SS LeBaron Russell Briggs

SS LeBaron Russell Briggs was a Liberty ship built in the United States during World War II. She was named after LeBaron Russell Briggs, the first Dean of Men at Harvard College and the president of Radcliffe College.

United States
Name: LeBaron Russell Briggs
Namesake: LeBaron Russell Briggs
Owner: War Shipping Administration (WSA)
Operator: R.A. Nichol & Company
Ordered: as type (EC2-S-C1) hull, MC hull 2301
Builder: J.A. Jones Construction, Panama City, Florida
Cost: $1,001,224[1]
Yard number: 42
Way number: 5
Laid down: 29 March 1944
Launched: 12 May 1944
Sponsored by: Mrs. George R. Smith
Completed: 31 May 1944
General characteristics [2]
Class and type:
  • 441 feet 6 inches (135 m) oa
  • 416 feet (127 m) pp
  • 427 feet (130 m) lwl
Beam: 57 feet (17 m)
Draft: 27 ft 9.25 in (8.4646 m)
Installed power:
  • 2 × Oil fired 450 °F (232 °C) boilers, operating at 220 psi (1,500 kPa)
  • 2,500 hp (1,900 kW)
Speed: 11.5 knots (21.3 km/h; 13.2 mph)
  • 562,608 cubic feet (15,931 m3) (grain)
  • 499,573 cubic feet (14,146 m3) (bale)


LeBaron Russell Briggs was laid down on 29 March 1944, under a Maritime Commission (MARCOM) contract, MC hull 2301, by J.A. Jones Construction, Panama City, Florida; she was sponsored by Mrs. George R. Smith, daughter of James Addison Jones, and launched on 12 May 1944.[3][1]


She was allocated to R.A. Nichol & Company, on 31 May 1944. On 5 March 1948, she was laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, in Wilmington, North Carolina. On 26 September 1957, she was relocated to the National Defense Reserve Fleet, in the Hudson River Group. On 8 December 1961, she was withdrawn from the fleet to be loaded with grain under the "Grain Program 1961". She returned loaded with grain to the fleet on 22 December 1961. On 17 June 1963, she was withdrawn from the fleet to have the grain unloaded, she returned empty on 22 June 1963. On 30 July 1970, she was turned over to the US Navy for use in Operation CHASE (Chase 10). On 18 August 1970, she was loaded with 418 steel jacketed concrete vaults, which encased 12,540 US Army M55 rockets containing Sarin nerve gas, and one container of VX gas, and towed out 282 mi (245 nmi; 454 km) east of Cape Kennedy, Florida, where she was scuttled in 16,000 ft (4,900 m) of water.[4][5][6]



  • "Jones Construction, Panama City FL". 13 October 2010. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  • "Liberty Ships – World War II". Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  • Maritime Administration. "LeBaron Russell Briggs". Ship History Database Vessel Status Card. U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  • Davies, James (May 2004). "Specifications (As-Built)" (PDF). p. 23. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  • "SS LeBaron Russell Briggs". Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  • "NERVE GAS IS SUNK OFF FLORIDA COAST". The New York Times. 19 August 1970. Retrieved 12 December 2017.

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