SS St. Lawrence Victory

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Typical Victory Ship.
United States
Name: SS St. Lawrence Victory
Namesake: St. Lawrence University
Owner: War Shipping Administration
Operator: Agwilines Inc.
Builder: Permanente Metals, plant No. 2
Laid down: January 25, 1945
Launched: March 7, 1945
Completed: March 31, 1945
Identification: IMO.5156220
Status: Sold several times, Scrapped in 1973
General characteristics
Class and type: VC2-S-AP3 Victory ship
Tonnage: 7612 GRT, 4,553 NRT
Displacement: 15,200 tons
Length: 455 ft (139 m)
Beam: 62 ft (19 m)
Draught: 28 ft (8.5 m)
Installed power: 8,500 shp (6,300 kW)
Propulsion: HP & LP turbines geared to a single 20.5-foot (6.2 m) propeller
Speed: 16.5 knots
Boats & landing
craft carried:
4 Lifeboats
Complement: 62 Merchant Marine and 28 US Naval Armed Guards
Notes: [1]

The SS St. Lawrence Victory (MCV-735) was a type VC2-S-AP2 Victory-class cargo ship built during World War II. The ship was built as part of the Emergency Shipbuilding program by Permanente Metals Corporation in Yard 2 of Richmond, in Richmond, California.

Early history[edit]

The SS St. Lawrence Victory's keel was laid on January 25, 1945, before being christened on March 31 of 1945. The St. Lawrence Victory was a Maritime Administration armed cargo ship, named for St. Lawrence University in St. Lawrence County, New York as one of 150 educational institutions which had Victory ships named after them.[2] Constructed for the Maritime Commission, this 10,600 ton ship was built at the Oregon Shipbuilding yards in just 65 days, she was operated by the Agwilines Inc. under the United States Merchant Marine act for the War Shipping Administration.[3]

Victory ships were designed to replace the earlier Liberty Ships. Liberty ships were intended to be used just for World War II; in contrast, Victory ships were supposed to last longer and serve the US Navy after the war. The Victory ship differed from a Liberty ship in that they were: faster, longer, wider, taller, and had a thinner stack set farther toward the superstructure as well as having a long raised forecastle.


The first mission of the St. Lawrence Victory was to deliver bombs to Saipan for the Pacific War. Loaded with her maximum weight of 10 kilotons of explosive material, the ship traversed the Pacific Ocean to Saipan, avoiding Japanese submarines by traveling in a zig-zag. The ship also employed stealth tactics by operating under radio silence and without running lights at night, after delivering her cargo, she proceeded to Seattle, arriving in July, 1945. On August 27 of that year, the St. Lawrence Victory joined Task Group 30.8, a Sea Logistics Group, tasked with delivering supplies to troops stationed on Guam.[4]

After the war, the SS St. Lawrence Victory served as a relief ship as part of the Marshall Plan, carrying supplies to war-torn European nations. The St. Lawrence Victory continued to serve in this capacity until March 25, 1947, when it hit a sea mine off the coast of Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia. With a damaged bow and in danger of sinking, she was deliberately run aground on Korčula Island before being towed to port at Split, Croatia. Afterwards, she was claimed by Yugoslavia as a marine salvage ship, eventually repaired and put into private use as a passenger ship.[5]

Japan surrender ceremony[edit]

The SS St. Lawrence Victory was one of only two civilian cargo ships in Tokyo Bay during the Surrender Ceremony of Japan on September 2, 1945, the other being the SS Winthrop Victory.[6][7]

Private use[edit]

In 1948, the St. Lawrence Victory was renamed the SS Zagreb for private operation as a passenger ship, operated by Jugoslavenska Slobodna Plovidba of Rijeka. The ship was damaged in 1961 after a collision with the Italian tanker, Fina Italia, 200 miles off the east coast of New York. In 1967, the SS Zagreb was sold to Adab S.A. of Geneva, renamed the SS Hrvatska in this role. The Hrvatska was managed by Dabinovic S.A. of Geneva and operated under the flag of Burundi.

The ship changed hands later in 1967, sold to Cia. Nav. Adriatica Ltda. of San Jose, Costa Rica, then again in 1968, sold to Soc. D'Avances Commerciales S.A. as the SS Armelle and flying a Somalian flag. The former St Lawrence Victory was sold once more In 1971 to Soc. de Gerance et de Transports Maritimes, Mogadiscio of Somalia before being scrapped in 1973, in Bilbao, Spain.[8][9]

See also[edit]



  • 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]