SS Philippines Victory

The SS Philippines Victory was the fifth Victory ship built during World War II. She was launched by the California Shipbuilding Company on March 11, 1944 and completed on May 9, 1944. She was built in 113 days under the Emergency Shipbuilding program.

Second ship, with V-5 on the hull, is the SS Philippines Victory, the fifth Victory ship.
United States
Name: Philippines Victory
Namesake: Philippines
Owner: Maritime Commission
Operator: War Shipping Administration through Alcoa SS Company
Builder: California Shipbuilding Company, Los Angeles
Laid down: January 17, 1944
Launched: March 11, 1944
Completed: May 9, 1944
Fate: Sold 1947
Holland - Netherlands
Name: Mahenge 1947
Namesake: Mahenge
Owner: Cie.Maritime Congolaise, Antwerp.
Operator: Cie.Maritime Congolaise - Lloyd Royal S. A.
Fate: Sank after collision with SS Granville 1952 in the English Channel
General characteristics
Class and type: VC2-S-AP3 Victory ship
Tonnage: 7612 GRT, 4,553 NRT
Displacement: 15,200 tons
Length: 455 ft (139 m)
Beam: 62 ft (19 m)
Draught: 28 ft (8.5 m)
Installed power: 8,500 shp (6,300 kW)
Propulsion: HP & LP turbines geared to a single 20.5-foot (6.2 m) propeller, by Westinghouse Electric & Mfg. Co., Essington
Speed: 16.5 knots
Boats & landing
craft carried:
4 Lifeboats
Complement: 62 Merchant Marine and 28 US Naval Armed Guards
Notes: [1]

Philippines Victory was one of the new 10,500-ton class ship to be known as Victory ships designed to replace the earlier Liberty Ships. Liberty ships were designed to be used just for World War II. Victory ships were designed to last longer and serve the US Navy after the war. The Victory ship differed from a Liberty ship in that they were: faster, longer and wider, taller, had a thinner stack set farther toward the superstructure and had a long raised forecastle.[2]

Philippines Victory served in the Pacific Ocean during World War II.


The ship’s United States Maritime Commission designation was VC2- S- AP3, hull number 5 (V-5).

On March 11, 1944 Philippines Victory was christened by Mrs. Carmen Sonano, wife of Andres Soriano, Secretary of Finance to President Manuel Roxas of the Philippines and launched at Wilmington, Los Angeles.[3][4][5][6] The ship was completed and delivered to the wartime operator of all United States oceangoing shipping, the War Shipping Administration (WSA), on May 9, 1944. Philippines Victory was assigned to Alcoa Steamship Co. under a standard WSA operating agreement at that time. That agreement continued until the ship's lay up May 3, 1944.[7]

World War II

Philippines Victory served in the Pacific war in World War II as a cargo ship. On her maiden voyage she steamed with supplies for troops to: Hawaii, Australia and then New Guinea. [8]She was laid up for a short time in 1946 at Suisun Bay in California as part of the National Defense Reserve Fleet. In 1947 she removed from the Reserve Fleet and sold.

SS Mahenge

In 1947 she was sold to Cie. Maritime Belge CMB, Lloyd Royal S. A., of Antwerp, Netherlands and renamed the SS Mahenge used as a Belgian cargo ship.[9] On June 30, 1952 she collided in fog with the SS Grandville off Alderney, of the Channel Islands, in the English Channel. The collision caused a cargo explosion in the 'Mahenge. She sank at 49.48N 02.18W, 15 miles North of Jersey island and 12 miles east of Guernsey island. In 2007 drivers found her stands upright on the sea floor with a slight list to port with the derricks cranes still intact. [10]

See also


  1. Babcock & Wilcox (April 1944). "Victory Ships". Marine Engineering and Shipping Review.
  2. National parks, Reading 2: Victory Ships
  3. The Indianapolis Star from Indianapolis, Indiana, Page 12, March 12, 1944
  4. The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California,Page 5, March 12, 1944
  5. Colton, Tim (April 26, 2017). "California Shipbuilding, Los Angeles CA". ShipbuildingHistory. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  6. National Parks, Victory Ships
  7. Maritime Administration. "Philippines Victory". Ship History Database Vessel Status Card. U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  8. Forever and a Day: The World War II Odyssey of an American Family, By Eric Jensen, page 226
  9. The Courier-News from Bridgewater, New Jersey · Page 21, February 4, 1948
  10. Wreck Site, 'Mahenge 1952


  • Sawyer, L.A. and W.H. Mitchell. Victory ships and tankers: The history of the ‘Victory’ type cargo ships and of the tankers built in the United States of America during World War II, Cornell Maritime Press, 1974, 0-87033-182-5.
  • United States Maritime Commission:
  • Victory Cargo Ships

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