Naval History and Heritage Command

National Museum of the U.S. Navy

Liberty Ships

Named by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to bring "liberty" back to Europe, Liberty ships were from a British design and were built on a mass-production scale in order to save supplies.   The first Liberty ship was SS Patrick Henry and was launched on September 27, 1941, at Bethlehem-Fairfield Yards, Baltimore, Maryland.  As the war progressed, the ships were also utilized as troop transports in the convoys.  Over time, the ships were deemed too slow and small, so a new line of ships were built, named Victory ships.   Following the war, many of the Liberty ships were purchased for private merchant use.   Three ships exisit today:  SS John W. Brown; SS Jeremiah O'Brien; and SS Arthur M. Huddell

Image: 80-G-244811:  Aerial of SS Ceasar Rodney, Liberty Ship.  Photographed by ZP-11, August 2, 1944.   Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.