Great Lakes BoatsPhoto Du Jour

The Walter A. Sterling – 1962

Today’s photo comes from reader John S., who’s father took this photo of the Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Co.’s Walter A. Sterling sailing past the Detroit skyline in 1962.

The Walter A. Sterling, was launched as the U.S.S. Chiwawa, in 1942. She worked in the convoy’s crossing the Atlantic and by the time she was decommissioned in 1946, had won two battle stars.

The Chiwawa was rebuilt in 1961, and converted to lake service in Lorian, OH, and she was renamed the Walter A. Sterling. In 1985 the ship was sold by Cleveland-Cliffs to the Ford Motor Co., and the ship was renamed as the second version of the William Clay Ford.

Ford sold the ship in 1989, and it was again renamed as the Lee A. Tregurtha. She is still sailing the Great Lakes today under this name.

For full information about this ship and the history, see this link over at

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