2 Replies Latest reply on Jan 7, 2021 9:09 AM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking Liberty ships building specifications

    Ben Bentkowski Newbie

      Hello, I'm working on a project where Liberty ships were dismantled and I need to know building specifications for those ships. I have scattered references about the paint formulations and the steel alloys used but I'm looking for more exhaustive details. Like, what were the alloys of the steel used for the hulls and what was the alloy for interior walls, floors and bulkheads? Were copper pipes used for water lines onboard and was a copper bottom based bottom paint used on the bottom? Were galvanized materials used? I believe asbestos was used but it would help if I knew where; around piping from the boilers to, I assume, a steam engine or the heating system for the ship. Are there specifications about steel additives like vanadium for high strength applications like the barrels on the limited onboard guns? Were there transformers associated with the ship's electrical systems that would have had PCBs? Any reason that arsenic would have been included in any of the materials? My understanding is that these ships were built to an adequate standard to act as cargo ships; stay afloat and make it back and forth across the ocean with limited guns, light to no protective armor, very little fancy or expensive. Passing on any details that may be available will be greatly appreciated.


        • Re: Seeking Liberty ships building specifications
          Martha Moser Newbie

          My grandfather worked for Houston Shipbuilding Corp during World War II. I have a program for a celebration of the 100th ship built there. I'd like to send to you if ok. I First have to apologize for the condition.  I rescued from their house about 30 years after their passing. I took one of the names and simply Googled Specifications for the USS Stephen F Austin and it came back with a Wikipedia site that may work for you.


          This is the information on the ships built in Houston Tx.


          • Re: Seeking Liberty ships building specifications
            Jason Atkinson Ranger

            Dear Mr. Bentkowski,


            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

            We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Central Correspondence Files, 1936 - 1950 in Records of the US Maritime Commission (Record Group 178) and the 81 correspondence series in the Records of the Bureau of Ships (Record Group 19) that may have records on this topic. Additionally, we searched for “Specifications” and located 23 series in Record Group 19. There may also be additional related records that did not turn up in our searches.  For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at archives2reference@nara.gov.


            Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


            We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!


            [information provided by Nate Patch, Subject Matter Expert]