U.S. Maritime Commission design type VC2-S-AP2
The Victory ship was 445 feet long with a capacity of 10,850 deadweight tons, slightly more than its forerunner the Liberty ship. Most importantly, the vessel was capable of a speed of just over 15 knots, which put it in the same class as the Maritime Commission’s highly-touted “C” type standard cargo ships that took much longer to build.
A more streamlined V-shaped hull and stronger engine enabled the Victory ships to achieve the faster speed. Although there were initial concerns that the gears necessary for a steam turbine engine would not be available, by the time construction of the Victory ships began in 1943, the commission was able to secure a sufficient supply.
There were five sub-types of Victory ships; this model shows the most basic and numerous, the AP2 type. The AP3 type was nearly identical but equipped with a more powerful and slightly faster engine. The AP4 type was experimentally equipped with a diesel engine, but only one was ever built. The AP5 type was built explicitly as a troop transport that could carry 1,500 soldiers in converted cargo holds. Finally, AP7 types were purchased and finished by private shipping companies after the war ended.
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The Maritime Commission designed the Victory ships with an eye toward their post-war careers; as the Commission sold them to commercial operators throughout the late 1940s, Victory ships became the backbone of many U.S. shipping companies’ post-war merchant fleets. This model details a Victory ship after its conversion to its post-war commercial configuration; the gun tubs that were on the forecastle and on the deckhouse near the stern have been removed and the ship is painted with the American Export Lines livery .
(Maritime Administration Heritage Asset, Object 1948.002.0001)