Richard M. Marshall
Photographed on 19 July 1954 while she was sailing upbound on the Detroit River approaching the Ambassador Bridge. HARRY W. CROFT can be seen sailing down bound behind her. Photograph by Elmer Treloar.
Richard M. Marshall was built at Bay City, Michigan in 1952/53 by the Defoe Shipbuilding Company for the Great Lakes Steamship Company of Cleveland, Ohio. After her christening, she departed Cleveland on 5 August 1953 on her maiden voyage to Duluth, Minnesota where she later loaded her first cargo of iron ore pellets.
In January of 1957 the Great Lakes Steamship fleet was sold to the Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. RICHARD M. MARSHALL was chartered to the Wilson Marine Transit Company of Cleveland, Ohio and renamed JOSEPH S. WOOD in May of 1957. Service under Wilson though was sporadic and she spent several subsequent seasons in layup.
In 1966 she was purchased by the Ford Motor Company and renamed JOHN DYKSTRA (1). She returned to service on 14 May 1966 when she set out from Dearborn, Michigan for Marquette, Michigan to load iron ore pellets for Ford's Rouge steel plant.
She was renamed BENSON FORD (2) early in 1983, however; on 16 December 1984 she was retired at Detroit, Michigan after only 2 seasons under this name. In 1985 BENSON FORD was renamed US.265808 and on 18 August 1986, after being sold for scrapping, she departed River Rouge, Michigan under tow on 28 November. She spent the winter of 1986/87 in the Welland Canal first at Humberstone then at Thorold where she was utilized as a storage facility for salt.
Finally on 12 June 1987 the tugs GLENADA and TUSKER towed her out of Thorold, down the Welland Canal and on to Quebec City, where she joined the retired United States Steel steamer T.W. ROBINSON. On 11 August the Polish tug JANTAR (a veteran of many scrap tows) departed Quebec City with US.265808 and T.W. ROBINSON in tow and on 22 September they arrived safely at Recife, Brazil. There the two lakers were cut up for scrap.
BENSON FORD went for scrap many years before her time like so many others.