"Of all national assets, archives are the most precious:
they are the gift of one generation to another,
and the extent of our care of them marks the
extent of our civilization." Arthur Doughty.

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San Juan Islands, Washington State, United States
A society formed in 2009 for the purpose of collecting, preserving, celebrating, and disseminating the maritime history of the San Juan Islands and northern Puget Sound area. Check this log for tales from out-of-print publications as well as from members and friends. There are circa 500, often long entries, on a broad range of maritime topics; there are search aids at the bottom of the log. Please ask for permission to use any photo posted on this site. Thank you.

11 November 2015

❖ LIBERTY SHIPS––FROM MODEL TO LAUNCHINGS ❖

Henry J. Kaiser, Sr, and his wife, Bess.
They inspect a Liberty Ship model in the early 1940s. 
Henry J. and his son, Edgar, and local industrialists built
Liberties for the US government in three yards in Portland, OR. 
Some 30,000 workers helped launch as many 
as four per week.
Original photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
Liberty Ships was the name given to the EC2 type ship designed for Emergency Construction by US Maritime Commission in WW II. They were nicknamed 'Ugly Ducklings' by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
      The first of 2,711 Liberty Ships was the SIR PATRICK HENRY, launched on 27 Sept 1941. All together 2,710 were completed as one burned at the dock.
      The 250,000 parts were pre-fabricated throughout the country and welded together in c. 70 days. A Liberty cost $2,000,000. A group that raised $2 million in War Bonds could suggest a name for a Liberty Ship.
The President visiting the Kaiser yard;
Kaiser-Vancouver built ten EC2s at their Portland Yard.
Roosevelt attended the launch on his President's
Tour of the Nations Defense Installations and War Plants.
original undated photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©
"Camera in the Kaiser Shipyard"
Launching of the first of three Liberty ships within 24 hours.
Night shot taken at the shipyard with flash and yard lights.
7 April 1944.

Photo from the archives of S.P.H.S.©
Richmond Shipyard Launching of the last Liberty Ship,
BENJAMIN WARNER.
Henry J. Kaiser, head of the shipyard.
Lita B. Warner, daughter of Sam Warner of motion picture fame.
The vessel was named after the sponsor's grandfather.
Bess Kaiser is at the right.
Dated 1 July 1944.

Original Acme photo from the archives of the S.P.H.S.©


HENRY J. KAISER
Viewing ship models from his shipyards.

Back stamped 25 September 1946
Acme Telephoto.
Original photo from the archives of S.P.H.S.©

Henry J. Kaiser, West Coast industrialist, looked over his exhibit of ship models as he prepared to testify 23 September before the House Merchant Marine Committee which was probing wartime shipbuilding profits. In defense of his wartime operations, Kaiser contended that he saved the nation nearly $500,000,000 on war contracts and more than two years of precious time in the construction of Liberty ships. 

To read more about the dimensions, crew, builders, names of the Liberty Ships without listening to me, please see US Maritime Commission.

      Edgar F. Kaiser, native born Washingtonian, who took over the helm of the industrial empire from his founding father, Henry J. Kaiser was the general manager of the three Kaiser shipyards in Portland. He also played major roles in the building of Hoover, Bonneville and Grand Coulee Dams. 
       Edgar received a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969 for his efforts to increase the availability of low and moderate income housing.  
      The Kaiser Family Foundation purchased the Four Winds Camp in Deer Harbor, Orcas Island, to keep it alive and well after retirement of Director Ruth Brown, who founded the youth camp in 1927.   

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