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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 construction sequence on a typical Liberty Ship. Third Day at Outfitting Dock.

The Melville E. Stone, hull number 1715 and type EC2-S-C1. Her keel was laid in Permanente Metals Richmond, CA, Yard 2 on July 2, 1943. She was launched on July 24, 1943 and delivered on August 4, 1943. The Melville E. Stone was 22 days on the Ways, 12 days in the Water and 34 days to Delivery. After delivery to the WSA, she was operated by Norton Lilly & Co, NY.

On Wednesday, November 11, 1943, the Melville E. Stone was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-516 about 100 miles northwest of Cristobal, Canal Zone, 10°29'N, 80°20'W. 12 of the 42-man Merchant Marine complement lost their lives, as did 2 of the 23-man Armed Guard and 1 of the 23 embarked passengers. Submarine chasers SC-662 and SC-1023 rescued the survivors. She has also been reported as being torpedoed and sunk south of Panama at 10°36N 80°19W with a loss of 12 of the crew, 1 passenger, and 3 Armed Guards.

On February 20, 1944, The New York Times reported:

"CAPTAIN, RADIO MAN HEROES AS SHIP SINKS"
"Go Down at Posts as Torpedoes Doom the Melville E. Stone
"

" WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 (AP) - Accounts of heroism abounded in the War Shipping Administration's report tonight on the torpedoing of the Liberty ship Melville E. Stone in the Caribbean Sea with the loss of sixteen lives.
Last aboard was the ship's master, Capt. Lawrence J. Gallagher of Sacramento, Calif., who refused to pause in his direction of abandon-ship efforts long enough to don a life-preserver. A rope thrown to him from the last waiting lifeboat fell short and the captain was never seen after the war freighter went down.
A civilian passenger, John M. Atkinson, saved the life of the commander of the Navy's armed guard on the vessel, Lieut. (j. g.) Ernest Edward Tucker of Oak Park, Ill. Lieutenant Tucker said Mr. Atkinson, at great personal peril, held him above the surface until he could be pulled into a lifeboat.
The ship, named for the former general manager of The Associated Press, had a cargo of strategic materials. The radio operator, Peter A. Carrier of Columbia, Mo., stayed at his key to the last. With the aid of a light held by Captain Gallagher, he flashed the SOS before going down with the ship."

Melville E. Stone  Third Day at Outfitting Dock

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