S.S. Marine Robin Then and Now
Among the many small pieces of history on CBI - Remembering the Forgotten Theater is a typewritten newsletter
from the S.S. Marine Robin.
The “Round Robin” newsletter (this particular one dated November 28, 1945) was intended to keep homeward bound soldiers informed of
what was happening on the ship and in the world.
The soldiers returning from the CBI Theater were cut off from any communications with the outside world during the voyage from Calcutta.
After arriving in Seattle on December 1, 1945, the soldiers would have scattered for various parts of the country and most probably
gave very little thought to the “Robin” ever again.
In the 75 years since the war, most of those CBI veterans who made the trip aboard Marine Robin have now passed on.
One might think that the Robin, too, was gone; at some point reaching the end of its usefulness.
That's not quite the case.
In April of 1946 the Robin completed its final voyage as a troop transport.
After a few years in mothballs, a need for ships for Great Lakes iron ore transport resulted in its sale and conversion into an ore freighter.
By 1952 the conversion was complete and the former S.S. Marine Robin became the S.S. Joseph H. Thompson, at the time the largest
freight ship on Earth.
The Thompson continues in Great Lakes ore service to this day.
S.S. Joseph H. Thompson in 1952 after conversion from Marine Robin
NOW - S.S. Joseph H. Thompson (after additional conversion) in Great Lakes service