SS Frontenac Victory

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SS Frontenac Victory was a Victory ship built for the War Shipping Administration late in World War II under the Emergency Shipbuilding program. It saw service in the European Theater of Operations in the Atlantic Ocean during 1945, and in the immediate post-war period. SS Frontenac Victory was part of the series of Victory ships named after famous cities, this particular ship was named after the city of Frontenac, Missouri. It was a type VC2-S-AP2/WSAT cargo ship with the United States Maritime Commission (MCV) -"Victory"; hull number 625, shipyard number 1597 and built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation in Baltimore, Maryland.[1] [2]

SS Frontenac Victory was one of many new 10,500-ton class ships to be known as Victory ships, designed to replace the earlier Liberty Ships. Liberty ships were designed to be used solely for World War II, whereas Victory ships were designed to last longer and to serve the US Navy after the war. Victory ships differed from Liberty ships in that they were faster, longer, wider, taller, and had a thinner stack set farther toward the superstructure; in addition, they had a long raised forecastle.

World War II[edit]

On March 1, 1945, the Frontenac Victory collided with the SS Lone Jack, a gasoline tanker carrying millions of gallons of high octane gasoline, necessary in war efforts against Nazi Germany. The two ships had departed from the U.S. and were sailing in the Atlantic Ocean with supplies for the War in Europe; both were part of the Battle of the Atlantic. They collided at 37.42N 57.53W, about 1,000 miles East of Virginia. They both put out distress calls for help. A convoy returning to New York City heard the calls for help, the returning convoy was about 150 nautical miles from the two damaged ships when it received the distress calls. Captain Poole, Task Group Commander, decided to send two of the convoy's destroyer escorts- the USS Hammann and USS Robert E. Peary- to help. This gave the convoy less protection from potential attacks.

The Frontenac Victory had a 30-foot hole in her bow, but did not sink, the Lone Jack had a 30 feet square hole in her side, causing her Steam engine room to flood quickly. Due to the rough seas, the destroyer escorts could not help the ships when they arrived, other than to protect them from potential enemy U-boats. Late in the afternoon of March 2, the Captain of the Lone Jack gave the order to abandon ship as the ship had no power and was adrift.

The next day, on March 3, the Lone Jack was still afloat and a team from the USS Hammann was sent to check its seaworthiness, after examination, it was declared she may be worth saving, though she was low in the water. Two salvage tugs, the USS Kiowa and USS Escape, towed the Lone Jack back to port.

The USS Hammann escorted the three ships back to the USA, the Frontenac Victory returned to the US under her own power, and under the protection of the USS Robert E. Peary. The Frontenac Victory was repaired and put back in service.[3][4][5][6] After the war, in 1947 Frontenac Victory was laid up, "temporarily idle", at James River as part of the National Defense Reserve Fleet.

Korean War[edit]

SS Frontenac Victory served as a merchant marine ship supplying goods for the Korean War. About 75 percent of the personnel serving in the Korean War were delivered by the merchant marine ships, the SS Frontenac Victory transported goods, mail, food, and other supplies. About 90 percent of the cargo was moved by merchant marine ships to the war zone, the SS Frontenac Victory made trips between 1951 and 1952, helping American forces engaged against Communist aggression in South Korea.

Frontenac Victory made 11 trips to Korea, participated in the Hungnam redeployment and took supplies to Pusan.[7][8][9] On December 22, 1952, the Frontenac Victory rescued the crew of 36 off the SS Quartette, a Liberty Ship, the day before the SS Quartette steamed into the Pearl and Hermes Atoll, part of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands at her top speed of 10.5 knots.

High winds and rough seas pushed her on to a coral reef, which damaged the two forward cargo holds, the Quartette was on the way from Galveston, Texas to Pusan, Korea with 11,250 tons of milo yellow grain.[10] A new war started in the Far East and the Frontenac Victory would be removed from the Reserve Fleet again in 1950.[11][12] Edited By Sakariye Aw Cali Cartan

Vietnam War[edit]

In 1966, Frontenac Victory was reactivated for the Vietnam War and Weyerhauser SS Company was operated.

In 1973, after the war, she was laid up Suisun Bay's National Defense Reserve Fleet; in 1985, she was scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Victory Ships by shipyard". Retrieved 2006-08-10. 
  2. ^ Mariners The Website Of The Mariners Mailing List. Victory Ships
  3. ^ USS Robert E. Peary, DE-132, Destroyer Escort]
  4. ^ -histories/b/burrows-iii.html Burrows III (DE-105)]
  5. ^ The Daily News from , Pennsylvania · Page 3, August 23, 1945
  6. ^ -histories/burrows-iii.html Burrows III (DE-105)]
  7. ^ Korean War Educator, Merchant Marine, Accounts of the Korean War
  8. ^ Small United States and United Nations Warships in the Korean War, By Paul M. Edwards
  9. ^ Hungnamships
  10. ^, SS Quartette, Liberty Ship
  11. ^ The Waco News-Tribune from Waco, Texas · Page 1, December 23, 1952
  12. ^, Liberty Ship SS Quartette, December 21, 2014


  • Sawyer, L.A. and W.H. Mitchell. Victory ships and tankers: The history of the ‘Victory’ type cargo ships and of the tankers built in the United States of America during World War II, Cornell Maritime Press, 1974, 0-87033-182-5.
  • United States Maritime Commission: [1]
  • Victory Cargo Ships [2]