S.S. Universe Defender Type Ships

S.S. Universe Defender
S.S. Universe Defender, first of two similar ore carriers built by National Bulk Carriers, Kure Shipbuilding Division.
( Photo by V. H. Young and L. A. Sawyer)

S.S. Universe Defender Type Ships

These two similar ships were built in the last two years that National Bulk Carriers operated the yard in Kure. Not listed here with these two ships is S.S. Argyll, another of similar dimensions that included a self-unloading system. Ulysses was designed to operate as either an oil tanker or an ore carrier, with 11 cargo compartments on each side which were suitable for oil and ore. Three large cargo pumps of 6,200 gallons per minute capacity provided the ability to transfer cargo rapidly and efficiently. Propulsion consisted of a 15,000 horsepower GE turbine geared to a single shaft, giving a service speed of 15 knots.

Although not the last hull number used by the yard, Ulysses was the last ship completed by National Bulk Carriers, Kure Shipbuilding Division before it ceased operations in 1963. The yard was then turned back over to Japanese management, although it appears that Ludwig maintained a significant interest there. Over the next few years, he purchased several ships built by Kure Zosensho and later Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries (IHI), which eventually took over the Kure yard.

Ship Hull# Built GRT DWT Length Beam Comments
Universe Defender 96 1962 34,696 57,644 793'6" 106'3" Oil/ore carrier. Engine made 1943, boilers made 1941, fitted 1962.
Ulysses 97 1963 34,696 57,829 793'6" 106'3" Last ship built in Kure by National Bulk Carriers. Engine made 1943, fitted 1963.

S.S. Ulysses
A view of the deck arrangement on S.S. Ulysses as seen from the pilot house.

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Created by A. Davis Whittaker, Jr.
Last updated on 21 February 2005.