SS William L. Watson

SS William L. Watson was a Liberty ship built in the United States during World War II. She was named after William L. Watson, the first Agricultural Agent for Duval County, Florida, also active in the Florida 4-H club.

United States
Name: William L. Watson
Namesake: William L. Watson
Owner: War Shipping Administration (WSA)
Operator: Black Diamond Steamship Co.
Ordered: as type (EC2-S-C1) hull, MC hull 2310
Builder: J.A. Jones Construction, Panama City, Florida
Cost: $1,042,645[1]
Yard number: 51
Way number: 1
Laid down: 6 June 1944
Launched: 13 July 1944
Sponsored by: Mrs. John Simon
Completed: 26 July 1944
Fate: Laid up in National Defense Reserve Fleet, Hudson River Group, 6 June 1946
Status: Sold for commercial use, 17 December 1946
Name: Panormus
Owner: Salvatore Tagliavia, Palermo, Italy
Acquired: 27 December 1946
Fate: Sold, 1952
Name: Panormus
Owner: Transmediterranea Soc. di Nav. per Azioni, Palermo, Italy
Acquired: 1952
Fate: Sold, 1962
Name: Al Kheir
Owner: San Antonio, Inc.
Operator: Cia. Armatoriale Italiana, Venice, Italy
Acquired: 1962
Fate: Laid up at Spezia, 1966
Status: Scrapped, 1967
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)


William L. Watson was laid down on 6 June 1944, under a Maritime Commission (MARCOM) contract, MC hull 2310, by J.A. Jones Construction, Panama City, Florida; she was sponsored by Mrs. John Simon, and launched on 13 July 1944.[3][1]


She was allocated to Black Diamond Steamship Co., on 26 July 1944. On 6 June 1946, she was laid up in the National Defense Reserve Fleet, in the Hudson River Group. On 17 December 1946, she was transferred to the Italian Government, which in turn sold her to Salvatore Tagliavia, Palermo, Italy, on 27 December 1946. She was renamed Panormus. In 1952, she was sold to Transmediterranea Soc. di Nav. per Azioni, Palermo. In 1962, she was sold to San Antonio Inc, reflagged for Lebanon, and renamed Al Keheir. In 1966, she was laid up in Spezia, after developing cracks in her hull. She was scrapped the following year in Spezia.[4][5]



  • "Jones Construction, Panama City FL". 13 October 2010. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  • "Liberty Ships – World War II". Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  • Maritime Administration. "William L. Watson". Ship History Database Vessel Status Card. U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  • Davies, James (May 2004). "Specifications (As-Built)" (PDF). p. 23. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  • "SS William L. Watson". Retrieved 23 December 2017.

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