SS Hobbs Victory

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Typical Victory Ship.
Name: SS Hobbs Victory
Namesake: Hobbs, New Mexico
Owner: War Shipping Administration
Operator: Sudden & Christenson
Builder: Permanente Metals Yard No. 1, Richmond, California
Laid down: November 10, 1944
Launched: January 9, 1945
Completed: January 9, 1945
Fate: Sank in battle April 6, 1945 Kerama Islands, Okinawa, with lose of 12.
General characteristics
Displacement: 7725 tons (light displacement)
Length: 139 m (456 ft)
Beam: 18.9 m (62 ft)
Draft: 7 m (23 ft)
Propulsion: Westinghouse steam turbines, single shaft, 8500 horsepower (6.3 MW)
Speed: 17.5 knots (32.4 km/h) maximum sustained, 21 knots emergency
Range: 12,500 nm at 12 knots
Complement: 62 Merchant Marine and 28 US Naval Armed Guards as Victory ship. *358 officers and men
Notes: [1]

SS Hobbs Victory was a cargo Victory ship} built for World War II under the Emergency Shipbuilding program. Logan Victory, was launched on January 9, 1945 by Permanente Metals Corporation, Richmond, California and completed on January 9, 1945. She was built in just 87 day. She was operated by the Sudden & Christenson for the United States Maritime Commission.[2][3]

World War II[edit]

The SS Hobbs Victory steamed from San Francisco, California in 1945 to join the Pacific war, stopping at Ulithi Atoll on her way to Okinawa. The SS Hobbs Victory had the dangerous job of delivering 6,000 pounds of ammunition for troops in the Pacific during World War II. The SS Hobbs Victory loaded with 6,000 pounds of ammunition and steamed to Okinawa for the Battle of Okinawa that lasted from 1 April to 6 April of 1945. On April 6, 1945, she was anchored off Kuba Island, just off Tokashiki Island and Aka Island near Okinawa. The SS Logan Victory, that was near the Hobbs Victory, also loaded with 6,000 pounds of ammunition, was hit and sunk by a Kamikaze attack plane in her superstructure. So the Hobbs Victory steamed away from the Hobbs at 15 knots. But another Kamikaze plane crashed into the Hobbs Victory at 6:50 pm. The plane hit her on the port side near the #4 lifeboat on the boat deck. The plane burst into flames and the fire grew. The fire blew up the port boiler, stopping the engine. Some lifeboats were lowered into the sea and the order to abandon ship was given. Due to the flames, some jumped overboard into the sea. A US Navy fireboat fought the flames, but the next morning there was a large ammunition explosion in her cargo and she sank at 26°05´N, 125°14´E. In the plane attack and fire 12 of the crew were killed, 11 of the civilian crew and one armed guard.[4] The US Navy minesweeper USS Success (AM-310) rescued the Hobbs Victory survivors and later transferred them to the attack transport USS Gosper. In an earlier attack off Kuba Island the USS LST447, (a Landing Ship, Tank) also sank. The SS Pierre Victory was hit and abandoned at Okinawa, but later repaired. All these ammunition ships: SS Hobbs Victory, SS Logan Victory, SS Pierre Victory and the USS LST447 were firing their deck guns and were able to stop some of the Kamikaze planes attacking. The Victory ships used their 3"/50 caliber guns, 20 mm Oerlikon cannons and at longer ranges the larger the 5 inch guns. The LST also had 20 mm Oerlikon cannons to use against the attackers. These ships with over 18,000 pounds of ammunition were anchored off Kuba Island, so they would not be anchored next to the other fleet ships at Okinawa. They were called in as needed to resupply the fleet and shore troops with ammunition. The SS Canada Victory also sank at Okinawa on April 27, 1945.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

The loss of the three Victory ships Logan, Hobbs and Canada, each sunk by kamikaze attacks during the invasion of Okinawa, severely hurt the combat forces during the invasion of Okinawa. The victory ships were carrying a total of 24,000 tons (54 million pounds) of ammunition. This including most of the 81 mm mortar shells needed for the invasion.

The ammunition ship SS Saginaw Victory arrived April 12, 1945 at Okinawa to replace the ammunition lost on the SS Hobbs Victory, SS Logan Victory and SS Canada Victory. More ammunition ships were not needed, as the war came to an end without the invasion of Japan, called Operation Downfall.[13] Hobbs Victory was one of forty-seven ships sunk by kamikaze attack during World War II.[14][15] On April 6, 1945 other US ships also sank of Okinawa due to Kamikaze attacks, three destroyers sank the: USS Bush (DD-529), the USS Colhoun (DD-801), and the USS Emmons (DD-457).


Crew of Naval Armed Guard on the SS Hobbs Victory' earned "Battle Stars" in World War II for war action during the assault occupation of Okinawa on 6 April 1945. She used her deck guns to defend herself and other ships.[16]

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]