USAT Brigadier General M. G. Zalinski

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Name: SS Lake Frohna (1919–1924)
SS Ace (1924–1941)
USAT Brigadier General M. G. Zalinski (1941–1946)
Builder: American Ship Building Company, Lorain, Ohio
Yard number: 765
Launched: 1919
Fate: Sunk in storm, 26 September 1946
General characteristics
Type: Cargo ship
Tonnage: 2,600 GT (gross tonnage)
Length: 251 in (6.4 m)
Beam: 44 ft (13 m)
Depth: 26 ft (7.9 m)

USAT Brigadier General M. G. Zalinski was a U.S. Army transport ship that served in both World War I and World War II. It sank in 1946 in the Grenville Channel in British Columbia's Inside Passage. The crew were rescued by a tug boat and the SS Catala passenger steamer, but the cargo of bombs and oil went down with the ship. As of June 2006, planning is underway by Canadian officials to deal with the wreck, located near the site of the ferry MV Queen of the North which sank in February 2006.

Ship history

The ship was built as the Lake Frohna (hull number 765) at the American Ship Building Company in Lorain, Ohio as a cargo vessel for the United States Shipping Board, and was delivered in June 1919.[1] In 1924, she was sold to the Ace Steamship Company and renamed Ace. She changed hands again in 1930, being sold to the Terminals & Transportation Corporation of Duluth. Finally, in 1941, she became the Brigadier General M. G. Zalinski in the employ of the U.S. War Department.[2]


On 26 September 1946 the Zalinski was en route from Seattle to Whittier, Alaska, with a cargo of army supplies when she ran into the rocks of Pitt Island in the Grenville Channel, 55 miles south of Prince Rupert. The ship sank within twenty minutes, while her crew of 48 were rescued by the tug Sally N and the passenger steamer SS Catala. According to a report in The Vancouver Sun of 30 September 1946, at the time of her sinking she was transporting a cargo of at least twelve 500-pound (230 kg) bombs, large amounts of .30 and .50 caliber ammunition, at least 700 tonnes of bunker oil, and truck axles with army type tires.[3]


On 20 September 2003, the United States Coast Guard Cutter Template:USCGC reported an oil slick off Lowe Inlet. It was investigated by the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Tanu three days later, which obtained oil samples, but was unable to discover the source. In early October 2003, a commercial airline pilot reported further pollution. The Canadian Coast Guard confirmed the presence of the slick, and discovered that some three miles of shoreline had been affected. Again, no source was found, and the Coast Guard suspected that the oil could be surfacing from an old wreck.[2]

On 30 October 2003 a survey by a remote control underwater vehicle located the wreck. By mid-November, divers had been sent down twice to plug leaks in the hull. When investigations revealed that the ship was the Brigadier General M.G. Zalinski, and contained munitions, all operations were halted until an assessment was completed and the site declared safe. In January 2004 a warning was issued ordering mariners to avoid anchoring or fishing within 200 metres (660 ft) of the wreck, which is about 27 metres (89 ft) below the surface. The Canadian government is currently developing a plan to remove all the oil and munitions.[2]