SS Frontenac Victory

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SS American Victory.jpg
VC2-S-AP2 type Victory ship
Name: SS Frontenac Victory
Namesake: Frontenac, Missouri
Owner: War Shipping Administration
Operator: Agwilines Inc.
Builder: Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard Corp. Baltimore, Maryland
Laid down: November 16, 1944
Launched: January 18, 1945
Completed: February 14, 1945
Identification:IMO number5121988
Nickname(s): victory
Fate: Scrapped in 1973
General characteristics
Class and type: VC2-S-AP3 Victory ship
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 ft (6.2 m) propeller
Speed: 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
4 Lifeboats
Complement: 62 Merchant Marine and 28 US Naval Armed Guards
Notes: [1]

SS Frontenac Victory was a Victory ship built for the United States 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 cities; this particular ship was named after the city of Frontenac, Missouri. It was a type VC2-S-AP2/WSAT cargo ship with the U.S. Maritime Commission (MARCOM), "Victory" (MCV) hull number 625, shipyard number 1597, and built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation in Baltimore, Maryland.[2][3]

SS Frontenac Victory was one of many new 10,500-ton vessels 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, had a thinner stack set farther toward the superstructure and had a long raised forecastle.

World War II[edit]

On March 1, 1945, Frontenac Victory collided with the gasoline tanker SS Lone Jack in the Atlantic. The two ships had departed from the US with supplies for the war in Europe, when they collided at 37.42N 57.53W, about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) east of Virginia. Their distress calls were heard by a convoy returning to New York City. The convoy was about 150 nautical miles (280 km; 170 mi) away and its task group commander, Captain Poole, sent two of the convoy's destroyer escorts: USS Hammann and USS Robert E. Peary.

Frontenac Victory had a 30-foot (9.1 m) hole in her bow, but did not sink. Lone Jack had a 30-foot-square (9.1 m) hole in her side, causing her steam engine room to flood. Due to 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 Lone Jack gave the order to abandon ship as the tanker had no power and was adrift.

On March 3, Lone Jack was still afloat and a team from USS Hammann was sent to check its seaworthiness. After examination, it was declared she was worth saving, though she was low in the water. Two salvage tugs, USS Kiowa and USS Escape, towed Lone Jack back to port. USS Hammann escorted the three ships back to the US.

Frontenac Victory returned to the US under her own power, and under the protection of USS Robert E. Peary. Frontenac Victory was repaired and put back in service.[4][5][6][7] After the war, in 1947, Frontenac Victory was laid up 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 and 90 percent of cargo to the war zone was delivered by merchant marine ships. SS Frontenac Victory transported goods, mail, food, and other supplies, making 11 trips between 1951 and 1952. Frontenac Victory participated in the Hungnam redeployment and took supplies to Pusan, Korea.[8][9][10]

On December 21, 1952, the Liberty ship SS Quartette steamed through the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands when high winds and rough seas pushed her onto a coral reef, damaging the two forward cargo holds. On December 22, Frontenac Victory rescued its crew of 36. Quartette had been bound for Pusan with 11,250 tons of milo yellow grain.[11][12][13]

Vietnam War[edit]

In 1966 Frontenac Victory was reactivated for the Vietnam War and was operated by the Weyerhauser SS Company. In 1973, after the war, she was laid up at Suisun Bay's National Defense Reserve Fleet. In 1985 she was scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Babcock & Wilcox (April 1944). "Victory Ships". Marine Engineering and Shipping Review. 
  2. ^ "Victory Ships by shipyard". Retrieved 2006-08-10. 
  3. ^ Mariners The Website Of The Mariners Mailing List. Victory Ships
  4. ^ USS Robert E. Peary, DE-132, Destroyer Escort]
  5. ^ -histories/b/burrows-iii.html Burrows III (DE-105)]
  6. ^ The Daily News from , Pennsylvania · Page 3, August 23, 1945
  7. ^ -histories/burrows-iii.html Burrows III (DE-105)]
  8. ^ Korean War Educator, Merchant Marine, Accounts of the Korean War
  9. ^ Small United States and United Nations Warships in the Korean War, By Paul M. Edwards
  10. ^ Hungnamships
  11. ^, SS Quartette, Liberty Ship
  12. ^ The Waco News-Tribune from Waco, Texas · Page 1, December 23, 1952
  13. ^, 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]