Last Victory Ship to depart mothball fleet

This comes our way via the Benicia Herald

The last Victory cargo ship moored in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet is expected to be towed today to San Francisco Ship Repair, a spokesman from Office of Congressional and Public Affairs said.

The SS Winthrop Victory is scheduled to depart the fleet at 10:30 a.m. today. In San Francisco, it will be scraped of marine growth and loose exterior paint in preparation for its last trip through the Panama Canal on its way to be recycled in Texas.

The Winthrop Victory, named for Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., is expected to arrive in May at ESCO Marine, in Brownsville, Texas, where it will be scrapped and recycled.

This is the fourth Maritime Administration (MARAD) vessel that has been pulled from the bay since last October, when U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary John D. Porcari visited Benicia and promised that 25 of the ships would be removed in an effort to clean up the Suisun Bay fleet.

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MARAD Press Release concerning the of the last two Victory class ships owned by the Federal Government.

It should also be noted that the Winthrop Victory was among the fleet of U.S. ships present at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.  (Fact from U.S. Naval Historical Center)

For an extensive look at the Winthrop Victory and her present condition in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet, visit this gallery.  Some selected photos from this gallery are included below. The eventual final departure of this ship beneath the Golden Gate for the last time is a fairly important moment in history for the U.S. Merchant Marine.  The ship will make one final long and dark voyage South through the Panama Canal, and eventually to her final resting place in Brownsville, Texas where her days will be limited.  There is no doubt the Winthrop Victory and her sister ships performed most admirably for this country, but the pictures do reveal the difficult truth of an aged o’l gal, who’s time has come.

Winthrop Victory docked at New York after World War II. Notice she still has her wartime liferaft skids in place, as well as her Richardson-type engine room skylight. Armor is still in place for her aft and cabin-deck 20mm Oerlikon Gun mounts. Thanks to Stuart Smith of the forum for the use of this great image.
Winthrop Victory Steam Turbines
From the bow of the Winthrop Victory (2009)

5 Comment

  1. Chris says: Reply

    Has anyone actually seen the ship enroute to south san francisco? I might go out for a sail this afternoon, it’s be a cool sight to see!

  2. Nathan says: Reply

    Chris, I think the ship may be down at the BAE Drydock in S. San Francisco now.  You may be able to catch it as it departs the bay for the final time in a couple of weeks though.  

  3. bruce branick says: Reply

    I was Radio Officer aboard a slew of liberties,
    Victories, C2s, C3s, T2s, from 1947-1991.

  4. Betsy Marro says: Reply

    Hello, not sure if anyone is still checking comments on this but I would love to contact the photographer who has the shot of the Winthrop Victory from the 1940’s. My dad was Radio Officer aboard the Winthrop Victory during the war years. I would very much like to find a photo of the ship and give it to him as a present.

  5. Richard Levangie (QM1 (sw) USN, Ret.) says: Reply

    cutting up history one ship at a time. can’t believe they cut (ing) up the Ranger… what are they thinking :'(

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