Type C5 class ship

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SS Curtiss, a type C5-S-78a class ship

The Type C5 ship is a United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) designation for World War II breakbulk cargo and later a container ship for containerization shipments. The first type C5 class ship was a class of ships constructed and produced in the United States during World War II. The World War II C5 class ship was dry bulk cargo ship built by Bethlehem Steel in Sparrows Point, Maryland. Bethlehem Steel built 8 ship in this bulk cargo class and four orders were canceled. The C5 class ship has a DWT of 24,250 and was 560 feet long. The C5 was mainly used as iron ore carriers. The C5 was needed to replace other ships that sank during WW2. First in her class was the SS Venore, USMC #1982, delivered on 20 July 1945. Type C5 class ship designed to fill the need to move iron ore from Santa Cruz, Chile, to Sparrows Point, Md., through the Panama Canal, a round-trip trip 8700 nautical miles.[1][2] Post World War 2 four ships were given C5 class type C5-S-78a, these were roll-on/roll-off container ship built by Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc. of Pascagoula, Mississippi and operated by the Moore-McCormack Lines. The C5-S-78a had a deadweight of 16,000 tons.[3][4]

Ships in class[edit]

  • Ordered during World War 2
  • C5-S AX1 C5 Iron ore carriers, 1948.[5]
    • Venore, USMC #1982, Hull 4411, scrapped 1970
    • Marore, USMC #1983, Hull 4412, scrapped 1970
    • Lebore, USMC #1984, Hull 4413, converted to container ship 1966, scrapped 1972
    • Feltore, USMC #1985, Hull 4414, converted to container ship 1967, scrapped 1971
    • Chilore, Hull 4445, scrapped 1970
    • Santore, Hull 4446, scrapped 1970
    • Cubore, Hull 4457, scrapped 1980
    • Baltore, Hull 4458, converted to barge in 1981

  • Post World War 2[6]
  • C5-S-78a Container Ship 1968
    • SS Curtiss (T-AVB-4) laid down on 1 April 1968 at Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc. of Pascagoula, Mississippi as SS Mormacksky, Maritime Commission type C5-S-78a.
    • SS Mormacstar, a Maritime Administration, Roll-on/Roll-off Container Ship. renamed: SS Red Jacket, SS American Rapid, SS Rapid, Cape Nome, and Cape Nome (AK-1014), 3 April 2002, laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, James River Group.[7]
    • SS Mormacsea 1969 Roll-on/Roll-off Container Ship, renamed Defiance in 1978, renamed American Rover in 1982, renamed Rover in 1983 and scrapped in 1993 at Alang.
    • SS Mormacsun 1970 Roll-on/Roll-off Container Ship, renamed SS Young America in 1970, renamed SS Wright (T-AVB-3) in 1986, in active service.


  • C5-S-37e conversions
  • Some C3-S-37a Cargo Ships were modify in 1970s to a new C5-S-37e design by the Todd Shipyards Corp., Galveston, Tx. Class C3 was lengthened by 97.5 feet to be a class C5.[9][10][11]
    • James Lykes 1960, scrapped in 1995.
    • Joseph Lykes 1960, scrapped in 1996.
    • Zoella Lykes 1960, scrapped 1995 at Alang.
    • John Lykes 1960, scrapped 1995 at Alang.
    • Thompson Lykes 1960, rebuilt into a barge in 1994.[12]

SS Cape Girardeau, a C5-S-75a at Alameda
  • C5-S-75a built by Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Co., Newport News, Virginia for the American Mail Line Ltd.of Seattle, Washington as break bulk cargo or Container ship, with 21,600 shp at 15,950 tons, 21.0 knots. The largest general cargo liners at its time, 1969.[15]
    • Alaskan Mail 1968, renamed SS Cape Girardeau 1978, then SS Cape Girardeau (T-AK 2039) in 1988. National Defense Reserve Fleet since October 2008[16]
    • Indian Mail renamed SS Cape Gibson (AK-5051), National Defense Reserve Fleet since August 2016
    • Korean Mail built 1969, scrapped 1995.
    • Hong Kong Mail built 1968, renamed SS Wilson in 1978, scrapped June 2008.
    • American Mail (1969) later renamed SS Cleveland, scrapped 2009
Former Merchant Marine Academy flagship SS Cape Gibson, ex-SS Indian Mail a C5-S-75a
SS Cornhusker State (T-ACS-6), ex C.V. Stag Hound, a C5-S-73b conversion

WW2 Specifications[edit]

  • Length, overall 583 feet
  • Breadth, molded 78 feet
  • Draft, molded, 34
  • Deadweight 24,250 tons
  • Shaft horsepower, normal 11,000
  • Max speed, 16 knots
  • Miles before refueling 12,00 nautical miles
  • Capacities: Cargo holds, 420,284 cu ft
  • Fuel oil, forward, full 5,719 bbl
  • Fuel oil, aft, full 7,894 bbl
  • Crew 49 officers and men and deck gun crew of 14.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ sname.org, Ore Carrier S.S. Venore, 1945, by Robinson H F; Worthen E P
  2. ^ shipbuildinghistory.com C5
  3. ^ shipbuildinghistory.com, Ingalls Shipbuilding, Inc.
  4. ^ usmaritimecommission.de, The C5-Designs and his Conversions
  5. ^ usmm.org, United States Maritime Commission C5 and R (Refrigerated) Type Ships
  6. ^ shipbuildinghistory.com C3 and C5
  7. ^ navsource.org SS Mormacstar
  8. ^ shipbuildinghistory.com, Roll-on/Roll-off Container
  9. ^ shipspotting.com, James Lykes
  10. ^ /james.htm, wellandcanal.ca, James Lykes
  11. ^ usmaritimecommission.de, The C5-Designs and his Conversions
  12. ^ Lykes Brothers Steam Ship Company / Lykes Lines, New Orleans, Tampa, 1898-2005
  13. ^ Toppan, Andrew (2003). "Bath Iron Works Production Record, Part 3". Hull 277 and later. Hazegray Shipbuilding Pages. Retrieved April 23, 2010.
  14. ^ Export Freedom
  15. ^ navsource.org, SS American Mail
  16. ^ navysite.de, Alaskan Mail
  17. ^ SS Venore

Photo gallery[edit]