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Identification Numbered Ships Photo Archive

USAT Liberty
ex-Liberty (AK 35)
ex-Liberty (ID 3461)



Civilian call sign (1919):
Love - Nan - Have - George

Freighter:

  • Built in 1918 as Wichita by the Federal Shipbuilding Co., Hackensack, NJ
  • Renamed Liberty prior to launching
  • Launched 19 June 1918
  • Completed 5 October 1918
  • Acquired by the Navy 7 October 1918 and commissioned USS Liberty (ID 3461) the same day
  • Struck from the Navy Register 6 May 1919
  • Decommissioned 7 May 1919 at Newport News, VA and returned to the United States Shipping Board (USSB)
  • Acquired by the Army in 1939/1940 and commissioned USAT Liberty
  • In May 1941 the Army and Navy agreed that the Navy would eventually take over and man the larger Army ships, and under this plan the Navy designation AK-35 was assigned to Liberty. The Navy was
    not able to find the personnel to man her, however, and she remained an Army ship
  • Torpedoed 11 January 1942 by the Japanese submarine I-166, about 10 miles (19 km) southwest of Lombok Strait, Bali, Netherland East Indies. The destroyers USS Paul Jones (DD-230) and the Dutch
    HNLMS Van Ghent took the damaged ship in tow attempting to reach Singaraja, the Dutch port and administrative center for the Lesser Sunda Islands, on the north coast of Bali. However she was taking too much water and was beached on the eastern shore of Bali at Tulamben so that the cargo and fittings could be salvaged. The intact ship sat beached on this beautiful coast until Bali's volcano, Gunung Agung erupted in 1963. The Liberty crashed beneath the water during its violent eruption. It now sits on a black sand shelf that slopes from about 6 - 30m.

    Specifications:

  • Displacement 13,130 t.
  • Length 411' 6"
  • Beam 55'
  • Draft 26' 6"
  • Speed 11 kts.
  • Complement 70
  • Armament: One 6"/50 and one 3"/50 mount
  • Propulsion: Three single ended boilers, one 2,500shp General Electric steam turbine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Liberty
    Liberty 269k 19 June 1918
    Christening party. Left to right: Judge Elbert H. Gary; Mrs. Olive Whitman, wife of Charles Seymour Whitman, the Governor of New York; Mrs. Emma T. Gary, Sponsor; and Elizabeth Bates Volck Hearn da Gama, wife of the Brazilian Ambassador
    National Archives photo 165-WW 499 133 by the International Film Service
    Michael Mohl
    Photos added 16 October 2020
    Liberty 419k 19 June 1918
    Launching
    National Archives photo 165-WW 499 58 by the International Film Service
    Liberty 419k 19 June 1918
    Striking the water
    National Archives photo 165-WW-499A-89 by the Western Newspaper Union
    Liberty 240k 19 June 1918
    After launching
    National Archives photo 165-WW-499-97 by the Emergency Fleet Corporation
    Liberty 296k 19 June 1918
    After she hit the water
    National Archives photo 165-WW-499-98
    Liberty 102k Fitting out at the yard of her builder, the Federal Shipbuilding Co., Kearny, New Jersey, circa September 1918
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 70459
    Robert Hurst
    Liberty 97k At the yard of her builder, Federal Shipbuilding Co., Kearny, N.J. on 28 September 1918
    National Archives photo 80-G-352259
    Mike Green
    Liberty 51k . Robert Hurst
    USAT Liberty
    Liberty 86k Pierside around the end of 1941
    U.S. Army Signal Corps photo SC 131484 from the National Archives
    Mike Green
    Liberty Wreck Site
    Liberty 77k Tulamben, Bali
    Wreck site
    Tommy Trampp
    Liberty 377k Wrecksite Guide
    Liberty 205k
    Liberty 33k

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships History: The second Liberty, an animal transport, was launched 19 June 1918 by Federal Shipbuilding Co., Hackensack, N.J.; acquired by the Navy 7 October 1918 and commissioned the same day, Lt. Comdr. Charles Longbottom, USNRF, in command.

    Assigned to NOTS, Liberty departed New York 24 October 1918, arriving Brest with her cargo of horses 8 November. For the next 6 months, Liberty made two additional cruises from New York to France discharging both animal and general cargo at French ports. Loaded with 436 tons of Army cargo and 2,072 tons of steel rails, Liberty arrived Newport News, Va., 30 April 1919 from her final cruise. She decommissioned there 7 May and was returned to the USSB the same day.


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