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Dr. Miles D. MacMahon

Dr. Miles D. MacMahon received the Marconi Gold Medal of Achievement in recognition of his accomplishments as a professor, university administrator and educational innovator. Dr. MacMahon, an alumnus of Hoffman Island, served as a radio operator aboard Liberty Ships and troopships in WW2. He was also an Army RADAR instructor before earning a doctorate in Physics from Rutgers and embarking on a distinguished career as a university physics professor at Rutgers and a professor, administrator and innovator at Essex County College. In an academic career spanning 25 years, Dr. MacMahon introduced many innovative programs to expand life-long learning beyond the classroom.

Dr. MacMahon writes:
"I have many photos of my voyage as radio officer on the Steel Artisan in the summer of 1959. We sailed from the Erie Basin and called at Latakia (Syria), Beirut, Alexandria, Aqaba, Jeddah, Hoddidah (Yemen), Djibuouti, Dammam, Bandar Shapour (Iran), Karamshah, Basra, Kuwait, Genoa, and back to NY. My photos include a set of 35mm slides showing the unoading of bags of wheat into dhows in Yemen and a crane lifting tanks from the hold in Iran. If you would like copies, please let me know how to transmit them and the format that you prefer. It would take some time to digitize them.

I have a crew list for that trip from the copy of the log that I obtained from the National Archives in New York. I assume that you know that logs, which show crew expenses in the slop chest and cash advances, as well as departure drafts, are on file at the archive office that covers the port at which the voyage ended. For most Isthmian ships this would be New York. Some time ago, the cost was ten cents a page. They usually black out the character reports."

Dr. MacMahon writes:
"When I cruised the Norwegian coast in late April, I visited the Lofoten War Museum in the port of Svolvær (which is above the Arctic Circle). The Lofoten World War Memorial Museum first opened 15th June 1996. It was a realization of a lifetime achievement and interest by its founder William Hakvaag. I spoke with Hakvaag and took some photos. I suggest that you visit the site at

Among the many uniforms and artifacts, almost hidden is an exhibit about the US Liberty ship Henry Bacon and, above that are two oars from the Isthmian Line SS Fairfield City.

The only other exhibit relating to the ships that passed through Norwegian waters enroute to and from the USSR, was a copy of a painting of the bombing of a convoy. It was mounted behind other items so it was hard to photograph.

Also included are Captain Moore's entries for the two ships.

I am sending the ships' information to the museum. Since the English in the exhibits is in need of refinement, I am also sending some suggestions."

Lofoten War Museum
26 April 2008

Lofoten War Museum Entrance

Lofoten War Museum Brochure

Lofoten War Museum Brochure

Oars from SS Fairfield City

SS Henry Bacon Exhibit

SS Henry Bacon Exhibit

The information and photos on this page are courtesy of Dr. Miles D. MacMahon © 2005.
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