Last Liberty Ship May Go To Greece

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton signed a Memorandum of Understanding with representatives of the Government of Greece to pursue an agreement to transfer the ship Arthur M. Huddell to the Greek government for use as a museum.  The World War II-era Huddell is the last ship in the Maritime Administration’s fleet.  It is currently moored in the James River Reserve Fleet site at .
"It is great to be able to save a bit of history from both our nations," said Connaughton.  "This ship is a symbol of the friendship as well as mutual maritime interests linking and the ."
American shipyards built 2,751 ships during World War II, in the largest shipbuilding effort in history.  ships crewed by merchant mariners carried troops and military cargo all over the world.  The building and sailing of the ships, and their successors, the Victory Ships, were overseen by the U.S. Maritime Commission and the War Shipping Agency, both predecessor agencies of today’s Maritime Administration.  After World War II, Greek shipowners purchased many ships to build up their fleet.  The Greek merchant fleet is now the largest in the world.
Two other ships formerly in the Maritime Administration’s National Defense Reserve Fleet, the John W. Brown and the Jeremiah O’Brien, are currently operating as museum ships.  While other redesigned and repurposed ships remain in service, none remain in service in the form they had in World War II.  Nonetheless, their use was once so common that the term “Liberty-size cargo”, meaning 10,000 tons, may still be heard in the shipping business


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