SS United Victory

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United States
Name: SS United Victory
Owner: War Shipping Administration
Operator: American President Lines
Builder: Oregon Shipbuilding Company Portland
Laid down: 19 November 1943
Launched: 12 January 1944
Sponsored by: Mrs. Thomas Back, wife of the president of Crowell-Collier Publishing Company, which campaigned to get Victory ships into production[1]
Christened: 12 January 1944
Completed: 28 February 1944
In service: March 1944
Fate: sold to Furness Withy 1946
United KingdomUnited Kingdom
Name: SS Khedive Ismail
Operator: Khedivial Mail S.S. Company
Route: Alexandria - New York City
Maiden voyage: 15 March 1948
Renamed: Cleopatra 1956
Identification:IMO number5075945
United Arab RepublicEgypt
Acquired: United Arab Maritime Company 1961
Identification:IMO number5075945
Fate: Scrapped 1981
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: [2]

The SS United Victory was the first of 531 Victory ships built during World War II under the Emergency Shipbuilding program. She was launched by the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation on 12 January 1944, completed on 28 February 1944, and had her maiden voyage a month later. The ship’s United States Maritime Commission designation was VC2-S-AP3, hull number 85. The Maritime Commission turned her over to a civilian contractor, the American President Lines, for operation until the end of hostilities.

World War II[edit]

During World War II she served in the Pacific War, participating in the battle of Okinawa from 10 April 1945 to 19 April 1945. She used her deck guns to defend against attacking kamikaze aircraft while providing logistics support for the invasion of Okinawa. Some of the United States Navy Armed Guards were wounded when the ship was damaged on 16 April 1945, but there was no loss of life.[3]

Postwar service[edit]

United Victory was purchased by Furness Withy in 1946 and renamed Khedive Ismail after Isma'il Pasha. After refitting as a 8196-GRT 78-passenger cargo liner, she began service between Alexandria and New York City on 15 March 1948. She was renamed Cleopatra in 1956, but service to New York ended when she was nationalized by the United Arab Maritime Company in 1961.[4] She was acquired by the Egyptian Navigation Company in 1974, and scrapped at the Gadani ship-breaking yard in 1981.[5]


Crew of Naval Armed Guard on the SS United Victory' earned "Battle Stars" in World War II for war action during the assault occupation of Okinawa from 10 April 1945 to 19 April 1945. She used her deck guns to defend herself and other ship in action.[6]


  1. ^ Associated Press, "First Victory Ship Launched", The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Washington, Thursday 13 January 1944, Volume 61, Number 244, page 1.
  2. ^ Babcock & Wilcox (April 1944). "Victory Ships". Marine Engineering and Shipping Review.
  3. ^ Chronological List of U.S. Ships Sunk or Damaged during 1945, Ships sunk or damaged during 1945 -- 182 ships
  4. ^ Emmons, Frederick (1972). The Atlantic Liners 1925-70. New York: Bonanza Books. p. 151.
  5. ^ "Victory Ships - U". Mariners. World Ship Society. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Battle Stars" in World War II.


  • 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]