KECW SS Lane Victory

22nd July 2008, 10:31
The other night I watched part of an Amercian TV program called NCS which was about a problem at sea and involved the US navy. One camera angle was of the bridge and near one of the bridge wing doors was the call sign KECW. Other camers angles were of the ships internal compartments and electrical switch boards etc.

The next night I googled KECW and found out the ship was the SS Lane Victory which is a restored WW11 ship. I would like to congratulate the many who worked many a long hour to restore the vessel and get it sea worthy again. I also found the website for the SS Lane Victory.

The program ended with the US navy sinking the ship. Just as well it was only a TV program.


non descript
22nd July 2008, 11:06
Statistics tend to mislead rather than inform, so I am hugely wary of taking any figures as gospel, but as far as I can see, out of the 414 Victories built during World War II, we are left with just three: the SS Lane Victory in San Pedro, California, and the SS American Victory, in Tampa, Florida, and the Red Oak Victory berthed in Richmond, California.

Is this a correct figure or have I missed the point?

non descript
22nd July 2008, 11:23
In passing, I see that your good friend Lane Victory has an excellent write-up here (

kewl dude
23rd July 2008, 05:06
Being located in San Pedro California Lane Victory is the closest museum ship to Hollywood. MOST Hollywood made movies and television programs that need a ship use the Lane.

Greg Hayden

23rd July 2008, 09:33
Thanks for the additional info


K urgess
23rd July 2008, 10:10
I like the 360 degree views in your link, Greg.
I'll never complain again about how small some of my radio rooms were. (EEK)


1st September 2008, 22:31
To fill in a few blanks...
The thirteen emergency American shipyards set up by President Roosevelt turned out a total of 534 Victory Ships between 1944 and 1945 (nealry 3,000 Liberty Ships were produced by these yards between 1940 and 1944, and that does not take into account the tankers and troopships that the emergency shipbuilding program built either). Of the 534 Victories, only 16 remain afloat as of the last count. Unfortunately, 13 are in the lay-up fleet and earmarked for scrapping unless a miracle occurs like the ones that saved the other three Victory Ships. The AMERICAN VICTORY is in Tampa, Florida and houses a great museum within her hull. Some major structural alterations to allow this museum have been made. The RED OAK VICTORY is currently being restored by a group of volunteers in Richmond, California. She is not yet ready for sea. So, of the 534 original Victory Ships that were built, only the LANE VICTORY in San Pedro is certified to go to sea and is as original as the United States Coast Guard will allow her to be. She was obtained, restored and is maintained and operated by a crew who receive no pay. We are all voulnteers from the Captain and President of the United States Mercant Marine Veterans of World War II on down the list. We do it to keep the ship alive. As long as the LANE VICTORY remains afloat and operable, she is a living memorial to the nearly 6,000 American Merchant Mariners who did not come home in the Second World War. We will be taking her out to sea two more times this year, on September 27 and agian on September 28. Seeing her under steam power sailing through the Santa Catalina Channel is an incredible thing to experience. Here's to many more years ahead of successful voyaging for the LANE VICTORY...
Gordon Ghareeb,
Deck Department,

2nd September 2008, 03:11
Here's a shot of the Lane Victory I took last year.

2nd September 2008, 10:48
yankecliper--Gordon Ghareeb--is exceedingly modest in his post about the contributions of the volunteers on the Lane Victory, of which he is one of the most active. When doing consulting on volunteer management, I often use LV as an illustration of volunteerisim at its best. I strongly encourage anyone visiting the Los Angeles area to visit the ship and to learn not only about its proud history, but that of the men who sailed on her and other merchant marine ships in WWII. Then go a few blocks south and see the Merchant Marine Memorial. We don't do enough in the U.S. to show our appreciation for the group that had the highest casualty rate in securing our freedom those years ago.

Keep up the good work, Gordon and Greg and all my other friends across the bridges from here in Long Beach. And everyone across the country and across the pond: come visit this masterfully preserved vessel--and remember our wartime Merchant Mariners (as I know we all do on this site).


26th March 2009, 22:09
In the 1970s I sailed on two Victory Ships belonging to the Military Sealift Command (The U.S. Equivalent of Britain's Royal Fleet Auxiliary). They were the survey ship USNS Bowditch (T-AGS-21) and the cargo ship USNS Pvt. John R. Towle (T-AK-240). Although a great deal has been written and said about Liberty Ships, the lesser-known Victory Ship was a far better vessel and probably one of the most under-appreciated ship designs ever created. Although Victory Ships were considered to have served their purpose if they managed to survive a single voyage, many quietly continued to perform their functions for more than three decades. The Bowditch, built in 1945, continued sailing until 1987 and is said to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for having steamed more miles than any other ship in history. During the Korean War a Victory cargo ship, the SS Meredith Victory, was awarded the only Gallant Ship Award of the Korean War after evacuating more than 14,000 civilian refugees in a single trip.

Many Victories were modified for to perform special functions, such as the Bowditch, and the spy-ship USS Liberty that the Israelis attacked (and failed to sink) in 1967. However, the old USNS Towle that I sailed on in the late 1970s (formerly the SS Appleton Victory) was the very last Victory Ship still operating in it's original configuration as a general cargo carrier. She was finally laid up in 1980 after more than thirty-five years of tramping all over the world from Peru to the Persian Gulf, and from Greenland to the Antarctic. The construction of the Victory Ships can truly be said to represent a rare instance when the tax payers really got their money's worth.