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SS Schuyler Otis Bland

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.

Detail view of the accommodation ladder
Detailed view of the accommodation ladder.
Vessel stern and rear cargo hatches.
Detailed view of vessel stern and rear cargo hatches.
Forward cargo hatches and booms
Detailed view of forward cargo hatches and booms.
Starboard view of the house and forward cargo hatches.
Starboard view of the house and forward cargo hatches.

(Maritime Administration Heritage Asset, Object 2011.001R.0034)