SS George Washington &
By Michael Naab
January 29, 2007
Pat Bundy's memory serves her well. The SS George Washington
did indeed carry passengers between Puget Sound and Alaska in
1948 - and only in 1948.
The 375.5-ft. vessel carried 250 passengers. She measured 5,184
tons and cruised at 14 knots, powered by 4,750 h.p. steam turbines.
Built in 1924 for service between New York and Bermuda, she was
taken over by the government for World War II duty. After the
war, she was purchased by the Alaska Transportation Company,
which had her refitted in Seattle and, in May 1948, placed her
on the Alaska run. Later in 1948, a longshoremen's strike shut
down most Northwest ports and, consequently, coastwise steamship
travel. Partly as a result of the long strike, Alaska Transportation
Co. went out of business. The George Washington was sold the
following year to the French Line, which operated her on the
run between Bordeaux and North Africa under the name, Gascogne.
THe Denali was a mainstay of the venerable Alaska Steamship Company
on the run between Puget Sound and Alaska ports. Her September
24, 1954, departure from Seattle was her last voyage to Alaska
- and it was the end of Alaska Steamship Company's passenger
service. The Denali was sold in 1955 to the Peninsular &
Oriental Steamship Company in Miami, which placed her in Miami-St.
Petersburg-Key West-Havana service.
Received January 29, 2007 - Published January 29, 2006
About: " I work at the
City of Ketchikan museum department. My interest in Northwest
maritime history began thirty-five years ago, when I worked at
a maritime museum in Oregon."
Note: Comments published
on Viewpoints are the opinions of the writer
of Steamships By Pat Bundy - Beaverton, OR
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.
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