SSHSA Past Award Winners


2015 SSHSA National Award Winners

Ship of the Year - Berkeley

Built in 1898 on the slipway next to the battleship Wisconsin in the Union Iron Works Yard, the triple-expansion steam-powered Berkeley operated on San Francisco Bay between Oakland Pier and the San Francisco Ferry Building for 60 years. Berkeley was one of the last two remaining ferryboats on San Francisco Bay, surviving 20 years beyond the building of the San Francisco Bay Bridge. She was the first successful propeller driven ferry on the Pacific. The vessel was taken out of service in the spring of 1958 and fell into disrepair before being restored in the 1970s. She was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1990 and now serves as a centerpiece of the fleet of historic ships at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. 

Tugboat of the Year - Hoga

USS Hoga (YT-146) was commissioned into the United States Navy in May 1941 and was assigned to the Naval Station at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Today, she is a survivor of the December, 7, 1941 attack on the Naval Forces in Hawaii. Hoga distinguished herself through her crew’s actions in helping beach the burning and sinking battleship USS Nevada, which was in danger of sinking and blocking the harbor entrance/exit.  Hoga fought fires on Battleship Row for 72 continuous hours, particularly working on the blazing hull of USS Arizona.  Due to their heroic efforts, the crew of Hoga was commended by Admiral Chester A. Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet. 

In 1948, Hoga was transferred on loan to the Port of Oakland for use as a fireboat.  The re-christened Port of Oakland (later changed to City of Oakland) entered service in July 1948.  In her 40 year career as an Oakland fireboat, the vessel fought countless shipboard fires, attacked waterfront blazes, and rescued persons in the water.  The tug served as a tour boat for President Jimmy Carter during a tour of the port on July 3, 1980.  Hogareceived National Landmark Status on June 30, 1989, and ultimately retired from the Port of Oakland in 1996.  On July 28, 2005, the U.S. Navy officially transferred Hoga to the City of North Little Rock, where she is destined to be a permanent exhibit at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum.

H. Graham Wood Award for Distinguished Service to SSHSA - William M. Worden

Since joining SSHSA in 1958, William Worden has been an active member, operating as the Editor-in-Chief for Steamboat Bill from the Spring 1996 to Winter 2000 issues, is the author of many articles and books relating to maritime heritage, and was the writer of the column, “Keeping Up Steam,” from the Winter 1991 through the Fall 2009 issues of Steamboat Bill.

Bill’s interests range from historical preservation to maritime history to music, and he has been active in all of those fields. A graduate of Ohio State University with a major in art history, he comes from a maritime family; his grandfather, great-uncle, father, and brother all worked on the water. Bill has served aboard Erie QueenWalter A. SterlingSouth American, and a number of tugs of the Gaelic Tugboat Company. Prior to his retirement, he served as Director of Historic Designation for the Detroit City Council since 1977. He has been active in early efforts to save the Bob-Lo Island steamer, SSColumbia, and is a member of the Marine Historical Society of Detroit and the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society.

C. Bradford Mitchell Award - National Museum of the Great Lakes

Owned and operated by The Great Lakes Historical Society, the National Museum of the Great Lakes opened in Toledo, Ohio, in April 2014. The National Museum of the Great Lakes’ mission is to preserve and make known the history of the Great Lakes. This mission is achieved by operating the museum and the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship, by publishing the award winning quarterly journal Inland Seas since 1945, by conducting nautical archaeology research through our Peachman Lake Erie Shipwreck Research Center, through maintaining the Clarence S. Metcalf Great Lakes Maritime Research Library in Vermilion, Ohio, and by offering educational programs to both children and adults.

Samuel Ward Stanton Award for Lifetime Achievement - Peter Knego

Peter Knego has spent 30 years in research, analysis, and documentation of modern and classic passenger liners.  He has added considerably to the available historical knowledge of the ocean liner by focusing attention on interior decorations of the passenger ship. Through still and video photography, Peter has catalogued the shipboard works of artisans, including sculptures, painters, furniture makers, artists and interior designers. Peter has personally recovered and documented hundreds of artifacts in his visits to Turkey, India, and other sites of ship breaking. Peter is also a well-known cruise and maritime writer and contributes to numerous consumer and industry publications around the world as well as helming two popular blogs, “Sea Treks” and “Decked!”

2014 SSHSA National Award Winners

Ship of the Year - Edward M. Cotter

Steamship Historical Society of America is proud to recognize Fireboat Edward M. Cotter as the 2014 Ship of the Year. The Edward M. Cotter has served for more than one hundred years with the Buffalo Fire Department, where she has served as both a fireboat and the sole ice-breaking resource. The Edward M. Cotter is the oldest working fireboat in the world, and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1996.

Yacht of the Year - Aphrodite

In recognition of the meticulous reconstruction and restoration of the commuter yacht, Aphrodite. Launched in 1937, this 74-foot yacht was owned by James Hay Whitney of Long Island until 1942, where she was commissioned as a CGR-557. She fell into disrepair in the 1960s-1970s, and was later delivered to Brooklin Boat Yard in 2003. After completing historical documentation and replacement and restoration of the original backbone, stem, floors, hull planking, and frame, the Aphrodite sailed again in late 2005. Steamship Historical Society of America is proud to observe Aphrodite as the 2014 Yacht of the Year.

Tugboat of the Year - Wallace Foss

Wallace Foss was built in 1899 and worked as a towing vessel until the 1990s, when she was acquired and converted for use as a “live aboard.” This tugboat was consistently maintained and restored throughout her one hundred plus years of service. SSHSA is pleased to recognize the Wallace Foss as the 2014 Tugboat of the Year.

C. Bradford Mitchell Award - Mr. John Henry

John Henry is a journalist and author based in New York City. His book, Great White Fleet: Celebrating Canada Steamship Lines Passenger Ships, was timed to coincide with the company's centennial last year. In recognition of his dedicated service to the field of maritime heritage, Steamship Historical Society of America is proud to present Mr. John Henry with the 2014 C. Bradford Mitchell Award.

Jay Allen Award for Editorial Service to SSHSA - Mr. Geoffrey Hamer

From the beginning of his tenure as the Overseas Editor in 1977, Geoffrey Hamer served SSHSA’s flagship publication Steamboat Bill both graciously and professionally, and continued to do so in PowerShips through 2013. His thirty-seven years of dedication and commitment to SSHSA is what makes our Society flourish, and we are truly grateful for his support and service. Steamship Historical Society of America is pleased to present Mr. Geoffrey Hamer with the 2014 Jay Allen Award.

Samuel Ward Stanton Award for Lifetime Achievement - Mr. Dennis Hale

Steamship Historical Society of America is proud to recognize Mr. Dennis Hale with the Samuel Ward Stanton Award in recognition of his maritime service, and for his willingness to share his story of being the sole survivor of the Daniel J. Morrell in his book, Shipwrecked: Reflections of the Sole Survivor. Mr. Hale was SSHSA’s Keynote Speaker at the Awards Gala during ShiPosium III in Newport, Rhode Island.

H. Graham Wood Award Award for Distinguished Service to SSHSA - CDR John Hamma

CDR John Hamma was an active member of SSHSA from 1968-2014. He served with distinction as a board member since 2009, and National President from 2011-2014. He was a decisive and inspirational leader with a strong vision for the future, a trusted crewmember, and a loyal friend. This award recognizes his exceptional contribution to the Society and its mission, and his long and selfless service. His leadership and hard work have given SSHSA a clear mission and set us on the right course for the future. We wish him fair winds and following seas.



2013 SSHSA National Award Winners

Ship of the Year - MV Coho

MV Coho, the historic car and passenger ferry of the Black Ball Ferry Line, was the Steamship Historical Society of America's 2013 Ship of the Year.  Coho was also a featured presenter during ShiPosium II in Long Beach, California.

Coho was designed by highly respected Pacific Northwest naval architect Philip Spaulding, and was built at the Puget Sound Bridge and Drydock Company as the prototype of the first vessels of the British Columbia Provincial Government Ferry System.

Since its first service in December 1959, the Coho has continuously operated year-round and transported more than 21 million passengers and six million vehicles  across the Straits of Juan de Fuca between Port Angeles, Washington and the Inner Harbour of Vancouver Island in Victoria, British Columbia.  To this day, the ship flies on her masthead a version of the original Black Ball Line house flag of the Black Ball sailing packets.  The Coho is the last of the privately owned passenger- and vehicle- carrying vessels meeting USCG and SOLAS rules operating in international service under the U.S. Flag.

Museum Ship of the Year - USS Iowa

The battleship USS Iowa is the Steamship Historical Society's 2013 Museum Ship of the Year, in recognition of the establishment of the Pacific Battleship Center and the Center's mission to "celebrate the American spirit through the preservation and interpretation of the Battleship Iowa, to educate the public on the accomplishments and sacrifices of American patriots, and to engage our guests in unique and exciting ways that bring the ship to life by connecting the past with the future."

The battleship was built in 1940 and served during World War II and the Korean War, and overall served the United States for more than 50 years.  During her time in service Iowa hosted more American Presidents than any other naval ship.  Today Iowa is the only battleship on the West Coast open to the public, operated by the non-profit Pacific Battleship Center on the Los Angeles waterfront.

Tug of the Year - Angels Gate

Angels Gate, stewarded by the Los Angeles Maritime Museum in San Pedro, California, is the Steamship Historical Society of America's 2013 Tug Boat of the Year.

Angels Gate was built in 1944 in Decatur, Alabama for the Army Transportation Service.  Known then as ST-695, the tug served at the Army Port of Embarkation in Wilmington, California.  Angels Gate was sold after World War II to the Port of Los Angeles where she continued to provide towing services and goodwill tours.  In 1992 Angels Gate arrived the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, which remains today steward of the historic tug. 

As Angels Gate approaches its 60th anniversary, she provides tours of Los Angeles Harbor and serves as the Boat Operations classroom for the Port of Los Angeles High School.  Angels Gate is operated and maintained by a volunteer crew and USCG-licensed captains.

C. Bradford Mitchell Award

The 2013 C. Bradford Mitchell Award was presented to Mr. Martin Cox of Los Angeles, California, SSHSA member and founder of the website MaritimeMatters (www.maritimematters.com).  MaritimeMatters is a prominent web resource for maritime news and history, and SSHSA is proud to present this award to Mr. Cox for this significant achievement in maritime heritage.  

Jay Allen Award for Editorial Service to SSHSA

The 2013 Jay Allen Award was given to Mr. William Dubarry Thomas, past president of SSHSA and writer of the column "Heard on the Fantail" in SSHSA's publications Steamboat Bill and PowerShips for 20 years.  Mr. Thomas has contributed greatly to the success of SSHSA and its publications.  SSHSA is proud to give this award to Mr. Thomas for his achievements in editorial service to SSHSA.

2012 SSHSA National Award Winners

Ship of the Year Award: This was awarded to the the NS SavannahSavannah is the first nuclear-powered steam merchant ship, the only such vessel built in the United States, and one of only four such ships ever built worldwide.  This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Savannah’s completion and entry into service.  Steamship Historical Society of America is proud to observe N/S Savannah’s golden anniversary by naming her the 2012 Ship of the Year. SSHSA also recognizes the ongoing efforts by the NS Savannah Foundation and MARAD in preserving this extraordinary vessel.

SS Lane Victory - Museum Ship
The 2012 Museum Ship Award is bestowed on the SS Lane Victory in recognition of her significance as one of only two operational World War II era Victory Ships. Recognized as a National Historic Landmark and restored by hundreds of volunteers, she continues to steam under her own original power today as a living, breathing link to America's past.

Special Recognition
Tug Delaware on its 100th Anniversary; RMS Segwun on its 125th Anniversary; Steamboat Mississippi Queen remembered.

Jay Allen Award for Distinguished Editorial Service: Jack Shaum for his longstanding expertise, guidance and leadership as Editor-In-Chief of Steamboat Bill and during the transition to PowerShips magazine.

H. Graham Wood Award Award for Distinguished Service to SSHSA:  In recognition of CDR John Williams his long-term dedication and service to the Steamship Historical Society of America as a member and Board member, Treasurer, historian, supporter, and friend.  He will be missed but not forgotten.


2011 SSHSA National Award Winners

C. Bradford Mitchell Award-2011Robert C. Smith for his Guide to Maritime Museums of North America

H. Graham Wood Award-2011Robert C. Cleasby

Samuel Ward Stanton Award-2011Dr.Robert Ballard

Jay Allen Award-2011: Skip Gillham This award was awarded to Mr. Skip Gillham of Vineland, Ontario for serving more than 37 years as a dedicated volunteer and Editor of the Great Lakes/Seaway Regional Column in Steamboat Bill and PowerShips.  He has faithfully covered the region in rich detail and his work has always been of the highest quality.

Ship of the Year Award-2011: Cruiser Olympia

Tugboat of Distinction Award-2011Luna

2010 SSHSA National Award Winners

C. Bradford Mitchell Award-2010:  This award was given to Christopher Winters in recognition of his publication Centennial:  Steaming Through the American Century.  This full color book documents and chronicles the history of the freighter St. Mary’s Challenger.  In April 2006, St. Mary’s Challenger became the first Great Lakes ship to reach 100 years of age and still in operational service.  Mr. Winters, a marine photographer, spent five seasons capturing this vessel for the book.  Thanks to him, the future of maritime history will always have a record of this historic vessel.

Samuel Ward Stanton Award-2010:  This award was given to Frank P. Manwell in recognition of his long and productive association with SSHSA, which includes his significant contributions to recording and preserving the legacy of the United States Merchant Marine, emphasizing the shipping and maritime activities of the Southeast and Gulf coasts.  At the age of 15, Mr. Manwell began working in the deck department aboard B.B. Wills’ Nantasket, which operated between Boston and Nantasket.  Later, he worked on Wills’ Holiday and the Wilson Line’s Boston Belle on the Boston-Provincetown route.  Mr. Manwell also served on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute’s research vessel Bear.  Later he was a journalist in the Navy on the battleship New Jersey and he also attended the U.S. Navy School of Journalism and the College of Advanced Traffic.  Mr. Manwell’s particular maritime interests are cruise ships and excursion vessels.  He has been a member of SSHSA since 1958, and has been the editor of the Southeast and Gulf Ports since the Spring of 1960.  This alone makes him a very deserving recipient of the Samuel Ward Stanton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

H. Graham Wood Award-2010:  This award was given to Francis J. Duffy in recognition of his contributions and work with SSHSA, with strong emphasis on recording and preserving the legacy of ships, New York shipping and the United States Merchant Marine.

Mr. Duffy, who grew up in New York, is a professional writer and photographer specializing in the maritime industry.  He was a special correspondent for the publication The National Fisherman and from 1984 to 1993 he served as director of public relations for Moran Towing & Transportation Company, where he was also editor of Moran’s Tow Line magazine.  Mr. Duffy is also a principal in Granard Associates, a firm serving the maritime industry.  With William H. Miller, Mr. Duffy co-authored The New York Harbor Book.  Various articles and photographs by him have appeared in The New York Times, Journal of Commerce, Long Island Newsday, Cruise Travel, U.S. Coast Guard Magazine, Battery Park Broadsheet, Staten Island Advance and many others.  He is also one of the founders of the Maritime Industry Museum at SUNY Maritime College, Fort Schuyler, New York and is currently its executive vice-president.  Mr. Duffy is also a founding member of the Society’s Long Island Chapter and has been Steamboat Bill’s New York editor since 1982, retiring with the Fall 2010 issue of PowerShips.  Additionally, he has also been vice chairman of the World Ship Society’s Port of New York Branch and is active in numerous other maritime organizations.  Mr. Duffy’s commitment and passion to maritime affairs and history have indeed helped to advance the mission of SSHSA.

Ship of the Year Award-2010:  The first Ship of the Year award was given to the S.S. United States, in recognition of her significance as the flagship of the American Merchant Marine from 1952 to 1969, and also for ongoing efforts to showcase and preserve the extraordinary design and engineering that made her the fastest and yet safest ocean liner built to date.  She was built in the years 1950-1952 by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, and was constructed according the U.S. Navy specifications.  The United States entered service with a top speed of 38 knots.  Her maiden voyage took place in July 1952, during which she broke both east and westbound transatlantic speed records, records that have yet to be broken by any other commercial vessel.  Withdrawn from service and laid-up in 1969, her future was, for a time, uncertain.  Over the past 40 years, many attempts had been made to secure a future for the United States.  She had been berthed in Philadelphia since 1996, and under a steady threat of scrapping.  However, recently a $6 million gift was given with the intent of preserving the United States for years to come.  This award recognizes her historical significance, but also the hard work and dedication of her supporters and fans, which have helped give the United States a more positive outlook.   

Ship of the Year Award-2010:  The second Ship of the Year award was given to the steam yacht Cangarda in recognition of her significance as a rare example of an operational American steam yacht, as well as to honor the perseverance and vision required to complete a historically accurate restoration of the 100 year old vessel.  Cangarda had a very successful career, like the United States, and also spent considerable time in disrepair.  She was built in 1901at the Pusey and Jones Shipyard in Wilmington, Delaware, after which she had a very successful private career through World War II.  During the war she was a Royal Canadian Navy training ship.  After the war ended, she spent much time on the Great Lakes, and was then sold to owners from New England.  There, her steam engine and various fittings were removed for the purpose of restoration, a project that fell to the wayside and almost ended with her ultimate demise after she capsized at a pier in Boston in 1999.  Her hull had been successfully raised but was determined to be beyond repair.  Her owners then used advanced 3-D laser technology to scan the hull and produce a digital blueprint of her original lines, which were used to create a new welded steel hull.  This new hull was launched in 2007, and between 2007 and 2010 her restored steam plan, original deckhouse and interior joinery, among other original fittings, were installed.  Cangarda’s rebirth is a true testament to the dedication and perseverance of her owners to keep maritime history alive for the coming generations.  This is a sure example of what the mission of SSHSA strives for.

SSHSA Award Winners 1945 to 2009

Click here to read about past Award winners over the course of SSHSA's history. 


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