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

Victory-class Merchant Vessel Interactive Map


Merchant ships Dominican Victory, Yugoslavia Victory, Plymouth Victory, Niantic Victory, Rock Island Victory, Claremont Victory, and Rutland Victory at Kaiser Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation yard, Portland, Oregon, United States, early 1944VC2-S-AP3 ships Lincoln Victory, Panama Victory, Joplin Victory, and Columbia Victory on the ways at CalShip yards, Los Angeles, California, United States, spring 1944.Victory and Liberty Ships at California Shipbuilding CorporationDUKWs awaiting supplies from a Victory Ship, 1944-1945
See all 19 photographs of Victory-class Merchant Vessel

Victory-class Merchant Vessel Operational Timeline

7 Jun 1944 The first of the newer, larger, and faster Victory-class ships was laid down at the Kaiser Richmond Shipyard No. 1. The ship would become SS Legion Victory and would serve until 1970.
17 Jul 1944 The Liberty ship A. E. Bryan exploded whilst loading ammunition and explosives at Port Chicago, California, United States, taking with her the Victory ship Quinalt Victory berthed nearby. Ninety-seven men on the two ships were vapourised and even a 12 ton locomotive on the dockside vanished without trace. In total, 320 men were killed and 390 injured. More than 200 of the dead were black sailors being used as loaders. Later many sailors refused to work until safety was improved. Fifty were court martialed, convicted of mutiny and jailed. A public outcry led to their release but they were still deprived of all veteran's benefits for the rest of their lives. The last surviving "mutineer" Freddy Meeks was finally pardoned by President Bill Clinton in 1999. Four years later he died, aged 83.
10 Nov 1944 The keel of Hobbs Victory was laid down at Yard No. 2, Kaiser Richmond Shipyards, Richmond, California, United States.
9 Jan 1945 SS Hobbs Victory was launched at Yard No. 2, Kaiser Richmond Shipyards, Richmond, California, United States.
5 Apr 1945 SS Hobbs Victory was struck by Japanese special attack aircraft while at anchor between Kuba and Aka Islands near Okinawa, Japan. She steamed into the East China Sea as the ships in the anchorage dispersed. She was discovered by the Japanese and was struck by another special attack aircraft, destroying her port side boiler and rendering her dead in the water.
6 Apr 1945 SS Hobbs Victory, struck by two special attack aircraft on the previous day, was destroyed in the East China Sea when the ammunition in her cargo hold exploded amidst firefighting efforts.
28 Apr 1945 Japanese special attack aircraft damaged 5 destroyers, 2 hospital ships, and victory ship Bozeman Victory off Okinawa, Japan. None of the four G4M bombers carrying Ohka special attack aircraft hit their targets.
24 May 1945 Victory ship American Victory was launched at the CalShip yards, Los Angeles, California. [Currently a museum ship in Tampa, Florida]
31 May 1945 Victory ship Lane Victory was launched at the CalShip yards, Los Angeles, California. [Currently a museum ship in Los Angeles, California]
27 Sep 1945 The last ship of 467 produced at CalShip, Council Bluffs Victory, was launched at Terminal Island, Los Angeles, California, 3 years almost to the minute after the yard's first ship was launched.

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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?
13. sergio SPEZI says:
4 Dec 2021 01:14:01 PM

i sailed on board of s/s beaverburn 1n 56 - 57 from bremen to montreal and or to other northern ports such as st. john new brunswick , quebec and antwerpen, this ship was then sold .
Does anybody know what new name
the ship got '?

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Victory-class Merchant Vessel Photo Gallery
Merchant ships Dominican Victory, Yugoslavia Victory, Plymouth Victory, Niantic Victory, Rock Island Victory, Claremont Victory, and Rutland Victory at Kaiser Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation yard, Portland, Oregon, United States, early 1944
See all 19 photographs of Victory-class Merchant Vessel

Famous WW2 Quote
"You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terrors. Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival."

Winston Churchill

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