Liberty ships

forthbridge
22nd June 2011, 13:45
Article from 'The Maritime Advocate On Line' which members may find interesting.


. Liberty Ships

Our good friends in the Hellas branch of Wista, the women in shipping and trade association, have sent in this piece of writing by Dimitris Capaitzis which traces the war-surplus origins of many a modern shipping empire:-

In 1940 a British Mission, headed by R. C. Thompson, went to the USA and Canada to propose the building of
their EMPIRE LIBERTY Design 10,000 dwt, ‘Scotch’ Cylindrical Boilers, Reciprocating Steam Engines, 2500
BHP, 10 Knots, 25 tons/day. From 1940 to 1945 various Canadian Yards built 300 of this type, all riveted. These
were the EMPIRES or FORTS or PARKS.

In the USA, the Maritime Commission partly modified the design to allow for extensive welding, prefabrication,
series production, assembly line methods, a single ‘block’ deck house midships and water-tube boilers. New
TODD and KAISER shipyards originally built 60, called OCEANS, at about $1,600,000 each, followed by 200
on the ‘Emergency Liberty Fleet’ programme in all US Yards, which established the LIBERTY name for this
EC2-S-CI type standard design. New yards and more slipways were built and productivity records achieved.
For purposes of wartime propaganda the ROBERT PEARY, in late ‘42, was launched four days and 15.5 hours
after keel laying and delivered three days and 12 hours later. The first ship however, the PATRICK HENRY
in end ‘41, had taken a total of 245 days, the 20th 120 days and the 50th 58 days, which was maintained as an
average building time figure. Until 1945 about 2751 LIBERTIES were built which more than justifies the one
ship a day legend, but not one ship in one day. The other legend ‘good for one Atlantic voyage’ reflects the
enormous losses of the wartime convoys.

The LIBERTIES that survived and went on trading lasted 20 years and more. Now remaining are the
JEREMIAH O’BRIEN a museum in San Francisco - in 1995 she crossed the Atlantic to Europe for the VE day
celebrations - and the JOHN BROWN in Baltimore. The ALEXANDR NEVSKY a Russian training ship in
Vladivostok was recently scrapped. The ARTHUR HUDDELL, now HELLAS LIBERTY in Piraeus, will be
another proud reminder of great maritime traditions.

On the same wartime period the US also built about 500 VICTORY cargo ships – 18,000 tons dwt, steam
turbine, 6000 SHP 16 knots or 8500 SHP 17.5 knots and about 500 T2 tankers – 16,000 tons dwt, turbo-electric 7300 or 10,000SHP. All in all 5200 merchant ships were built in 1940-45 and shipbuilding acquired welding, standard design, prefabrication, series production and assembly line methods.

LIBERTIES were built by 18 USA shipyards on the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific coasts. There were 14 Engine
Makers and 9 Boiler Makers. They were dry cargo ships 10,850 metric tons deadweight, 14,470 metric tons
displacement, 135 metres long, 17.3 metres wide with 8.5 metres (27 feet 9.25 inches) draft. They were tween
deckers with accommodation and engine amidships, with 5 holds / hatches and 10-5 ton derricks and steam
winches. They had 2 oil fired water tube boilers and one triple expansion steam reciprocating engine, single
screw 2500 horsepower (1880 kw) and ran at about 10 knots on about 25 tons per day oil fuel.

The basic design was maintained and mass production achieved, but there were a few interesting variations.
Some were built specially to carry tanks, others aircraft and other mules or explosives. Some were built as
troopships and some as oil tankers. Six were converted into floating aircraft repairs depots. In Normandy in
1944 some were used as breakwaters for the Mulberry harbours. After the war about about 50 were lengthened
by 21 metres (1 hold).

More than 2,400 Liberties survived WW2. During the war most sailed under the Stars and Stripes. However
about 300 were handed over to other Allied nations under various Lend – Lease arrangements, 187 to Britain,
43 to Russia, 13 to Greece, 2 to Holland,12 to Norway, 7 to Belgium, 4 to China. In 1946 / 47 the Greeks were
permitted to purchase a block of 100 – including the wartime ones – at $ 650,000.- each. Owners paid 25%
down with the balance due over 17 years subject to 3.5% annual interest, with the unpaid amounts guaranteed by
the Greek Government. This was the start of the spectacular expansion post war of Greek Shipping.

About 1000 LIBERTIES traded after WW2. Around 450 were allocated to American shipping lines and the
remainder sold to foreign companies, including the Greeks. There were frequent changes in Ownership and
wide fluctuations in prices in the changing markets over the next 20 years. Some estimates were that about 750
LIBERTIES passed through Greek hands in that time.

The bad markets of the early 1960s had most of the remainders going for scrap and the emergence of the “LIBERTY replacements”. The stars were SD14s built in UK, Brazil and Greece and the Freedoms in Japan
and Singapore. About 180 of each were built and most were bought by Greeks.

lakercapt
22nd June 2011, 21:19
Very interesting article.
I sailed on two "Ocean" built ships belonging to Ropners.
One was coal burner and the other oil fired.
Very basic ships to say the least with no creature comforts.
Hard work for the crew on deck and the firemen & trimmers.

spongebob
22nd June 2011, 22:01
A good read and just after I watched a programme on the history channel about the same subject.
Did I read somewhere that it was Japans adoption of the Liberty ships mass production methods that allowed them to usurp the tradition British shipbuilding methods after the war.

Bob

tunatownshipwreck
22nd June 2011, 22:25
I've been told that a number of Libertys (as well as Victorys and T2s) were sold to Taiwan in the 1950s for $1.00 each. I suppose it could be true, but I'd like to know for sure.

randcmackenzie
22nd June 2011, 22:30
Small quibble - Victories were not 18,000 tons, somewhere around 10,000 I think.

stores
23rd June 2011, 00:51
An interesting article, but many mistakes, the Oceans were basically Canadian Forts, with same broken accommodation, had oil fired boilers, were same design but modified to be welded and All built in USA, Forts and Parks were all Canadian built, Empires were UK built except for 3 or 4 built in Hong Kong befor captured by Japan, others with Empire names were captured or confiscated axis ships. a few Liberties were all rivetted,

lakercapt
23rd June 2011, 13:23
An interesting article, but many mistakes, the Oceans were basically Canadian Forts, with same broken accommodation, had oil fired boilers, were same design but modified to be welded and All built in USA, ,

Sorry stores but some were coal burners.
Three scotch boilers with three furnaces each.
I spent some time firing them so I would not forget that. 220 psi when on the "blood"
Consumption about 40 tons of coal per day but slightly less if it was good coal (higher calorific value)
After a stay in port it was all hands shoveling ashes over the side.

John Timmins
23rd June 2011, 14:34
I sailed with an R/O that was so old, he had been the Sparks on a Pan American Clipper. At the start of WW II he and the rest of the crew ended up flying the Aleutians.....
Anyway, post war he bid at auction for the radio equipment on a T-2 tanker and won. The radio shack was stripped. Later he and friends bid on the entire ship and won that auction, at a fraction of the amount he paid for the radio and spare parts.
Then they sold the ship still docked where they bought it. The new owner had a problem...no radio shack.
"I told them I knew exactly where radio equipment was PLUS spare parts, and I sold the radios for more than we paid for the ship," he said.

stores
23rd June 2011, 15:17
Sorry stores but some were coal burners.
Three scotch boilers with three furnaces each.
I spent some time firing them so I would not forget that. 220 psi when on the "blood"
Consumption about 40 tons of coal per day but slightly less if it was good coal (higher calorific value)
After a stay in port it was all hands shoveling ashes over the side.

HI, Dont doubt your word, u fired them, so u must know, my info came from the book by mitchell and sawer, THE OCEANS, FORTS AND PARKS, just shows cant believe all u read, it states water tube boilers oil fired. but the forts were some coal, some oil, a few dual fuel. am allways willing to learn, only recently found out some liberties were rivetted, same as u, the man sailed on one, sent photos to prove. regards, tony.

Ron Stringer
23rd June 2011, 16:05
I sailed with an R/O that was so old, he had been the Sparks on a Pan American Clipper.

I knew Herb Blaker who also flew on Clippers over the Pacific as a radio operator. By the time I knew him he was retired and raising horses somewhere in Virginia, not far from Washington DC. Lovely guy but by now I fear he will have crossed the bar. Great company and a fund of stories about radio in prewar/postwar times.

E.Martin
23rd June 2011, 17:29
I sailed in 4 WW2 built ships,2 T2's,1 Fort boat and a Chant.
The T2's were good ships as was the Fort Boat,the Chant was the worst ship i sailed on.
I dont know if all the Fort boats did this dodging into a gale she would fill her self
up forrard then poop one and fill herself up aft.

IAN M
23rd June 2011, 18:16
You fellows should be interested in my book, LIFE ABOARD A WARTIME LIBERTY SHIP.

stores
25th June 2011, 00:31
HI, i never sailed on a coalburner, 18 months on a twin screw oil burner 2 scotch boilers, 3 fires on each, 220 lbs on the blood. triple expansion engines, like 2 big sewing machines, (Wave)

Wallace Slough
25th June 2011, 01:42
There were still a number of Liberty ships in service when I got out of the schoolship (1966), and I was always fascinated with them. Ugly ducklings as Roosevelt said, but they got the job done and helped win the war. If we were ever berthed near one, I'd always find the time to go and visit the ship. The crew on the Liberty Ship would always think I was a little nuts to come off a beautiful new Mariner ship to visit an old clunker, but as I said, I was always fascinated with them and their neat but antiquated up and down steam engine.

By the time I'd started piloting (1974), they were pretty much all gone and I never had the opportunity to pilot an active commercial Liberty. However, I've piloted the preserved Jeremiah O'Brien on many occasions, and she's a real sweetie. I recall one of the older river pilots telling me that besides being underpowered (2500HP) they had a small rudder and could be a handful in a big wind. He told the story of a Norther blowing in the Bay (a strong Northerly wind peculiar to our area with strong northerly winds for about 3 days before laying down). Three Liberty ships had been bound upriver for Stockton and couldn't make the hairpin turn at Prisoner's Point and all three ended up on the bank in the mud. They all laid there in the mud until the wind finally laid down after several days, then steamed on up to Stockton. If it happened today, it would have been a major incident with the envioro's having a tizy about some endangered bird being squashed and the peril of a potential oil spill!

I was reminded of this sea story on one occasion when we'd taken the Jeremiah out to Point Bonita for a memorial service. Wind was a strong NW'ly on the port bow as we conducted the service. Upon completion of the service, I popped her Full Ahead Hard Left and waited for the ship to VERY slowly come around into the wind. Needless to say, she made it!

stan mayes
26th June 2011, 00:03
A nice story Wallace...
I sailed in two Liberty ships - Sampep in 1945 and City of Ely ex Samarina in 1948.
Of Sampep we were involved in returning Army tanks and vehicles to Tilbury
from Antwerp -continual use of both jumbo derricks.
As we were in the Thames and Scheldt almost every day I do remember that
she was difficult to steer and needed a lot of helm movements.
I visited Jeremiah O'Brien in Chatham docks when she came over for the Annivesary of D Day a few years ago..
Much credit to the volunteers who are dedicated to her preservation..
Regards,
Stan

John Rogers
26th June 2011, 01:24
I sailed on two Forts,one had three boilers with three coal fires in each boiler,the other had the same set up but were oil fired. Compared to the coal burner it was like working in the bank.

John.

Wallace Slough
26th June 2011, 04:35
Stan:
Interesting story about loading tanks on the Sampep and continual use of the Jumbo booms. Were you able to keep the back stays rigged, or would you have to continually rig them also. Never done it on a Liberty, but I would think rigging the Jumbo plus the back stays would have been quite a job.

We loaded a 63 ton lift in New York on the President Jackson (Mariner Ship) with a 60 ton Jumbo. Of course, we had Jumbo Drill to rig the backstays and prepare for the load. I'll never forget the lift! It was January so it was really cold, and the steel on the runners and boom started to sing with a steady whine and the ship heeled over about 10 degrees. At the time, it was the largest payloader ever built headed for a mine and discharged in Singapore. The discharge seemed really easy in the warm temperatures versus the load in New York. The huge tractor took the entire lower hold on the ship.

howardws
26th June 2011, 09:27
During WW2 my father was in Seattle with HMS Warspite after she was damaged in the Mediterranean. He was her Senior CERA and was detached at one point, with some of his engine room staff, to man a new ship for delivery to Canada and collection by a Merchant Navy crew. She was steam recip and had pumps that speeded up and slowed down as the throttle was opened and closed. Has anyone any idea what type that would be? He claims that the grizzled old Cunard Chief who took over from him said of the automatics - "We're taking that bloody lot off"

chadburn
26th June 2011, 13:01
Not been on a Liberty so other's may know better than I, there are various pump's attached to VTE's including the Air and Ram pump's but I doubt he would dis-connect those, so, I have a feeling the Chief may be referring to an automatic lubrication system and he may have liked the old "Syphon" system better.

Klaatu83
26th June 2011, 16:05
I had the pleasure of sailing on two Victory ships during the late 1970s with the Military Sealift Command. One was the hydrographic survey ship USNS Bowditch (formerly the South Bend Victory) and the other was the cargo ship USNS Towle (formerly the Appleton Victory).

The Towle, which was still capable of maintaining 17 knots, had remained almost unchanged since World War II. stepping aboard her was like entering a time-warp. She was finally laid up in 1980, after over 35 years of hard service, from the Arctic to the Antarctic and everywhere in between. I believe she was the last original Victory Ship still in service.

The much-modified Bowditch was laid up in 1987, aged 42 years. I read somewhere that she is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for having steamed more miles than any other ship in history.

The Victories were simple, rugged, easy to handle and seaworthy. The only drawback was that, because nothing was automated on them, they required a fairly large crew (44). Nevertheless, the taxpayers certainly got their money's worth out them.

I also spent six months on another type of standard cargo ship from the same era as the Liberties and Victories, the somewhat larger C-4. They only built 75 of the C-4s, but most of them lasted a very long time. The one I was on was the Pittsburgh, which had been modified into a container ship. At that time, 1981, the ship was 37 years old, really beat, and could only manage about 14 knots.

In addition, I once had the opportunity to work briefly on a modified T-2 tanker, the Amoco Delaware. That was in 1983, when the ship was all of 39 years old. Like the Liberties, Victories and C-4s, the T-2s were steamers. However, the T-2s were unusual in having turbo-electric drive.

stan mayes
26th June 2011, 18:04
Wallace
While on that service Tilbury - Antwerp the jumbo derrick stays remained set up
as we carried tanks in No2 and No4 all the time and the vehicles were loaded into the other holds....they were loaded and discharged by shore cranes.
Two other Liberty ships 'Sam's', and three Fort types were also on the service
at same time.
Stan

Pat Kennedy
26th June 2011, 20:18
Small quibble - Victories were not 18,000 tons, somewhere around 10,000 I think.

You are right, the one Victory boat I sailed in was Blue Funnel's Myrmidon. which was 10750dwt.
Myrmidon was built in 1945 by Permanente Metals Corp, Richmond Ca as Ripon Victory for the USMC.
Holts acquired her in 1947 and kept her until 1971 when she was demolished in Taiwan
The accomodation for the deck crowd was very spacious, as she was originally designed to carry 28 anti aircraft gunners as well as the regular crew.
Pat(Thumb)

stan mayes
27th June 2011, 22:03
During April 1944 I was in the Neritina - Anglo Saxon tanker on
her maiden voyage from the Clyde on 7th December 1943.
We were in convoy HX 287 from New York for UK...
There were 72 ships in the convoy and 43 of them were Liberty ships,
an incredible sight..
Included was Jeremiah O'Brien and all ships were deeply loaded with war
materials and most of them had landing craft etc on their decks
I saw Jeremiah O'Brien and some of the other ships about three weeks
later off Omaha Beachhead Normandy..
I was then in another tanker Dolabella..
Stan

Wallace Slough
27th June 2011, 22:26
Stan:

Captain George Jahn, a former Red Stack Pilot, was Master of the Jeremiah O'Brien for her historic voyage in 1994 from San Francisco to Normandy for the 50 year anniversary of the landings. During the D Day Landings, he was Master of the SS William Matson, another Liberty Ship. Here's a short biography that was written at his death in 1999:

http://articles.sfgate.com/1999-02-02/news/17678620_1_jeremiah-o-brien-ship-pilot-pearl-harbor

I feel priviledged to have worked with him. It was true that when no other pilot in the bay would do a certain job, the company would turn to George and he always got the job done safely. A fine seaman and shiphandler.

stan mayes
27th June 2011, 23:45
Wallace,
Many thanks for that and for the link to Captain George Jahn,
A truly celebrated Master Mariner ...RIP.
When I visited Jeremiah O'Brien at Chatham Docks during the Anniversary
of D Day, I showed my Seamens Discharge Book to the ships Chief Officer
which records my service in the Merchant Navy all through the war.
He was impressed and presented me with a US WW2 SEA SERVICE VETERANS BADGE - I treasure it...
I will post it in the gallery..

Hank
28th June 2011, 18:09
I joined a Liberty in Garston in the early fifties for a trip round to Preston, expecting to sail in the morning and be home again that night so I was very jury rigged. However, the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley, and instead of going straight up the Ribble we anchored off for the night. During the night a bit of a breeze got up and the sea became a bit lumpy. At daybreak the Mate went forward to see how the cable was taking it. To his horror he found that whereas he had let go, say, four shackles the night before there were now seven shackles out, and even as he watched a bit more cable jumped over the gypsy as the ship pitched. So it was up anchor and off to Ramsey Bay to take shelter amongst all the coasters that were already there. It was quite a laugh to listen to the comments of their skippers on their radiotelephones at the arrival of the big fella amongst them. We couldn't respond because deep sea ships didn't have radiotelephones at that time. Anyway, the weather didn't get any better and after waiting for a few days we went back up the Mersey and docked in Garston again - five days after we left. Thus I learned the hard way never to tell the girl friend I'll be back for tea and never to join a ship jury rigged even if it was just to cross the river.
Anybody else ever find that the cable could jump over the gypsy on a Samboat?
John

kwg
14th September 2011, 19:49
USA Liberty Ships....

http://www.usmm.org/libertyships.html#anchor435563

Hamish Mackintosh
15th September 2011, 01:33
I spent close to nineteen months on the Ivybank(Walter Husband,Sam York) from 1949 to 1951, and I must say I found her a very comfortable sea ship,at least with the midd ship accomodation one could get to the bridge from the crews quarters dry, no running for your life along flying bridges, and I did not find her overly hard work on deck, with the number of trips for phosphate to Nauru and Ocean Island we did, we had quite a bit hatch board excercise, and derrick up and downers, and many times that was with "new" crew the old crew members having Jumped in NZ, but once a system was worked out, things got easy, unless of course the discharge port was Port Lincoln or some such hole in the wall

RayL
8th November 2011, 12:23
<<On the same wartime period the US also built about 500 VICTORY cargo ships – 18,000 tons dwt, steam turbine, 6000 SHP 16 knots or 8500 SHP 17.5 knots ...>>

Although I never caught actual sight of her, I've never forgotten an incident off Bangkok in Feb 1967 when 'Greenway Victory' was trying to inform the local station that she was approaching and would need to dock. I had to relay for her because she could not be heard by the station for some reason (my own ship, the 'Speybank', was parked in the bay awaiting entry and we were in that position for 4 days, I recall). The sparks on the Victory ship was VERY inexperienced and his sending speed must have been something like 2 or 3 w.p.m.

Is it agreed that Victory ships were closer to 10,000 tons dwt rather than 18,000?

Fairlane500
9th November 2011, 20:19
For those interested, a few more Liberties can be found still living, at least in part, out there.

The former Albert M. Boe is still relatively intact, but landlocked, serving as the cannery Star of Kodiak in Kodiak, Alaska (Seen here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/patrick47/2049035731/)).

The former Richard Henry Dana and Jane Addams have been cut down to near the waterlines and filled with concrete, but are still afloat as floating quays in Portland, Oregon. (The Dana is seen here (http://i717.photobucket.com/albums/ww179/pmgfoto/TRIBUNE/0604C_ShipsLeadStJohns.jpg).)

Nearby in Portland, parts of several Liberties supposedly can be seen protruding from the riverbank where they were used as landfill after the war. In addition, further up the Columbia, the hull of the Davy Crockett, a Liberty converted to cable-laying barge, was recently scrapped after being left derelict on the river. Seen here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ecologywa/5833715073/in/photostream), and here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ecologywa/5833733113/in/photostream).

Lastly, the former Charles H. Cugle is still afloat as the MH-1A (also known as Sturgis), a floating nuclear power plant in the US Reserve Fleet on the James River. In the background seen here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/67023141@N00/3969598153/).

Just thought I'd pass on a little bit of what I've managed to dig up.

tunatownshipwreck
10th November 2011, 00:17
Isn't there supposed to be a beached Liberty in Vladivostok?

Fairlane500
10th November 2011, 02:59
You might be talking about the Odessa, former Mary Cassatt (see here (http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/photo.php?lid=318537)). Unfortunately, as far as I've heard, she was scrapped within the past few years.

andysk
10th November 2011, 15:17
Does this count ?

http://www.strollingguides.co.uk/books/dorset/general/curiosities.php#stanpit

Name of orignal vessel unknown - unless someone here knows more ....

Fairlane500
10th November 2011, 16:12
Also, to add another couple relatively intact "survivor," the former Josiah G. Holland, later the Cygnet III, Batsi, and finally Ekaterini G, still in place where she ran aground on Alaska's Great Sitkin island. Seen here (http://www.amnwr.com/Shipwrecks/pictures/EkaterinaG2.html).

The former Francia A. Retka, later the Liberty Bell, I.R. Lashins, Southport, and lastly oduna before being lost on Alaska's Unimak Island in 1965. Seen here (http://xpda.com/aleutians/unimak/P1070533.jpg).

The former Richmond P. Hobson, later Nueva Esperanza, and lastly Trebisnjica, lost on Hogsty Reef, Bahamas in 1963. Seen here. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ss-richmond-p-hobson-shipwreck.jpg)

I can't confirm the current condition, but seventies-vintage photos show her to be relatively intact. The Francis Preston Blair, forced aground on Saumarez Reef in the Coral Sea. Seen here (http://thejohnharding.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/FPB-turtle-650x487.jpg)in 1974.

The former Allen G. Collins, later Lyon, basil II, and lastly Ever Prosperity, wrecked on New Caledonia in 1965. Seen here (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Q-PuSGjFHvY/SfNun3QVO8I/AAAAAAAAD5o/OmVP-hogCCo/s640/2007-07-18.jpg).

holland25
11th November 2011, 20:00
There is a preserved Liberty in Piraeus, I think I would have preferred looking at her than all the old stones in Athens.

jim garnett
30th March 2012, 08:16
I spent close to nineteen months on the Ivybank(Walter Husband,Sam York) from 1949 to 1951, and I must say I found her a very comfortable sea ship,at least with the midd ship accomodation one could get to the bridge from the crews quarters dry, no running for your life along flying bridges, and I did not find her overly hard work on deck, with the number of trips for phosphate to Nauru and Ocean Island we did, we had quite a bit hatch board excercise, and derrick up and downers, and many times that was with "new" crew the old crew members having Jumped in NZ, but once a system was worked out, things got easy, unless of course the discharge port was Port Lincoln or some such hole in the wall

I worked on the Ivy bank around that time as a fitter one ngine room repairs.All Liberty ships I worked on between 1947/1950 had oil fired water tube boilers(Foster Wheeler?)I was amazed in 1965 when travelling as a passenger on the Orcades at the number of Liberty ships still in service.They had a reputation for broken tail shafts due the critical speed of the shaft being to close to the shaft speed.
JIM GARNETT

Hugh Ferguson
30th March 2012, 12:53
The thumbnail is the Empire Capulet built by Redheads in 1943. She was a coal-burner and was soon to have her armament hugely increased for the Normandy landings. I was a middy in her for the last year of the war.

Hugh Ferguson
31st March 2012, 17:55
I love the thought that I sailed in a ship which has become a part of Maritime History: I guess that makes me the same!

jamesgpobog
1st April 2012, 03:50
All Liberty ships I worked on between 1947/1950 had oil fired water tube boilers(Foster Wheeler?)

Babcock & Wilcox are very common...

ernhelenbarrett
1st April 2012, 07:42
I sailed on two Ben Line Liberty ships, Benvrackie ex SamAffric and Bendoran ex Sam Dauntless in 1948-1952, they also had the Salmonier ex SamMont whidh I believe was built in Canada not the USA and she had wooden derricks. I found the Sam boats very comfortable in a sea but a bit hot on the Ben Lines Far East Service. Also when on HMAS Jeparit an MN ship taken over by the RAN
during the Vietnam War we used to see a French (I believe) Liberty which had run aground entering Vung Tau and was still there. It was still there in 1972 at the end of the Vietnam war
Ern Barrett

NoR
1st April 2012, 09:02
A good read and just after I watched a programme on the history channel about the same subject.
Did I read somewhere that it was Japans adoption of the Liberty ships mass production methods that allowed them to usurp the tradition British shipbuilding methods after the war.

Bob

I expect Daniel Ludwig's decision to build the first generation of VLCCs and bulkers there had a lot to do with it.
Of course our unions, management and govt can take some of the credit as well.

Binnacle
1st April 2012, 10:48
The US Liberty ship "Stephen Hopkins" has the distinction of being the only allied merchant ship to sink a German commerce raider and the only US ship to sink a German surface warship.. A spirited defence by a gallant crew.

http://www.usmm.org/hopkins.html

frank elliott
1st April 2012, 17:14
Ref. Hugh Ferguson. Yes,a part of Maritime history! Me too I suppose. was on the Liberty ship City of Leeds (GCDC) ex SamCrest of Ellerman + Bucknall in 1959. discharging and loading cargo Bristol,Belfast,Dundee,Bremen,Antwerp,
Glasgow,and Birkenhead while the regular r/o was on leave,he wanted back on that ship next voyage,so a good ship. However,had been on a T2 tanker also and can lay claim to both and for me - good ships. Frank

Mariner44
1st April 2012, 18:51
There is a preserved Liberty in Piraeus, I think I would have preferred looking at her than all the old stones in Athens.

I put some pictures on the thread about "Wartime built - empire" ships in Feb this year. I blagged a tour before the official opening as a museum ship. I declined a tour of the Athenian stones.

teb
2nd April 2012, 11:18
I sailed on "Samidway" in 1944 2voyages (18months)- must say after old BF ships the accommodation was 5 star!!!