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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

Liberty Belle (IX-72)

International Radio Call Sign:
November - Yankee - India - Delta
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
American Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal

  • Built in 1910 as the steamer SS City of Philadelphia by Harlan & Hollingworth, Wilmington, DE.
  • Completed and delivered to the Wilson Line, date unknown
  • Renamed Liberty Belle, circa 1930s
  • Acquired by the Navy, 23 April 1942, from the Wilson Line
  • Placed in service, 1 January 1943, as Liberty Belle (IX-72)
  • Allocated to the 5th Naval District for experimental duties at the Naval Mine Warfare Test Station, Solomons, MD.
  • Placed out of service 18 May 1944, at Philadelphia
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission, 10 April 1947
  • Subsequently sold to Jersey Shore Lines of Atlantic Highlands, N.J., renamed SS Asbury Park
  • Registered in 1949 by Tolchester Lines, Inc., Baltimore, MD. as passenger vessel Tolchester
  • Registered in 1957 by Willis Development Corp., Baltimore, MD. as passenger vessel Freestone
  • Registered in 1961 by Potomac River Line, Washington, DC, as passenger vessel SS Potomac
  • Registered in 1964 by Tolchester Lines, Inc., as passenger vessel Tolchester
  • Renameed SS Potomac in 1972 by Tolchester Lines, Inc.,
  • Out of documentation in 1981
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Displacement 622 t.
    Length 198'
    Beam 44'
    Draft 12'
    Speed unknown
    Complement unknown
    Armament unknown
    Propulsion steam

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    Merchant Service
    Liberty Belle 144k SS City of Philadelphia in a crude photo from a data card maintained by the Navy on the vessel during World War I. At that time the Navy considered her "unsuitable for Naval use" and did not assign her an identification number. The steamer was modernized during the 1930s and renamed Liberty Belle.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command (Ships Histories files), photo No. None, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Liberty Belle
    191k Port side view of the Wilson Lines excursion boat SS Liberty Belle just after completion of her modernization in the 1930s.
    Photo by Moss Photo, N.Y.
    David Wright
    Liberty Belle (IX-72)
    Liberty Belle
    93k Liberty Belle (IX-72) moored at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, 21 May 1942, after completing conversion for use as an experimental vessel for the Naval Ordnance Laboratory. At this time she was a chartered vessel with an officer in charge supervising a civilian crew.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command (Ships Histories files), US Navy Bureau of Ships Photo No. 19-N-32720 and 19-N-32719, courtesy
    Mike Green and Robert Hurst
    Liberty Belle

    Liberty Belle (IX-72)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 5 January 2024