Victory ship file photo (Lane Victory) [7075]

Victory-class Merchant Vessel

CountryUnited States
BuilderSix shipyards in the United States
Displacement15,200 tons standard
Length455 feet
Beam62 feet
Draft28 feet
Speed16 knots
Armament1x127mm gun, 1x76mm AA gun, 8x20mm Oerlikon cannons
Cargo Hold Depth11.5m


This article refers to the entire Victory-class; it is not about an individual vessel.

ww2dbaseVictory Ships were officially named on 28 Apr 1943. The first ship completed was the SS United Victory which was launched from Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation on 12 Jan 1944, followed by another 15 within the next four months. Production ramped up beginning in the second half of 1944, however, resulting in a total of 531 built by the end of the Pacific War. Most of them were equipped with weapons, but a number of them were built with military applications in mind; this sub-type received its own designation as the Haskell-class attack transports. Most of the Victory Ships were manned by the civilian sailors of the United States Merchant Marine, with armament operated by men of the Navy Armed Guard of the United States Navy; Haskell-class attack transports were considered purely military vessels, thus they were completely crewed by Navy sailors. Additional three Victory Ships built in 1946 increased total production count to 534. Detailed production numbers are as follows.

DesignationNotesQuantity Built
VC2-S-AP2With 6,000-horsepower steam engines272
VC2-S-AP3With 8,500-horsepower steam engines141
VC2-M-AP4With diesel engines1
VC2-S-AP5US Navy Haskell-class attack transports117
VC2-S-AP7Post war models built for the Alcoa Steamship Company3

ww2dbaseThe Victory Ships were built by six shipyards in the United States. They were as follows.

Bethlehem FairfieldBaltimore, MarylandVC2-S-AP293
California ShipbuildingWilmington, CaliforniaVC2-S-AP332
Kaiser ShipbuildingVancouver, WashingtonVC2-S-AP531
Oregon ShipbuildingPortland, OregonVC2-S-AP399
Permanente/Kaiser Yard #1Richmond, CaliforniaVC2-S-AP310
Permanente/Kaiser Yard #2Richmond, CaliforniaVC2-S-AP522

ww2dbaseThe Victory Ship design benefited from the operating experiences of the Liberty Ships. Compared to the Liberty Ships, Victory Ships were several knots faster, thus being able to reach their destinations faster, thus minimizing the risk of being intercepted by German surface and submarine raiders. Because they were placed into service after the Battle of Atlantic had largely already been won by the Allies, however, only two of them were sunk by German submarines, so the speed advantage in terms of minimizing threat would be only theoretical. Another improvement on the Victory Ships were the stronger hulls, which allowed them to endure the rigors of the high seas, particularly the extreme cold weathers of the north which had fractured the hulls of Liberty Ships. In the Pacific Ocean, three of them were sunk by kamikaze special attacks in Apr 1945.

ww2dbaseVictory Ships remained in use for years to come, participating in the Vietnam War and several National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) missions, for example.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Jan 2009


VC2-S-AP3 ships Lincoln Victory, Panama Victory, Joplin Victory, and Columbia Victory at a shipyard on the west coast of the United States, circa 1944Victory and Liberty Ships at California Shipbuilding CorporationDUKWs awaiting supplies from a Victory Ship, 1944-1945African-American US Merchant Marine Boatswain Maxie Weisbarth learning navigation from Chief Mate Earl Stanfield aboard a Victory Ship, Pacific Ocean, date unknown
See all 15 photographs of Victory-class Merchant Vessel

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Anonymous says:
20 Mar 2010 01:57:43 PM

Armament as listed is incorrect one single 5"/38 was mounted at the stern NOT five such guns.
2. ralph lent says:
5 Sep 2010 11:56:32 AM

3. Lt. Comm. Ryan says:
5 Apr 2012 02:16:28 PM

Sorry Ralph, I looked it up and couldn't find anything about these ships. All I know is that some of the Victory ships were made into forward depot ships, I don't know if these were or not. I do know that the SS American Victory is docked in Tampa, FL, and has been turned into a museum that you can go and see, and there are tours around the ship as well.
4. Jan Bos says:
31 Mar 2013 02:45:36 AM

Looking for crew members of the Carroll Victory and/or others transport that carried WW-II war dead from Europe to the United States in 1948-1949, also looking for reports about the repatriation project and pictures of the ships involved
5. Stacy says:
4 Aug 2013 08:58:46 PM

I am looking for a Merchant Marine ship I only have the last four letters for that end in oup or ouf. This is out of San Francisco, California. I can see a safety floater ring hanging and that is all I can see. This would be during late 40's no later than 1952.
6. Norm Kurtz says:
24 Nov 2013 07:32:06 PM

Ralph Lent: The Williams Victory was reflagged to the Netherlands in 1947, renamed Salatiga; then in 1963 to Liberian flag as Salamat. Scrapped '69 in Italy. Villanova Victory was sold in '49 to Isbrandtsen, renamed Brooklyn Heights; in '69 renamed again to Northern Star. Scrapped 1970 in Taiwan.
7. Les says:
14 Apr 2015 11:08:29 AM

Norm: can you tell me anything on Capital Victory, renamed victory Davdson then in 1963 named San Marino. I am especially interested in what happened to her in 1963 after she was renamed San Marino.
8. Anonymous says:
14 Apr 2015 05:16:23 PM

I am looking for any information on a victory ship called San Marino. Believe this vessel was launched in '45 as capital victory or Davidson Victory VC2-S-APS
9. Anonymous says:
22 Jul 2015 02:18:43 PM

The Davidson Victory was launched in 1945 but renamed the Montana in 1948. It was scrapped in Portland, Oregon in 1968.
10. Darrell says:
4 May 2017 09:47:58 AM

I am looking for information on the Victory-Class vessel "Aiken Victory" I have a photograph of the ship. I know my father traveled on the ship either to or from Japan as a army soldier.
11. jouke kurpershoek says:
19 May 2017 12:58:21 PM

I am looking for ship models in kit for assembling or setting Victory ship VC2-S-APS. It is not for sale in Holland.
12. G. Paul says:
13 Nov 2018 11:39:58 AM

SS Fayetteville Victory, VMC# 648, Hull#1462. Where is the log, did it transport anything during its very short history?

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Victory-class Merchant Vessel Photo Gallery
VC2-S-AP3 ships Lincoln Victory, Panama Victory, Joplin Victory, and Columbia Victory at a shipyard on the west coast of the United States, circa 1944
See all 15 photographs of Victory-class Merchant Vessel

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