SS U.S.S.R. Victory

The SS U.S.S.R. Victory was the third Victory ship built during World War II under the Emergency Shipbuilding program. She was launched by the California Shipbuilding Company on February 26, 1944. The ship was completed and delivered to the wartime operator of all United States oceangoing shipping, the War Shipping Administration (WSA), on April 26, 1944. U.S.S.R. Victory, official number 245247, was assigned to Moore-McCormack Lines under a standard WSA operating agreement at that time. That agreement continued until the ship's sale on March 7, 1947.[2] The ship’s United States Maritime Commission designation was VC2-S-AP3, hull number 3 (V-3). U.S.S.R. Victory served in the Atlantic Ocean during World War II.

The front ship, with V-3 on the hull, is the SS U.S.S.R. Victory.
United States
Name: U.S.S.R. Victory
Namesake: Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Soviet Union)
Owner: Maritime Commission
Operator: War Shipping Administration through Moore-McCormack Lines
Builder: California Shipbuilding Company, Los Angeles
Laid down: January 3, 1944
Launched: February 26, 1944
Completed: April 26, 1944
Identification: Official number: 245247
Fate: Sold March 7, 1947
Name: SS Indian Navigator,
Namesake: India
Owner: India Steamship Co, Calcutta.
Operator: India Steamship Company
Fate: Sank on 2 Jan. 1961, off the coast of England
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]

U.S.S.R. Victory was one of the new 10,500-ton class ship to be known as Victory ships. Victory ships were 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.[3]

U.S.S.R. Victory was christened by Mrs. Inna Pastoev, wife of the Soviet vice-consul. The Soviet vice-consul said at the christening: "another link in the chain of blows that will defeat our enemy,"[4] The launching of The U.S.S.R. Victory splashed into the water of Wilmington, Los Angeles.[5][6]

U.S.S.R namesake

U.S.S.R Victory namesake is for the country Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, commonly termed the Soviet Union. In 1941, Nazi Germany began Operation Barbarossa and invaded the Soviet Union. Thus the Soviet Union and the USA became Allies against Nazi Germany. Iran had declared neutrality in World War II, but now found it to be part of World War II, many of Allies supplies to the Soviet Union passed through Iran.[7] In 1941 after the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran[8][9] Iran became a major conduit for British and American aid to the Soviet Union through out the war.[10] So important to the war effort was Iran that in 1943 the leaser of the Allies, "Big Three", (Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill) held the Tehran Conference in Iran.[11][12]

World War II

U.S.S.R. Victory served as a troop ship take troop to and from Europe.[13][14] [15] U.S.S.R. Victory and 96 other Victory ships were converted to troop ships take troops to Europe. Later she was used to bring the US soldiers home as part of Operation Magic Carpet from port cities known as Cigarette Camps. She was able to transport up to 1,500 troops to and from Europe. Her cargo holds were converted to bunk beds and hammocks stack three high for hot bunking. In the cargo hold Mess halls and exercise places were also added. On October 31, 1945 she steamed in to Newport News, Virginia bring troop home from Europe.[16][17][18][19][20][21]

Korean War

U.S.S.R. Victory served as merchant marine ship supplying goods for the Korean War. She helped move the 140th Medium Tank Battalion. About 75 percent of the personnel taken to Korea for the Korean War came by the merchant marine ships. U.S.S.R. Victory transported goods, mail, food and other supplies. About 90 percent of the cargo was moved by merchant marine naval to the war zone. U.S.S.R. Victory made trips between 18 November 1950 and 23 December 1952, helping American forces engaged against Communist aggression in South Korea.[22][23]

SS Indian Navigator

On March 7, 1947 the ship was sold to the India Steamship Company of Calcutta, India and renamed the SS Indian Navigator,. The Indian Navigator, was steaming from Hamburg to Calcutta with a cargo of sulphur. On 31 December 1960 she had a cargo hold explosion and fire. She was off the south western tip of the Cornish peninsula of England, near the Isles of Scilly. The crew abandoned ship into the lifeboats after the explosion. She was towed by SS Indian Success, but with another cargo explosion she foundered and sank on 2 January 1961, with loss of life of some marine salvage personal. She is now about 129 meters under water.[24][25]

See also


  1. Babcock & Wilcox (April 1944). "Victory Ships". Marine Engineering and Shipping Review.
  2. Maritime Administration. "USSR Victory". Ship History Database Vessel Status Card. U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  3. National parks, Reading 2: Victory Ships
  4. San Bernardino Sun, Volume 50, 27 February 1944
  5. Long Beach Independent from Long Beach, California, February 4, 1944, page 3
  6. /, Victory ships
  7. Glenn E. Curtis; Eric Hooglund (2008). Iran: A Country Study. Government Printing Office. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-8444-1187-3.
  8. David S. Sorenson (2013). An Introduction to the Modern Middle East: History, Religion, Political Economy, Politics. Avalon Publishing. p. 206. ISBN 978-0-8133-4922-0.
  9. Usa Ibp (2009). Iran: Foreign Policy & Government Guide. Int'l Business Publications. p. 53. ISBN 978-0739793541.
  10. T.H. Vail Motter; United States Army Center of Military History (1952). United States Army in World War II the Middle East Theater the Persian Corridor and Aid to Russia.
  11. Louise Fawcett, "Revisiting the Iranian Crisis of 1946: How Much More Do We Know?." Iranian Studies 47#3 (2014): 379–399.
  12. Gary R. Hess, "the Iranian Crisis of 1945–46 and the Cold War." Political Science Quarterly 89#1 (1974): 117–146. online
  13. Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page 29, October 31, 1945
  14. Armed-guard, troop ships
  15., Troop s ships
  16. Democrat and Chronicle from Rochester, New York · Page 15 October 31, 1945
  17. crossings in 1945
  18. Troop Ship of World War II, April 1947, Page 356-357
  19. Our Troop Ships
  20. Milford W. Crumplar, Corporal
  21. Lud Lekson Collection
  22. Korean War Educator, Merchant Marine, Accounts of the Korean War
  23. Small United States and United Nations Warships in the Korean War, By Paul M. Edwards
  24. Mariners, The Website Of The Mariners Mailing List. Victory Ships
  25. Wreck site, U.S.S.R. Victory (1944~1947) Indian Navigator


  • 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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