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Tanker M/V Polaris - GLMS 12

Introduction | Vessel History | Scope and Contents | Series Description | Inventory


This one cubic foot 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. Literary and property rights are dedicated to the public and photocopying is permitted for conservation and research purposes.

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.

Scope and Content

This one 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.

Series Description


Arranged chronologically
Contains correspondence regarding the operation of the POLARIS. Included are memorand to vessel captains with emergency response instructions for oil leaks and other environmental hazards. Routine vessel maintenance issues are also discussed.


Financial Documents
Arranged chronologically
Contains scattered financial papers for one year related to operations of the POLARIS. Contract proposals, wage scales, overtime records, and pay vouchers are included.


Subject File Personnel
Arranged chronologically
Contains personnel related files in the form of personal injury reports and reports on seamen shipped out or discharged.

Subject File Maintenance
Arranged chronologically
Contains files regarding safety and maintenance issues on the POLARIS. Of particular interest are the Casualty Reports regarding damage to the POLARIS and the Trip Records compiled for each of the 75 trips made in 1976.


Box 1


  1. Correspondence, 1963-1975
  2. Contract proposals, Cleveland Tankers, Inc., n.d.
  3. Overtime payroll statements, July-August 1976
  4. Pay vouchers, July-August 1976
  5. Pay vouchers, July-August 1976
  6. Pay vouchers, July-August 1976
  7. Wage Scale, Cleveland Tankers, Inc., March 1, 1976
  8. Masters Reports on Seamen Shipped or Discharged, 1976
  9. Personal Injury Reports, 1963-1974
  10. Benzol benzene data sheet, n.d.
  11. Cargo handling and accident information cards, n.d.
  12. Casualty reports for vessels, 1959-1974
  13. Casualty reports for vessels, 1959-1974
  14. Comparative Operating Statistics, 1975-1976
  15. Inspection information Chief Engineer, 1958, 1963
  16. Layup check list, 1961
  17. Lorain Electronics Corp. Shipmaster Bulletins, n.d.
  18. Marine Inspection certificate, 1974-1975
  19. Marine Section Fact Sheet, n.d.
  20. Oil Record Book, June-July 1972
  21. Preventive Maintenance, n.d.
  22. Procedure Marine Handling of Unleaded Gasoline, n.d.
  23. Safety Data Sheets, non-chemical, 1972
  24. Safety Standards and rules, n.d.
  25. Ships filing classification, n.d.
  26. Tank capacity ullage table, M/V POLARIS, n.d.

Box 2


  1. Trip records, Trips 1-75, 1976
  2. Trip records, Trips 1-75, 1976
  3. Trip records, Trips 1-75, 1976
  4. Trip records, Trips 1-75, 1976
  5. Trip records, Trips 1-75, 1976
  6. Trip records, Trips 1-75, 1976
  7. Trip records, Trips 1-75, 1976

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