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Old 06-16-2012, 03:36 PM
R. Dale Flick R. Dale Flick is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,570

*DK/DQ continuing scenario & drama*
Hi, Jim & steamboating colleagues,
Jim, you're right about the continuing events with both DK/DQ well out of the realm of later 'steamboat romance and nostalgia.' At the end of W.W. II, both boats laid up in the Naval Reserve Fleet in Suisin Bay, Calif., were for all practical purposes considered 'white elephants.' Capt. Norvin Fay, now in control of RIVER LINES [See previous postings], doubted either boat could be operated with any profit due to now post war operating costs, labor etc. even on a limited seasonal basis. Freight and passengers now lost to autos, trucks, trains. Originally, 'night boat' service all year with passengers/freight paid the bills. Formerly top eschelon in the golden days of the CALIFORNIA TRANSPORTATION CO. lived very well with all expenses paid, chauffeur driven company cars, 'gifts' of automobiles to the top brass. Even the Pittsburgh 'Shovel King' John W. Hubbard couldn't equal that back here on our rivers. The Maritime Commission [Whether we like it or not] stepped in with control over the two steamers. There was a 'duel' of sorts between Capt. Tom Greene and other bidders here and in Asia.

The horrors of W.W. II had left the European and Asian theaters in dire condition to build up from the bottom railways, shipping, manufacturing, basic food and other infrastructure for millions. This continued from 1945 well up to 1952/1953--and I can well recall some of it. The KING was outbid above Capt. Tom for $60,168 by Southeast Asia Importing/Exporting Co. of Siam. The pre W.W. II river steamboat fleets in Asia were the largest in the world and most built by DENNY BROS., Dumbarton, Scotland. Fabrication/assembly of both QUEENS were nothing new to DENNY. Nearly all Asian vessels lost/destroyed in the Asian/Pacific war. Before this the estimated market value of both the KING & QUEEN had fallen as low as $5,000 + or -. What's that tell you?

Tom Greene and Fred Way both met Chok Roang of Asian Importing Co., who realized he'd bought unseen a boat with a flat bottom etc. "A pig in a poke" Fred Way later wrote to me. The KING was bantered around to be either scrapped, used as a floating cannery or, in time, sold to KITMAI Co. Alaska/Aluminum Co. of Canda, as a housing/barracks vessel. Engines stripped out leaving only the boilers to provide steam for the long, cold season in that region. It's a long story and we'll go no further here. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC featured this in a period issue of the day that is a real collector's item. I have two NG copies here. Photo/coverage shows the boat with crew bunked in in depths of a hard, long winter. All the rest, as they say, is history. Well, what do I know?

R. Dale Flick
Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati
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