Liberty And Victory Ships

victory shipsThe Victory ships were a major part of the Allied thrust in the Pacific during the last eighteen months of World War II. They supported the great battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa, then brought thousands of servicemen home again in “Operation Magic Carpet.” But the fast, versatile Victory ships were also built for the future, and for decades were a mainstay of the merchant fleets of the United States and her wartime allies. Victorys supported the atomic bomb tests, scientific expeditions to the Antarctic, supply missions to the Arctic, the space missile program. They stood by during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Arab-Israeli war and supplied the U.S. military during the Korean and Vietnam wars.

This comprehensive work is the result of five years’ research by Capt. Jaffee into government records, published works, oral histories and other sources. It is everything known about all 534 Victory ships: how the Victory ship program developed; design and specifications; when and where built; engine, operator, wartime and postwar history; every name and owner the ship sailed under; what finally happened to each ship. Special chapters on the three Victory ship museums. All the ships (and all names they became known under) are cross-referenced and indexed.

This is a large-size, reader-friendly book, with clean type on high-quality paper, and avoids codes and abbreviations.

THE VICTORY SHIPS from A (Aberdeen Victory) to Z (Zanesville Victory)

by Capt. Walter W. Jaffee.

  • Hard cover, 8 ½ x 11, 416 pp., 300+ photos & illus., biblio., index.
  • ISBN 978-1-889901-37-4
  • Price: $120

SS Jeremiah O'BrienThis second edition is a new history of the Liberty ship Jeremiah O'Brien. Built in 56 days, launched in the midst of World War II, she was expected to serve for five years at most — if she was lucky. This new edition spans the O'Brien's historic voyages from the battlegrounds of Europe and the North Atlantic, the awesome preparations for D-Day and 11 landings on the beaches of Normandy. Then across a half century to her second life as a national landmark and her return to Normandy in 1994. As the last survivor of the great D-Day armada, she was the “centerpiece” of the 50th Anniversary events in England and France.

The History of a Liberty Ship from the Battle of the Atlantic to the 21st Century

by Capt. Walter W. Jaffee.

  • Hard cover, 416 pp., 200+ photos & illus., biblio., index
  • ISBN 978-1-889901-45-9.
  • Price: $35

Action in the South AtlanticThis is the story of one of the most remarkable sea battles of World War II: a lone American Liberty freighter with one World War I-era cannon and a few machine guns, taken by surprise by two heavily-armed German warships. In a fierce twenty-two minute battle, under heavy attack, aflame and sinking, the Stephen Hopkins guns kept firing, destroying the raider and damaging the blockade runner. It is a story of extraordinary valor under the direst of circumstances.

ACTION IN THE SOUTH ATLANTIC; the Sinking of the German Raider Stier by the Liberty ship Stephen Hopkins.

by Gerald Reminick.

  • Hard cover, 6 x 9, 320 pp., 100+ photos, charts & illus., biblio, index
  • ISBN 978-1-889901-38-1
  • Price: $29.95

Recipes from a Coal-Fired StoveThis book is the complete account of the losses suffered by the American-flag merchant fleet, including ships and personnel, during World War II. The losses began on November 8, 1940 and ended on August 14, 1945 when Japan surrendered. But, even after hostilities ended, American ships sank after hitting drifting mines. The battle raged over all the world’s oceans. American merchant ships were ordered to sail alone to the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, and the Indian Ocean. They went via the Panama Canal, the west coast of South America, and the Straits of Magellan. Others were convoyed as far as Trinidad, then sent across the South Atlantic alone. Hundreds of ships crossed the Pacific alone, headed for the Pacific Islands under Allied control, Australia or even India.

Included are 820 ships and over 6,600 merchant seamen who lost their lives.

A CARELESS WORD…A NEEDLESS SINKING; A history of the tremendous losses in ships and men suffered by the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II 1941-1946.

by Capt. Arthur R. Moore.

  • Hard Cover, 8th printing, updated to 1998
  • 8 ½ by 11, 550 photos, casualty lists
  • Library of Congress Card Number: 82-73552
  • Price: $100