provided a far better training platform in the transition to the new age of steam then the St Marys. NEWPORT had seen action in Cuba during the Spanish American War.


USS Empire State (1931-1946)
[Former USS PROCYON (AG-11)]

One of the famous "Hog Islander" class vessels, PROCYON was built in 1919 as SHAUME. She served as flagship of the Navy's Pacific Fleet Supply Train from 1923-1930. More modern in design, she had a steam turbine and the latest in navigation equipment. At the beginning of World War II, the Empire State was reassigned to the US Maritime Commission, renamed the "AMERICAN PILOT" and served as a training ship for other maritime schools  as well as the New York State Maritime Academy.

TS Empire State II (1945-1956)
[Former USS Hydrus (AKA 28)]

With the end of World War II, many newly built ships were available as training vessels.  With twin screws, two engine rooms and turbo-electric power the HYDRUS built in 1944 was considered an ideal replacement for EMPIRE STATE I.  She was christened as EMPIRE STATE II in an impressive ceremony attended by Governor Thomas E. Dewey.


TS Empire State III (1956-1959)
[Former USS MERCY (AH-8)]

A gallant ship which earned two battle stars while serving as a hospital ship with the Fifth and Seventh Fleets in the Pacific, MERCY was built in 1942. Her spaces were more suitable for the growing College student body than the former cargo transport. She was christened by Governor Harriman in a ceremony at Albany.

TSES Empire State IV(1959-1973)

Empire State III began to show signs of wear and tear as a result of the extensive use of the vessel in World War II and a replacement was sought.  The USNS Henry Gibbins, was available and selected.  The Gibbins, an Army transport, launched in 1942 as the Biloxi was delivered to the Army Transportation Service on February 27, 1943. She was renamed Henry Gibbins saw service in the European Theater during World War II.  She was made famous in the book Haven which recounted the memorable voyage in 1944 when she carried 1000 Jewish Refugees from Italy to the United States under an order signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.   After the war, the Gibbins transported war brides from Europe to the United States.   In 1950, she was transferred to the Navy's Military Sea Transportation Service and was used extensively as a troop transport until 1959.  In 1959, she was transferred to the Maritime Administration, renamed Empire State IV and assigned as the newest training ship for the New York Maritime College. She had excellent spaces for training ship use and also had two geared turbines. A scale model of the vessel, built by Barry Marsh '86, is on display in the Museum's Hall of Training.


TS Empire State V (1973-1990)
[Former USNS BARRETT (T-AP-196)]

Laid down in 1949 as the SS PRESIDENT JACKSON for the passenger service of American President Lines, she never entered that service.  Instead she was commandeered by the government, renamed the USNS BARRETT for service as a transport in the Pacific during Korea and Vietnam. Younger than EMPIRE STATE IV, she provided better space and more modern equipment for the training of cadets.



TS Empire State VI (1990-Present)

Our current training ship was laid down as SS OREGON at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Newport News, Virginia. The vessel was built for States Steamship Company and was launched on September 16, 1961. She was delivered to her owners in February of 1962 for service in the Pacific trades. In the 1970s , the vessel was purchased by Moore McCormack Lines for the South American trade. She was renamed MORMACTIDE and operated by that company until 1982 when she was taken out of service. The vessel changed ownership on more time. United States Lines purchased the vessel but did not have the opportunity to operate her. She was turned over to the Federal Government and laid up in the Reserve Fleet in the James River in December 1982.

In November of 1988, the MORMACTIDE was taken under tow through the St. Lawrence Seaway to Bay Shipbuilding Corporation in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. There the vessel was converted to a public nautical training ship and re-named EMPIRE STATE VI. She was delivered to the State University of New York Maritime College on December 31, 1989.


Training Ship Pictures

The Maritime Industry Museum has available for purchase a limited collection of 8x10 black and white and colored pictures of the Training Ships used by the school. Black and white pictures cost $10 each plus shipping. The cost of colored pictures is $15 each plus shipping. Shipping charges are listed in Museum Gift Shop section. To order, please submit  your name and address, your selection and include a check for the total made payable to the Maritime Industry Museum, 6 Pennyfield Avenue, Bronx, NY 10465.

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