Although the early focus of the U.S. Maritime Commission’s shipbuilding efforts had been dry cargo ships, by early winter in 1941, German U-boats and commerce raiders were exacting a heavy toll on Allied tankers. These mounting losses lead the agency to commission a tanker, based on a standard private design already under construction at Sun Shipbuilding Company. The design was simple enough that shipyards could employ some of the same mass-production techniques that they were using to build the “Liberty” dry cargo ships.
These tankers, capable of 14.5 knots, were 523 feet long with a deadweight capacity of 16,735 tons, or 141,200 barrels of oil. The vessels were turbo-electric; a steam engine drove a generator that powered a motor turning the vessels’ single propeller. As with many other emergency shipbuilding program vessels, the Maritime Commission designed the engine this way because there was a shortage of required components for steam turbine engines, and the reciprocating engines used in Liberty ships were too slow for the tankers.
Use “play” button to rotate. Use “expand” button for full screen. Hold “Ctrl” and scroll mouse wheel to zoom in.
This model is painted in the livery of the Keystone Shipping Corporation. The company, founded in 1909, grew to manage a fleet of 75 ships, mostly tankers, during World War II. Today, the Keystone Shipping Corporation manages a variety of vessels for both government and commercial operators.