SS Maritime Victory

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SS American Victory.jpg
VC2-S-AP2 type ship
Name: SS Maritime Victory
Builder: Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard, Baltimore
Launched: May 1945
Acquired: 18 June 1945
Renamed: USAT Pvt. Frederick C. Murphy, 1950
Identification:IMO number8636049
Fate: Beaumont Reserve Fleet (until April 2006); awaits scrapping summer 2006 in Brownsville, Texas
General characteristics
Type: Victory ship
Displacement: 7,607 long tons (7,729 t)
Length: 455 ft (139 m)
Beam: 62 ft (19 m)
Draft: 28 ft 6 in (8.69 m)
Propulsion: Allis-Chalmers cross-compound steam turbine with double reduction gears, 6,000 hp (4,474 kW) at 100 rpm
Speed: 17 knots (31 km/h; 20 mph)
Range: 23,500 mi (37,800 km)
Capacity: 500,000 cubic feet (approx.)
Complement: 62 Merchant Marine and Navy Armed Guard
USAT Maritime Victory

SS Maritime Victory, hull number 821, VC2-S-AP2/WSAT, renamed USAT Pvt. Frederick C. Murphy, was an American Army troop transport which saw duty just after World War II.

The Maritime Victory was unusual in that as an AP2 vessel, the cargo holds were converted for troop berthing (though with reduced cargo-carrying ability) and topside cargo handling gear was retained. A total of 97 such VC2-S-AP2 conversions were planned, 84 completed.[1]

On July 5, 1946 the ship was returned to the U.S. Army. On August 30, 1946 it was put into the reserve fleet and renamed USAT Pvt. Frederick C. Murphy on February 10, 1950 the in honor of World War II Medal of Honor recipient Frederick C. Murphy.[2]

As one of the last surviving ships of her kind she received extensive documentation by the National Park Service in 2006, which produced the archival record Private Frederick C. Murphy HAER Report.


Construction and operation[edit]

She was launched at the Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards on Tuesday, 22 May 1945, sponsored by J. Buell Snyder, wife of Congressman Snyder.[3] Delivered on 18 June 1945, she was transferred to the Army War Department as an Army Transport. She was operated under contract by the American South African Line.[2]

In Army service[edit]

The Maritime Victory was delivered to the USAT as a transport in June 1945. The ship made several crossings carrying troops from the European Theater of Operations, especially between Le Havre and New York. From Le Havre she often left from the area known as the Cigarette Camps as part of Operation Magic Carpet to take US troops home.

The ship, having been launched only days after V-E Day was primarily designed to transport troops both to and from Europe. While the main use of the ship was to transport troops, the ship was also used for humanitarian efforts in the immediate post-war time period. The ship made several crossings of the Atlantic. Many of the ships used to transport troops to Europe in the early days of the war were lost or functionally worn out. The Victory ship was newer and faster than the Liberty ships. When it was time to bring troops home the net transfer was mostly in moving troops from Europe to America instead of the other way around.

Some transportation of food and supplies were made in a role as a cargo ship to provide relief to the war torn countries of Europe, especially Germany.

Ready Reserve Fleet and scrapping[edit]

Maritime Victory at Brownsville, Texas, June 2006

The ship was preserved in mothball status at the Beaumont Reserve Fleet in Beaumont, Texas. It was laid up in 1950. From 1983 to about 1990 the Fredrick C. Murphy was used as the fleet utility ship at Beaumont Reserve.[2] In this role some offices were maintained aboard the ship.

The National Park Service's Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) visited the Private Frederick C. Murphy in 2006 to document the ship.[1]

As of 2006, the ship has been removed from inventory of Beaumont Reserve. It is now located at Esco in Brownsville, Texas and awaits scrapping. Scrapping may be complete as soon as September 2006.

Known sailings[edit]

Date From - To Purpose
? October 1945–26 October 1945 Marseille, FranceNew York City Transport 1,969 troops.[4]
? November 1945–24 November 1945 Marseille–New York Transport 1,648 troops[5]
3 December1945–18 December 1945 Le Havre–Newport News, Virginia Transport 1,436 troops, including 2877th Military Police Battalion.[6]
? ? 1946–7 January 1946 New York–Le Havre, France Arrived to pick up troops.[7]
7–19 January 1946 Le Havre–New York Transport approximately 1,500 members of the 84th Infantry Division (some elements).[7]
? ? 1946–15 February 1946 Le Havre–New York Transport 1,014 troops, including 23rd Base Post Office, 45th Field Hospital, three nurses and five civilians.[8]
? ? 1946–22 March 1946 Southampton, England–New York Transport 989 troops, including 1196th Engineer Base Depot, 3231st Quartermaster Service Co., 813th Ordnance Base Depot Co., 713th Engineer Depot Co.[9]
? ? 1946–18 April 1946 Le Havre–New York Transport 879 troops, including 123rd Armored Ordnance Maintenance Battalion, 345th Quartermaster Co.[10]
17–26 May 1946 Bremerhaven, Germany–New York Transport 102nd Infantry Division (Ozarks), 405th Infantry Regiment.
17 June 1946 – 25 June 1946 Le Havre–New York Transport 1,363 troops.[11]
26 July 1946 – 4 August 1946 Bremerhaven–New York Transport of 1,317 troops.[12]
15 August 1946–? ? 1946 New York–?, ? German war prisoners.[13]
? September 1946–10 September 1946 Bremerhaven–New York Transport 1,237 US soldiers back to United States.[14]
? October 1946–14 October 1946 Bremerhaven–New York Transport 1,388 US soldiers back to United States.[15]
22 October 1946–? October/November 1946 New York–Livorno, Italy Transport US Occupation troops to Europe.[16]
? November 1946–18 November 1946 Livorno–New York Transport 1,244 troops.[17]
5 December 1946–? December 1946 New York–Bremerhaven Transport troops.[18]
23 December 1946 – 2 January 1947 Bremerhaven–New York Transport US soldiers back to United States (some US Army Occupation troops).
20 January 1947–? January/February 1947 New York–Bremerhaven Sailing to Europe.[19]
? ? 1947–21 February 1947 Bremerhaven–New York Transport 832 troops.[20]
10–12 March 1947 New York–Portland, Maine To arrive at Portland for loading Maine seed potatoes for shipment to Germany for planting in the American and British Occupied Zones. Sailing was to take place a few days later.[21]
27 March 1947–? March 1947 Portland–Germany Transport of 4,000 tons of Maine seed potatoes.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "HAER for Private Frederick C. Murphy" (PDF). United States Maritime Administration. Retrieved 6 August 2013. "In the summer of 1945, eighty-four VC2-S-AP2 Victory ships, including the Maritime Victory, were converted into troopships by MARITIME VICTORY the U.S. Maritime Commission in preparation for an assault on the Japanese home islands. The ship made several crossings of the Atlantic Ocean and was used to repatriate American troops from Europe after World War II. pp. 1-2
  2. ^ a b c Maritime Victory ship history at US DOT Maritime Administration [1] Amer. So. African Line, Inc.
  3. ^ The Evening Standard, "The Local Events of Other Years", p. 4, 19 May 1955
  4. ^ Chester Times, 26 October 1945
  5. ^ Nebraska State Journal, 24 November 1945
  6. ^ Moberly-Monitor-Index, 18 December 1945
  7. ^ a b Paris Stars and Stripes, 8 January 1946
  8. ^ Moberly-Monitor-Index, 15 February 1946
  9. ^ Joplin Globe, 22 March 1946
  10. ^ Moberly-Monitor-Index, 15 February 1946 and Joplin Globe, 18 February 1946
  11. ^ Moberly Monitor-Index, 25 June 1946
  12. ^ Denton Record-Chronicle, 4 August 1946
  13. ^ Fulton Patriot, 15 August 1946
  14. ^ The Lima News, 10 September 1946
  15. ^ The Paris News, 14 October 1946
  16. ^ Wisconsin State Journal, 22 October 1946
  17. ^ Alton Evening Telegraph, 18 November 1946
  18. ^ Wisconsin State Journal, 5 December 1946
  19. ^ Wisconsin State Journal, 20 January 1947
  20. ^ Moberly Monitor-Index, 21 February 1947
  21. ^ Portland Press Herald, 7 March 1947
  22. ^ Portland Press Herald, 27 March 1947

External links[edit]