Liberty Ship

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Guest, Mar 3, 2003.

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    rayra
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    (11/19/01 1:13:32 am)
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    Riding the ferry back from Catalina Island today, and sitting there in L.A. harbor - San Pedro, adjacent to the Cruise ship docks was a Liberty Ship!
    I failed to get the name off the stern, not sure if it is an open museum.
    Also surprised / pleased to see the AA guns mounted.



    Xracer
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 1199
    (11/19/01 9:02:12 am)
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    Nice to see that some of "Kaiser's Coffins" are still floating.

    Looks like a single 40mm Bofors....but what's that behind it? Almost looks like a triple 20 mount....never saw one like that before.

    A lot of the Liberty & Victory class also had 3"/50 deck guns, manned by Navy gun crews. Not very popular duty back then.

    WyomingSwede
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 124
    (11/19/01 5:21:06 pm)
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    Werent those the ships made out of concrete??? Concrete hulls ....something like that...rolled off the assembly line every seven days??? I always thought the merchant marine got the raw end of the stick. regards swede
    Wyoming Swede

    Xracer
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
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    (11/19/01 5:34:55 pm)
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    Nope.....they were made up in sections with welded, not riveted, hulls in various areas of the shipyard, and then finally assembled on the shipway.

    There was an attempt to make ships out of concrete, but it was a failure. Most of the hulls ended up as a breakwater in Kiptopeke (sic?) VA....the site of the old Kiptopeke Ferry (which many us old Sh*t City Sailors remember).

    Perhaps you're thinking of the Phoenix and Mulberry caissons that were made in England and floated over to Normandy to act as temporary breakwaters and piers for the D-Day invasion.

    44rugerfan
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    (11/19/01 8:07:24 pm)
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    ezSupporter
    Re: Liberty Ship
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    I learned about those in welding school. Seems the joint design of the top deck had the effect of concentrating stress on the corners of the main cargo hold, which caused quite a few of them to literally break in half, esp. in rough seas.
    The Trademark Of Reliability

    Xracer
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 1207
    (11/20/01 10:58:21 am)
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    Yep, ruger.....they knew at the time this might be a problem. Riveting is preferrable in a ship, because it allows the hull to "work" and relieve the stresses. However, welding is much faster, and the problem at the time was to build cargo bottoms faster than the German "Wolf Packs" could sink 'em. Many of these ships didn't live long enough for age/stress to be a problem. They weren't called "Kaiser's Coffins" for nothing.

    However, when I was with the Sixth Fleet in the Med during the late '50's, we used to see hundreds of these "war surplus", "tramp steamer" Libertys plying the trade routes.....most were real rust buckets, but "they took a lickin' and kept on tickin'......

    I don't think we could have won WWII without them. Not only did they carry the bulk of war material to Europe, Russia, and the Pacific.....they also served as the hulls for the "jeep" escort carriers that finally solved the U-Boat problem.

    They were sh*t.....but they were GOOD sh*t!

    the real fredneck
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    (11/20/01 2:21:31 pm)
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    I watched a documentary about the Liberty ships and if I recall correctly they were the brainchild of Henry Kaiser and at the peak of production they could turn one out in less than 3 days. Even with the problems they had slow, easily damaged, etc. they moved a lot of tonnage for their cost and could be replaced faster than they could be sank.

    rayra
    V.I.P. Member
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    (11/20/01 2:56:38 pm)
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    went digging for info, found the following, and a good web-page:

    "During WW-II 2,580 Liberty Ships were built at yards in the US. Of them, 330 were built in Portland by Oregon Shipbuilding. After WW-II there were 149 brought back to Portland to be scrapped, and because their Bow sections were filled with Concrete they could not be salvaged. Consequently they were buried on the site of this Memorial."

    home.pacifier.com/~fmasku.../libships/

    Rich

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 2287
    (11/22/01 10:37:45 pm)
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    I THINK some Liberty ships STILL operate as tramp steamers some places in the world, kinda like the Gooney Birds...

    The Concrete ships were a failure BUT the US Army took some over as transports and used them in WWII. The ARMY actually had a bigger "fleet" than the NAVY in WWII, in numbers of ships, one of those WWII trivia facts...but most were transports the Navy didn't want, like the concrete ones, as well as civilian's "impressed."

    This was not uncommon, the Japanese ARMY had more ships than the Japanese Navy too, in WWII...

    Could the triple mounts be 1.1 inchers? We pulled tons of them off warships at the beginning of the war when we switched to Oerlikons and Bofors, and you'd think they did SOMETHING with them? And I'm sure I saw trip mounts of them in early (Pre-war) photos of the Sara, Lady Lex and Enterprise...

    Why NOT use them on transports that came under air attack infrequently, so might not matter so much if they overheated and/or malfunctioned if in constant use...

    We must make war as we must; not as we would like. - Field Marshal Kitchener, 1915
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