Photo of the Week
August 7, 2022

Very interesting stories come from this photo that was in the scans I did of the Warren Smith collection of 35mm slides.  Sea-Land was the ground breaking company that started the shipping container business a started the multi-billion dollar enterprise around the world and the standard for the shipping empires on sea and land.  Here we have the Sea-Land ship Mayguez at one of the docks in Balboa Harbor.  Look at what this same dock is today.  Little did they know back when this photo was taken that one day Balboa Harbor would be a gigantic container port.  This is a very historic photo of Panama Canal history.  I remember seeing these SeaLand ships and containers when they frequented the Canal.

Wikipedia : 

"The original SeaLand was founded by Malcom McLean, an American trucking entrepreneur who revolutionized the shipping industry by packing goods in uniform containers (containerization) which could be transported quickly and seamlessly between different modes of transportation.[2] This process offered companies significant time and cost savings that facilitated distribution and expanded international trade.

On April 26, 1956, McLean introduced the world's first container ship, Ideal-X, which sailed from Newark, New Jersey to Houston, Texas with 58 aluminum trailers (containers) on its deck.

In April 1960, the company name was changed from Pan-Atlantic Steamship Corporation to SeaLand Service, Inc., an American international shipping company.

From 1967 to 1973, SeaLand became notable for delivering 1,200 containers a month to the Indochina peninsula during the Vietnam War, resulting in $450 million in revenues from the U.S. Defense Department.

From January 1969 to 1999, SeaLand was owned by R.J. Reynolds Co., CSX Corporation and others."


A story about the ship Mayguez.  As I wrote above the SeaLand shipping company became notable for delivering thousands of containers a month to the Indochina peninsula during the Vietnam War.  Well....

Two weeks after the fall of Saigon, on May 12, 1975, a Khmer Rouge patrol boat seized the U.S. merchant ship SS Mayaguez and its crew in Cambodian waters. President Ford, goaded by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, believed that the ship’s seizure provided an opportunity for the United States “to prove that others will be worse off if they tackle us, and not that they can return to the status quo. It is not enough to get the ship’s release.” One Pentagon official told Newsweek at the time, “Henry Kissinger was determined to give the Khmer Rouge a bloody nose.”

See more of this article from the website The Diplomat by clicking the link below:


I believe my life will return to a more normal life again after being fully immersed with the Panama Canal Society 2022 Reunion.  We put this reunion to bed yesterday with a post reunion board meeting.  Now it is time to start working on the 2023 Reunion....


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