SS RED OAK VICTORY
Photo used with permission of MojoSail.Com
Class: VC2-S-AP2 Victory Ship
Length: 455 feet
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SS Red Oak Victory was acquired by the U.S. Navy from the U.S. Maritime Commission on December 5, 1944. Following a fitting out period, she was loaded with cargo and departed San Francisco for Pearl Harbor on January 10, 1945. She then began her career as an ammunition ship and departed Hawaii loaded with munitions needed in the Marshall and Caroline Islands. She arrived in Ulithi on February 28, 1945, and commenced operating under Commander Service Squadron Ten. Operating out of the Philippines, she issued cargo and ammunition to various ships in the fleet through the end of the war in August 1945. During her hazardous tour of duty in the Pacific, USS Red Oak Victory handled many tons of ammunition, supplying the fleet without a single casualty. She was returned to the U.S. Maritime Commission in June 1946.
SS Red Oak Victory operated in 1947, and again between 1950 and 1953, for the Luckenbach Steamship Company. In 1957, and again from 1965 to 1968, she was operated by the Merchant Marine Administration. Between these years of operation, and until 1998, she was laid up in the Maritime Administration Reserve Fleet in Suisun Bay, California.
Red Oak Victory is one of the few remaining Victory ships, and one of the last produced at the Kaiser Shipyard. She is named for the city of Red Oak, Iowa which suffered the highest per capita casualty rate of any American community during World War II. She was turned over to the Richmond Museum of History and returned to her new permanent home on September 20, 1998.
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