The Sinking of the SS Daniel J. Morrell on Lake Huron, November 29, 1966

Bethlehem Steel is the company I worked for. in the 70’s.

Mining Awareness +

Daniel J. Morrell

On November 28, 1966, Bethlehem Steel’s 60 year old, 603 foot (184 m), freighter, the SS Daniel J. Morrell, was ordered on a final run from Buffalo to Taconite Harbor, Minnesota to pick up a load of taconite iron ore. This was late in the year and a bad time to set sail on the Great Lakes. Forty-seven years ago today, November 29, 1966, the Daniel J. Morrell broke in two, during a storm on Lake Huron, and sank, killing 28 of its 29 crewmen. It had been recognized since at least 1963 (perhaps as early as 1958), subsequent to research, that pre-1948 (high carbon, low manganese) steel became brittle and risked quickly cracking in two in temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10C), especially under stress. The waters were 33 degrees fahrenheit (1 C).

According to Thompson (2000),”They had known for some time that steel used to build ships…

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