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Kaiser Richmond Liberty Victory Ships

Permanente Metals Corporation - Kaiser Richmond CA Shipyards

Liberty and Victory Ships

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The Liberty Ship in the photo below is the Benjamin Warner. The Benjamin Warner was built in Yard No. 2 of Kaiser's Permanente Metals Richmond, California Yards. It's hull number was 2700. The keel was laid on June 13, 1944 and the ship was launched on July 1, 1944. The Benjamin Warner was the 519th Liberty Ship built at the Kaiser Richmond Shipyards and the last Liberty Ship launched on the West Coast.

The July 10, 1944 issue of Time Magazine had the following article:

"The West Coast came to the melancholy end of a shipbuilding era last week. In Henry J. Kaiser's record-holding Richmond Shipbuilding Corp. Yard No. 2 in California, the S.S. Benjamin Warner (named after the father of Hollywood's Warner brothers) slid into San Francisco Bay. It was the 1,147th Liberty ship launched on the West Coast—and the last.

A few Liberties are still being finished at East Coast yards. But no more keels will be laid, East or West. Already Richmond No. 2, and most of the other yards, are building the faster Victory ship (15 knots) and a shoal of Navy craft, C-4 troop transports, LSTs, frigates. But the feverish shipbuilding in which Richmond No. 2 built a Liberty in seven days is ended.

In waving good-by to the Liberty ship program, Rear Admiral Howard L. Vickery, vice-chairman of the U.S. Maritime Commission, said: "Mass production of ships will have to end with the war. The yards will compete for a maximum number of ships we can hope to build, about one hundred a year. What will happen to the other yards? We don't know the answer." But the tin-hatted workers in Richmond No. 2 could make a sound guess. The payroll at Kaiser's four Richmond yards has dropped from 93,000 to 73,000. It is still going down."

The Benjamin Warner was laid up on the Hudson River and was scrapped in 1971 at Bilbao, Spain

Liberty Ship Benjamin Warner

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