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Liberty Ship, US Emergency Construction Cargo Ship (1941)


Vessel type: General Cargo Vessel type EC2-S-C1

Designer: US Maritime Commission, as a modification of a simple WWI era design.

Builder: 18 shipyards in the United States. Total built: 2,751

Keel Laid: 1941 (first hull) 1945 (last hull)

Date Delivered: 1941 (first hull) 1945 (last hull)

Date Modified: Never really as a design except to install a riveted crack arrester. But hundreds of liberty ships were modified for all types of commercial purposes after WWII.

Date Scrapped: Three Liberty ships survive as museum vessels.

Length on deck: 441.5 feet

Length over all: 441.5 feet

Beam: 56 feet 10.75 inches

Depth: N/A

Draft: 27 feet 9.25 inches

Gross Tonnage:

Lightweight Tonnage: 14,245 minus 10,685

Maximum Displacement: 14,245 long tons

Construction Material: Welded mild steel

Rig Type: Rigged with cargo booms

Sail area: N/A

Crew Size: 41

Passenger Capacity: None

Propulsion Plant: Single screw oil fired steam using two boilers and a triple expansion steam engine

Horsepower: 2500

Cruising Speed: 11 knots

Maximum Speed: 11.5 knots

Armament: Normally a 4 inch stern mounted gun for antisubmarine purposes and various anti air guns

Model Scale

Vessel Description

The Liberty ship class was a rapid answer to a vital need. In the early stages of World War II the loss of commercial shipping to U boats was so high that there was serious concern that the allies would lose the war by their inability to get supplies to the European Theater. The US maritime commission which had been tasked with speeding up ship construction in the United States decided to no longer rely on their standard (and rather fancy designs) and instead developed a design (partially based on a WWI design) that was not particularly fast, but that could be built quickly and did not rely on strategic technologies and equipment. This led to the decision to power the vessels with triple expansion steam engines rather than steam turbine or diesel engines. It was also decided that the vessels should be welded rather than riveted even though the United States had a much larger shipbuilding base that could rivet ships rather than weld ships. It was simply decided that welding could be taught quickly and that particularly women could be trained to weld ships. The Liberty ship also was the first ship class where modular construction would be exploited to the maximum extent. The result was a vessel that could be built in days (there is a four day record, but more accurately that was the component assembly time rather than the built time and a more realistic build time was a few months)

A total of 2751 Liberty ships were built during the war and, incredibly, more than 2,400 survived the war.

Vessel History

This particular model is a standard Liberty ship and therefore it does not represent a particular ship with a particular history. Some Liberty ships were lost on their first voyage while other Liberty ships are still operational as museum ships. The John Brown and the Jeremiah O’Brien remain as operating Liberty ships and occasionally leave their berths under own power.

Technical Model Description

This model was built in XXXX from a Bluejacket kit. This kit continues to be available and is a good example of a sophisticated model but that can be built by somebody with limited model building experience. This particular model is very carefully executed with excellent detailing.


Copyright © Navesink Maritime Heritage Association

Navesink Maritime Heritage Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving knowledge and appreciation of Monmouth County's maritime heritage through programs  that responds to its mission: DISCOVER, ENGAGE, SUSTAIN.

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