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ONWARD
Pictured as: the Charleston (Amherst-Madison) Photo by: Unknown

Built in 1947, by Hillman Barge of Brownsville, Pennsylvania as the Onward for the O.F. Shearer and Sons Company of Cincinnati, Ohio.

In 1965, she was acquired by the Ohio River Company of Cincinnati, Ohio. Where she was renamed as the Robert W. Lea.

In 1965, the tug was acquired by the Riverways Corporation of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Where she was renamed as the Flagship.

In 1970, she was acquired by the South Point Barge Company of South Point, Ohio. Where she was renamed as the Mike J.

In 1971, the tug was later by the Madison Coal and Supply Company of Charleston, West Virginia. Where she was renamed as the Charleston.

In 2010, the Madison Coal and Supply Company, become Amherst Madison Incorporated of Charleston, West Virginia. Where the tug retained her name.

Repowered in 1997. She driven by two Caterpillar 3512 diesel engines. With Caterpillar reduction gears, at a ratio of 4.22:1. She is a twin screw push boat, rated at 2,400 horsepower.
(Birk Thomas)


  • Vessel Name: ONWARD
  • USCG Doc. No.: 254269
  • Vessel Service: TOWING VESSEL
  • Trade Indicator: Coastwise Unrestricted
  • Call Sign: WDE2141
  • Hull Material: STEEL
  • Ship Builder: HILLMAN BARGE & CONSTRUCT
  • Year Built: 1947
  • Length: 135.7
  • Hailing Port: CHARLESTON, WV.
  • Hull Depth: 7.5
  • Hull Breadth: 28
  • Gross Tonnage: 299
  • Net Tonnage: 299
  • Owner:
    AMHERST MADISON INC
    2 PORT AMHERST DRIVE
    CHARLESTON, WV 25306
  • Previous Vessel Names:
    Onward, Robert W. Lea, Flagship, Mike J.
  • Previous Vessel Owners:
    O.F. Shearer and Sons, Ohio River Co., Riverways Corp., South Point Barge Co., MADISON COAL AND SUPPLY COMPANY INC, AMHERST MADISON INC