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Bessemer Victory

Bessemer, an industrial city in Jefferson County, Ala., honoring Sir Henry Bessemer, the Englishman who invented a steel manufacturing process.

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Bessemer Victory--a Victory ship laid down on 28 May 1945 at Los Angeles, Calif., by the California Shipbuilding Corp.--was one of 12 "Victory ships" selected for transfer from the National Defense Reserve Fleet to the Military Sea Transportation Service (MSTS) for cargo-carrying service during the Vietnam War. Although assigned the name Bessemer and the designation T AG 186 on 1 February 1966, the ship never served with MSTS because the program was canceled. However, she did carry cargo to Vietnam as Bessemer Victory under a commercial charter. Returned to the National Defense Reserve Fleet, Bessemer Victory remained in the Maritime Administration's berthing area in Virginia's James River until sometime in the late 1980's when, presumably, she was sold.

Robert J. Cressman



15 February 2006