SS Rushville Victory

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SS American Victory.jpg
VC2-S-AP2 type Victory ship
Name: SS Rushville Victory
Namesake: City of Rushville, Illinois.
Owner: War Shipping Administration
Operator: Dichmann, Wright & Pugh, inc.
Builder: Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard Corp.
Laid down: March 3, 1945
Launched: April 24, 1945
Christened: April 4, 1945
Completed: May 22, 1945
Renamed: Nikobar 1947, then Aydin 1954
Fate: Sold to private; sank 1958
General characteristics
Tonnage: 7,607 Tons (Gross), 4,551 Tons (Net)
Displacement: 15,200 Tons (Full Load), 10,8750 Tons (Lightweight)
Length: 455'
Beam: 62'
Draft: 28' 0"
Propulsion: 2 B&W oil-fired steam boilers, 2 steam turbines, single propeller, 6,000shp
Speed: 16 knots
Capacity: 1597 Troops

SS Rushville Victory was a Victory ship-based troop transport built for the U.S. Army Transportation Corps late in World War II under the Emergency Shipbuilding program. It saw service in the European Theater of Operations during 1945–1946 and in the immediate post-war period repatriating U.S. troops.

After being briefly laid up in the U.S., Rushville Victory was sold for private cargo shipping and sank in 1958.


Construction and operation[edit]

SS Rushville Victory was laid down on March 3, 1945 as a U.S. MARCOM Type C2 ship-based VC2-S-AP2, MCV hull #651, by Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard of Baltimore, Maryland.[3] She was launched on April 24, 1945 and later converted into a dedicated troopship.[4] [5] She was operated on behalf of USAT by Dichmann, Wright & Pugh, inc. The SS Rushville Victory was the last of the 50 Victory ships built by the Bethlehem Ship Corporation. [6] On the Savannah Waterfront at the Savannah Machine & Foundry Company converted six Victory cargo ships to troopships, including SS Rushville Victory. The conversion started on May 25, 1945, she was able to transport up to 1,500 troops to and from Europe. Her cargo holds were converted to bunk beds and hammocks stack three high for hot bunking; in the cargo hold Mess halls and exercise places were also added. As part of Operation Magic Carpet she took US troops home from Europe port cities known as Cigarette Camps.[7][8][9] Victory ships were designed to replace the earlier Liberty Ships. Liberty ships were designed to be used just for World War II. Victory ships were designed to last longer and serve after the war, the Victory ship differed from a Liberty ship in that they were: faster, longer and wider, taller, had a thinner stack set farther toward the superstructure and had a long raised forecastle.

World War II[edit]

As a transport allocated to the U.S. Army USAT, the Rushville Victory was crewed by United States Merchant Marines, protected by a contingent of the US Naval Armed Guards, and had a complement of the US Army Transportation Corps (Water Division) aboard for troop administration.[10] She was armed with a 5 inch (127 mm) stern gun for use against submarines and surface ships, a bow-mounted 3"/50 caliber gun and eight 20 mm cannon for use against aircraft.

World War II crossings[edit]

A few of her Atlantic Ocean crossings:[11][12][13][14][15][16]

In April of 1946, the Rushville Victory took German POWs from New York to Antwerp; this included the crews of the U-Boats U-530 and U-977.[17]

Near the end of 1946, with her Atlantic crossings completed, she was laid up in the James River in Virginia as part of the National Defense Reserve Fleet.

Private use and sinking[edit]

Rushville Victory was sold in 1947 to A/S Det Ostasiatiske Kompagni of Copenhagen, Denmark and renamed MV Nikobar. In 1954 she was sold to Deniz Nikilyati in Istanbul, Turkey and renamed SS Aydin. In 1955 she was sold to D. B. Deniz Nakliyati T.A.S. of Istanbul and kept her name. The Aydin sank on February 11, 1958, the Aydin had a collision with the MS Charles Tellier, owned by French Cie de Messageries Maritimes. After the collision she ran aground in the Schelde River near Antwerp to avoid sinking, she was abandoned and declared a total loss; her masts could be seen above the water line for many years.[18][19][20][21]


  1. ^ Vessel Status Card [1]
  2. ^ Babcock & Wilcox (April 1944). "Victory Ships". Marine Engineering and Shipping Review. 
  3. ^ Merchant ships Victory ships
  4. ^ Appendix B: Victory Troopship Conversions [2] Compiled from Roland W. Charles, Troopships of World War II (Washington, DC: The Army Transportation Association, 1947), Appendix E, pp. 356-357
  5. ^ Record of the Third Naval District Office of Port Director, Port of New York [3]
  6. ^ The Baltimore Sun from Baltimore, Maryland · Page 11, April 25, 1945
  7. ^ World War II on the Savannah Waterfront in the American Theater of Operations, Wartime Production and Service in Savannah, City of Savannah Research Library and Municipal Archives, page 3, August 29, 2008
  8. ^ baltimoresun, photo S.S. Rushville Victory Christening April 4, 1945
  9. ^ baltimoresun, photo S.S. Rushville Victory launching April 4, 1945
  10. ^ United States War Department (1944). FM 55-105. United States Department of War. p. 12 Section 14, Allocated Vessels, Diagrams following p. 64. 
  11. ^ A Small Town's Contribution: The Participation, Sacrifice and Effort of the War, page 17, By Randall M Dewitt
  12. ^ Benton Harbor News Palladium, October 12, 1945
  13. ^ History of the 313th Infantry in World War II, page 174, By Sterling A. Wood
  14. ^ Rupert Red Two: A Fighter Pilot's Life From Thunderbolts to Thunderchiefs, page 283, By Jack Broughton
  15. ^ The Pittsburgh Press from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 2, February 2, 1946
  16. ^, Barrier Daily Truth (Broken Hill, NSW), Dec. 25, 1945, Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia
  17. ^ Hirschfeld: The Secret Diary of a U-Boat NCO, 1940–1946, page 219, by Geoffrey Brooks
  18. ^ Mariners, The Website Of The Mariners Mailing List., Victory Ships
  19. ^ Wrecks: SS Aydin (Ajdin) [+1958
  20. ^ Photo of the sunken Aydin from the M/S "ANUNCIADA"
  21. ^, MS Charles Tellier