SS Rushville Victory

SS Rushville Victory was a Victory ship-based troop transport built for the US Army Transportation Corps (USAT) late in World War II under the Emergency Shipbuilding program. It saw service in the European Theater of Operations in 1945, 1946 and in the immediate post-war period repatriating US troops.

VC2-S-AP2 type Victory ship
Name: SS Rushville Victory
Namesake: City of Rushville, Illinois
Owner: War Shipping Administration
Operator: Dichmann, Wright & Pugh, inc.
Builder: Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard Corp.
Laid down: March 3, 1945
Launched: April 24, 1945
Completed: May 22, 1945
Renamed: Nikobar 1947, then Aydin 1954
Fate: Sold to private; sank 1958
General characteristics
Tonnage: 7,607 tons (GRT), 4,551 tons (NRT)
Displacement: 15,200 tons (full load), 10,875 tons (lightweight)
Length: 455 ft (139 m)
Beam: 62 ft (19 m)
Draft: 28 ft (8.5 m)
Propulsion: 2 B&W oil-fired steam boilers, 2 steam turbines, single propeller, 6,000 shp (4,500 kW)
Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)
Troops: 1597

After being briefly laid up in the US, Rushville Victory was sold for private cargo shipping in 1947 and sank near Antwerp in 1958.



SS Rushville Victory was laid down on March 3, 1945, as a US Maritime Commission (MARCOM) Type C2 ship-based VC2-S-AP2, MCV hull No. 651, by Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard of Baltimore, Maryland.[3] SS Rushville Victory was the last of the 50 Victory ships built by the Bethlehem Ship Corporation.[4] She was launched on April 24, 1945, and later converted into a dedicated troopship.[5][6] She was operated on behalf of the US Army Transportation Corps (USAT) by Dichmann, Wright & Pugh, inc.

Beginning on May 25, 1945, Rushville Victory was converted to a troopship along with six other Victory cargo ships at the Savannah Waterfront by the Savannah Machine & Foundry Company. Her cargo holds were converted to mess halls, exercise places, and sleeping areas with hammocks and bunk beds.


As a transport allocated to USAT, the Rushville Victory was crewed by US Merchant Marines, protected by a contingent of the US Navy Armed Guards, and had a complement of the US Army Transportation Corps (Water Division) aboard for troop administration.[7] She was armed with a 5-inch (127 mm) stern gun for use against submarines and surface ships, and a bow-mounted 3-inch (76 mm) gun and eight 20 mm cannon for use against aircraft.

Her Atlantic Ocean crossings include:

In April 1946, the Rushville Victory took German POWs from New York to Antwerp; this included the crews of the U-boats U-530 and U-977.[14]

As part of Operation Magic Carpet she took US troops home from European port cities known as Cigarette Camps.[15]

Near the end of 1946, with her Atlantic crossings completed, she was laid up in the James River in Virginia as part of the National Defense Reserve Fleet.

Private use and sinking

Rushville Victory was sold in 1947 to A/S Det Ostasiatiske Kompagni of Copenhagen, Denmark and renamed MV Nikobar. In 1954 she was sold to Deniz Nikilyati in Istanbul, Turkey and renamed SS Aydin. In 1955 she was sold to D. B. Deniz Nakliyati T.A.S. of Istanbul and kept her name. On February 11, 1958, The Aydin had a collision with the MS Charles Tellier, owned by French Cie de Messageries Maritimes. After the collision she ran aground in the Schelde River near Antwerp to avoid sinking. She was abandoned and declared a total loss; her masts could be seen above the water line for many years.[16][17][18][19]

See also


  1. Vessel Status Card
  2. Babcock & Wilcox (April 1944). "Victory Ships". Marine Engineering and Shipping Review.
  3. Merchant ships Victory ships
  4. The Baltimore Sun from Baltimore, Maryland · Page 11, April 25, 1945
  5. Appendix B: Victory Troopship Conversions Compiled from Roland W. Charles, Troopships of World War II (Washington, DC: The Army Transportation Association, 1947), Appendix E, pp. 356-357
  6. Record of the Third Naval District Office of Port Director, Port of New York
  7. United States War Department (1944). FM 55-105. United States Department of War. p. 12 Section 14, Allocated Vessels, Diagrams following p. 64.
  8. A Small Town's Contribution: The Participation, Sacrifice and Effort of the War, page 17, By Randall M Dewitt
  9. Benton Harbor News Palladium, October 12, 1945
  10. History of the 313th Infantry in World War II, page 174, By Sterling A. Wood
  11. Rupert Red Two: A Fighter Pilot's Life From Thunderbolts to Thunderchiefs, page 283, By Jack Broughton
  12. The Pittsburgh Press from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 2, February 2, 1946
  13., Barrier Daily Truth (Broken Hill, NSW), Dec. 25, 1945, Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia
  14. Hirschfeld: The Secret Diary of a U-Boat NCO, 1940–1946, page 219, by Geoffrey Brooks
  15. World War II on the Savannah Waterfront in the American Theater of Operations, Wartime Production and Service in Savannah, City of Savannah Research Library and Municipal Archives, page 3, August 29, 2008
  16. Mariners, The Website Of The Mariners Mailing List., Victory Ships
  17. Wrecks: SS Aydin (Ajdin) [+1958
  18. Photo of the sunken Aydin from the M/S "ANUNCIADA"
  19., MS Charles Tellier
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