SS Bozeman Victory

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Typical Victory Ship.
United States
Name: SS Bozeman Victory
Namesake: Bozeman, Montana
Owner: War Shipping Administration
Operator: Alaska SS Company for WW2
Builder: Oregon Shipbuilding Company
Laid down: November 3, 1944
Launched: December 9, 1944
Completed: February 17, 1945
Fate: Sold to private 1946, scrapped 1972
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)
Draft: 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 Bozeman Victory was a Victory ship built during World War II under the Emergency Shipbuilding program. It was built and launched by the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation on December 9, 1944 and completed on February 17, 1945. The ship's United States Maritime Commission designation was VC2-S-AP3 and hull number 151 (1205). She was built in just 106 days. The Maritime Commission turned it over for Merchant navy operation to a civilian contractor, the Alaska SS Company under the United States Merchant Marine act for the War Shipping Administration. [2] She was named after the city of Bozeman, Montana.

Victory ships were designed to supersede the earlier Liberty Ships. Unlike Liberty ships, Victory ships were designed to serve the US Navy after the war[3] and also last longer. The Victory ship differed from a Liberty ship in that they were: faster, longer and wider, taller, and had a thinner stack set farther toward the superstructure. They also had a long raised forecastle.


Bozeman, Montana City Commission and the War Committee of the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce asked Alice Dahl to christen the SS Bozeman Victory in Portland, Oregon. Alice had helped the war effort by selling bonds, working with the Red Cross and USO. Alice Dahl christened the Bozeman Victory in Portland on December 9, 1944. Alice Dahl was a gold star mom, a mom who had lost sons or daughters in military service during the war. [4] [5][6]

World War II[edit]

Bozeman Victory served as an ammunition ship in the Pacific War. Bozeman Victory departed Mukilteo, Washington with ammunition to supply troops at Okinawa for the Battle of Okinawa. The Battle of Okinawa was 82 days, lasted from April 1 until June 22, 1945. On April 28, 1945 a Japanese assault demolition boat causes extensive damage to the Bozeman Victory. US Navy gunboats were credited with keeping the ships at the bay off Okinawa safe. But a Japanese explosive speedboat slipped through. Bozeman Victory was hit at 2:10am while at anchor. Bozeman Victory hull plates were badly damaged near cargo hold #4. Six crew members were injured in the attack. Some of propeller shaft bearings were cracked in the hit, these immobilized the ship. This damage was bad, but none of the ships cargo, 6,000 tons of ammunition was damaged. The explosive speedboat may have been a Kaiten, a suicide torpedo, or Midget Submarine.[7][8]

On the same day kamikazes damage four destroyers, USS Wadsworth (DD-516), USS Daly (DD-519), USS Twiggs (DD-591) and the USS Bennion (DD-662); also the USS Bennion (DD-662) was damaged by aerial attack. Also on April 28, the hospital ships USS Pinkney (APH-2) and USS Comfort (AH-6) were hit by kamikaze crashes. [9]

Three Victory ammunition ships sank in action at Okinawa after kamikaze attacks: SS Canada Victory on April 27, 1945, SS Logan Victory on April 6, 1945, and the SS Hobbs Victory on April 6, 1945. The loss of the three Victory ships severely hurt the combat forces. The three ships were carrying a total of 24,000 tons (54 million pounds) of ammunition; including most of the 81 mm mortar shells needed for the invasion of Okinawa.

The ammunition ship SS Saginaw Victory arrived April 12, 1945, at Okinawa to replace the ammunition lost on the three ships. The Bozeman Victory and SS Saginaw Victory became the main ammunition ships in the Pacific War. More ammunition ships were not needed as the war came to an end without the invasion of Japan, called Operation Downfall.[10] Forty-seven ships were sunk by kamikaze attack during World War II.[11][12]

Private use[edit]

In 1946 the Bozeman Victory was sold to Compañía Argentina de Navegación Dodero, Buenos Aires, Argentina and renamed SS Campero. In 1949 she was sold to Flota Argentina de Navegación de Ultramar, Buenos Aires. In 1961 she was sold to Empresa Líneas Marítimas Argentinas, Buenos Aires. In 1972 she was scrapped at Campana, Argentina. [13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Babcock & Wilcox (April 1944). "Victory Ships". Marine Engineering and Shipping Review. 
  2. ^ Merchant ships Victory ships
  3. ^ "Liberty Ships and Victory Ships --Setting the Stage". Retrieved 2017-03-17. 
  4. ^ Women of the Homefront: World War II Recollections of 55 Americans edited by Pauline E. Parker, page 139
  5. ^ The Dahl Family’s World War II Experience Patriotism, Sacrifice, & Victory, by Rachel Phillips, July 1, 2016, When the United States entered War
  6. ^ Billings Gazette Newspaper, Mar 20, 1955, p. 15
  7. ^ Robin L. Rielly Kamikaze Attacks of World War II a Complete History of Japanese Suicide Strikes on American Ships, By Aircraft and Other Means 2010, page 249
  8. ^ United States Merchant Marine Casualties of World War II, By Robert M. Browning, Jr., page 374
  9. ^ World War Two - Day by day account, April 28th, 1945
  10. ^ US Navy, Armed Guard Service
  11. ^ "kamikaze Attackes". 
  12. ^ "47 Ships Sunk by Kamikaze Aircraft". 
  13. ^ Victory ships


  • 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]