U.S. Maritime Commission design type C3-S-DX1
The only vessel of the C3-S-DX1 design, SS Schuyler Otis Bland was the final vessel ordered by the U.S. Maritime Commission, and the first vessel launched by the newly-created Maritime Administration. The vessel’s name honored the late U.S. Representative Schuyler Otis Bland of Virginia, sponsor of the Merchant Marine Act of 1936.
The C3-S-DX1 was an experimental design and the prototype for a potential mass production vessel in the event of a national emergency. Faster than Liberty ships but with a similar cargo capacity, the Maritime Commission intended for the C3-S-DX1 design to be a central part of post-war commercial and military shipping. During construction, however, the vessel was surpassed by the C4-S-1A “Mariner” design and Schuyler Otis Bland was the only vessel built.
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The ship was ready for service in July 1951 and chartered to American President Lines for which it completed two globe-encircling journeys while engaging in commercial trade. Transferred to the U.S. Navy on August 4, 1961, the ship provided logistical support during the Vietnam War, until struck from the Naval Vessel Register on August 15, 1979 and subsequently sold for scrap.
(Maritime Administration Heritage Asset, Object 2011.001R.0034)