Outboard Profiles of Maritime Commission  Vessels

The C2 Cargo Ship and his Subdesigns

All Drawings by Karsten-Kunibert Krueger-Kopiske 2007 

Design: C2 Federal SB & DD Co., Kearny, New Jersey
Breakbulk / Navy Cargo & Ammunition MC-14 to 17 (Turbine / 4 Built) Challenge, Red Jacket (I), Lightning (I), Flying Cloud (I)
Newport News SB & DD Co., Newport News, Virginia
MC-26 to 29 (Turbine / 4 Built) Nightingale, Stag Hound (I), Santra ana, Santa Teresa
Sun SB & DD Co., Chester, Pennsylvania
MC-18 to 21 and 30 to 31 (Diesel / 4 Built) Donald McKay, Mormachawk (I), Mormacwren (I), Mormacdove (I), Mormacgull (I), Mormaclark (I)
Tampa SB Co., Tampa, Florida
MC-22 to 25 (Diesel / 4 Built) Sea Witch, USS Lassen AE-3 (ex- Shooting Star I), USS Kilauea AE-4 (ex- Surprise I), USS Procyon AK-19 (ex- Sweepstakes I), 

Ships built by Newport News SB & DD Company, Newport News, Virginia

Extensive studies by the Maritime Commission to provide a medium size and speed shelter decker resulted in the economical type C2-Cargo. The most distinctive feature of all C2-types is the raised "island" amidship. The C2's with a speed of 16-17 knots archieved great popularity among private operators and the U.S.Navy (drawing shows the SS SANTA ANA built for Grace Line).

Ships built by Sun SB & DD Company, Chester, Pennsylvania

This drawing shows the MS MONGALA owned by Compagnie Maritime Belge S.A.and operated by Agence Maritime Internationale S.A.under Belge Flag and Registry. Originally build as SS MORMACWREN (I) by Sun SB & DD Co.for Moore-McCormack Lines, she was aquired by the U.S.Navy renamed to USS ALCHIBA and designated AK-25. In 1943 redesignated to AKA-8, she served as an Attack Cargo Ship thru the end of war. Reconverted after the war, she remained her massive loading gear for loading / unloading landing boats (she was the only known C2, with this kind of loading gear for civil use).
This drawing shows the MS TJIPANAS owned and operated by Koninkijke Java China Packetvaart Linjen N.V.under Netherland Flag and Registry. Build as the MS MORMACDOVE (I), she was aquired by the Maritime Commission under the provisions of the Merchant Marine Act of 1936 in June 1941 and transferred to the Navy for conversion to an cargo ship. Designated and renamed to AK-23 USS ALCHIBA, she was redesignated in July 1943 to an Amphibious Attack Cargo Ship (AKA-6). Returned from Naval service in July 1946 and was laid-up at James River Reserve Fleet. Removed in March 1948 from Reserve Fleet, she was sold in June 1948 to the Royal Netherland Goverment who immediately handed she over to the Shipping Company for service.
Ships built by Tampa SB Company, Tampa, Florida
The lowest bidder in getting contract to build four of the twelve newly planned C2's was the smallest yard who was invited by the Maritime Commission for bidding, the Tampa SB Co.of Tampa, Florida. Drawing shows the former SS SEA WITCH as AXEL SALEN, owned and operated by Rederi AB Pulp (Sven Salen) under Swedish Flag and Registry.Tampas Hull 33 the SEA WITCH, which was aquired for wartime service by the War Shipping Administration and converted to an troop transport, returned to the Maritime Commission in May 1946 and was laid-up at James River Reserve Fleet.In May 1947 she was removed from the Reserve Fleet and sold to the Caribbean Land & Shipping Company a Panamaian Corporation under the Terms of the Merchant Ship Sales Act of 1946 and immediately resold to AB Pulp, who renamed her AXEL SALEN.
Design: C2-S-A1 Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine
Breakbulk MC-153 to 156 (Turbine / 4 Built) Exceller, Extavia, Exanthia, Exiria
The only ships build by Bath for the Maritime Commission was a series of 4 C2-S-A1-type, a private design of the American Export Line. Being smaller and having the typical Export-Line-stern  it differs considerably from the known appereance of the C2-type. All vessels, excluding SS EXTAVIA (transferred to UK under Lend / Lease and renamed SS EMPIRE ORIOLE) served throughout the war and after for American Export Line (drawing shows SS EXCELLER).
Design: C2-S Bethlehem Steel Co.,SB Division, Sparrows Point, Maryland
Breakbulk MC-72 to 74 and MC-99 to 101 / Robin Locksley, Robin Doncaster, Robin Kettering, Robin Sherwood, Robin Tuxford, Robin Wentley
According to special request of the Robin Line 6 vessels type C2-S were built, having a lenght of 146 m which is in fact the C3-type lenght. All names had the prefix ROBIN. Distinctive features of this type are: flat, broad funnel in the middle of the high superstructure and no sheer at bow and stern.

Design: C2-S-B1 Federal SB & DD Co.,Kearny,New Jersey
Breakbulk / Amhibious Attack Cargo / Amhibious Force Flagship MC-189 to 196, 199 to 222 (Turbine / 32 Built) Santa Cecilia (I), Santa Margarita (I), Santa (I), African Star (I), African Dawn, African Sun, Santa Barbara (I), Santa Catalina (I), USS Andromeda AKA-15, USS Appalachian aGC-1, Blue Ridge AGC-2, USS Rocky Mount AGC-3, USS Thuban AKA-19, USS Virgo AKA-20, USS Aquarius AKA-16, USS Centaurus AKA-17, USS Cepheus AKA-18, USS Archernar AKA-53, USS Alshain AKA-55, USS Chara AKA-58, USS Diphda AKA-59, USS LEo AKA-60, USS Muliphen AKA-61, USS Sheliak AKA-62, USS Theenim AKA-63, USS Winston AKA-94, USS Marquette AKA-95, USS Mathews AKA-96, USS Merrick AKA-97, USS Montague AKA-98, USS Rolette AKA-99, USS Oglethorpe AKA-100
  Moore DD Co.,Oakland,California
Breakbulk / Amphibious Attack Transport / Amphibious Attack Cargo / Navy Transport MC-284 to 295, 1154 to 1158, 1161 to 1187, 1194 to 1204, 1208 to 1209, 1211, 1213 to 1217 (Turbine / 63 Built) Hotspur, Dashing Wave, Young America, Typhoon, USS Ormsby APA-49 (ex- Twilight I), USS Pierce APA-50 (Northern Light I), USS Sheridan APA-51 (ex- Messenger I), Titan, Meteor (II), Comet (III), USS John Land AP-167, USS Catoctin AGC-5 (ex- Mary Whitridge), USS Algol AKA-54 (ex- James Baines), USS War Hawk AP-168), Golden Gate, Winged Arrow, Sovereign of the Seaas, White Swallow, USS Arneb AKA-56 (ex- Mischief), USS Capricornus AKA-57 (ex- Spitfire I), Herald of the Morning, Monarch of the Seas, Red Rover, West Wind, Gauntlet, Ann McKim, USS Golden City AP-169, Rainbow (II), Flyaway, Pampero, Oriental, Celestial, Archer, Defiance, Ringleader, Wideawake, Flying Mist, Westward Ho, Morning Light, Highflyer, Mandarin, Argonaut, Flying Yankee, Eagle Wing, Neptune's Car, Ocean Telegraph, Belle of the West, USS Uvalde AKA-88 (ex- Wild Pigeon), USS Warrick AKA-89 (ex- Black Prince), USS Whiteside AKA-90 (ex- Wings of the Morning), USS Whitley AKA-91, USS Wyandot AKA-92, USS Yancey AKA-93, Hurricane, Nonpareil, Flying Cloud (II), Wild Hunter (ex- Expounder), Whirlwind, Flying Arrow, Golden Racer, Wild Wave, Belle of the Sea (ex- Robin Hood), Sparkling Wave, Water Witch, Queen of the Seas, Lookout, Wild Rover, Asterion, Coringa, Carrier Pigeon
During the war most of the 127 vessels type C2-S-B1 were taken over by the Navy  as auxiliaries, however after end of war a lot of vessels were reconverted for civil use and sold under the Merchant Sales Act of 1946 to U.S.Steamship Companies (no vessel was sold to foreign interests), and the C2-S-B1 was a very popular type into the mid and end 1960's. In appereance quite similar to the C2-S-AJ1-types, the C2-S-B1-type has a broader funnel and especially remarkable kingposts, some of which serve as ventilators. Typical for type C2-S-B1 is the continious bulwark compared with the open rail of types C2-S-AJ1 to AJ3. Both types have the raised bridgedeck amidship (Drawing shows a Federal built C2-S-B1 with States Marine Corp.funnel).

From the thirty two C2-S-B1 build by Federal, the bulk were converted for Navy use as AGC and AKA's. Three vessels AFRICAN STAR (I), AFRICAN DAWN and AFRICAN SUN were build for the account of the Farrell Lines (American South African Line Inc. AFRICAN STAR (I) were sunk in July 1943 by german submarine torpedoes, the two other vessels survived WWII. Drawing shows the AFRICAN DAWN in her post WWII configuration. 

One variation of the Moore built C2-S-B1, was the nine vessels converted to Navy AKA's (Amphibious Attack Cargo). Reconversion mainly consists change in cargo handling gear (to load and unload landing craft), troop and crew accomodations, armament and electronic equipment. Drawing shows USS ALGOL AKA-54 in her WWII configuration.

Design: C2-S-B1 Consolidated Steel Corp.,Wilmington,California
(Cargo) MC-2817 to 2825 and 2868 (Turbine / 10 Built) Messenger (II), Spitfire (II), Ocean Rover, National Eagle (II), Mountain Wave, Carrier Dove, Twilight (II), Wild Ranger, Crest of the Wave, Golden Light
GARDEN STATE (ex- OCEAN ROVER) was sold under the Merchant Sale Act of 1946 as one of five C2-S-B1 sold by this Company, after she was operate by States Marine Corp.from delivery up to November 1946, then she served under the flag of the States Marine Corp.for more than one decade (November 1946 to April 1957). 
Design: C2-S-E1 Gulf SB Corp., Chickasaw, Alabama
Breakbulk / Amhibious Attack Transport / Navy General Stores Ship MC-472 to 485, 849 to 850, 1602 to 1614 and 2826 (Turbine / 30 built) Fairport (I), Fairisle, Fairland (I), Raphael Semmes, USS Sumter APA-52 (ex- Iberville (I), USS Warren APA-53 (ex- Jean Lafitte (I), USS Wayne APA-65 (ex- Afoundria (I), Azalea City, Bienville, Warrior, Jean Lafitte (II), Iberville (II), Afoundria (II), USS Baxter APA-94 (ex- Antinous (I), Maiden Creek (I), USS Graffias AF-29 (ex- Topa Topa (I), Wacosta, De Soto, Antinous (II), Yaka, Hastings, Madaket, Andrew Jackson, City of Alma, Topa Topa (II), Iberville (III), Kyska, Maiden Creek (II), Fairport (II), John B.Waterman
Thus the first two C2 ships from the Gulf SB Co were modified for use by the Waterman Co. Subsequent contracts with those builders were for the same owners and the whole group of thirty vessels was designated as the C2-S-E1 type, also known as the Waterman C2's. Two of them became war losses when quite new. Yard No 1, completed in July 1942, made one or two coastwise runs but was sunk on her first deepsea transatlantic run. Similarly the MAIDEN CREEK (yard No 16) was torpedoed, and beached a constructive total loss in 1944. Following the completion of yard No 1, the next pair made their first commercial voyages in August 1942, later being converted to troopers. These were followed into service by the BIENVILLE in June 1943 (which operated only briefly as a freighter), the AZALEA CITY in the July and the WARRIOR in the next month. Some of the other vessels entered US Navy service during 1942-43, two of them remaining with the Navy until stricken from the fleet in 1969. As merchantmen, all thirty ships were designed with tonnages of 6,190 gross, 10,565 deadweight, and with dimensions of 468 ft (loa) 445 ft (bp) x 63 ft breadth. Tonnages altered considerably as vessels were converted, this exemplified by the FAIRISLE at 8,932 grt, the BIENVILLE at 7,626 and four attack transports each at 8,355 displacement tons. Those four, when stricken from the Navy, reverted to the USMC with three assuming their original Waterman names, but being laid up, as by then the names had been taken by later tonnage. The fourth vessel was given the name RIVAL, but all were immediately renamed when reverting to the Waterman Company in 1947. In 1957-58 six ships were converted to container carriers, being widened to 72 ft by the fitting of sponsons. Later another four were also converted, but without the increase in beam. During the period 1970-73 nearly a dozen of the ships then remaining met their fate at shipbreakers' yards.

Design: C2-S-AJ1 North Carolina SB Co.,Wilmington,North Carolina
Breakbulk MC-1350, 1355, 1357, 1360 to 1361, 1362, 1363 to 1371, 1373 to 1374, 1377, 1711 to 1722 and 2598 to 2611 (Turbine / 42 built) Flying Eagle, White Squall,  Alden Besse, Sweepstakes (II), Orpheus, Noonday, Talisman, Sturdy Beggar, Memnon, Sea Nymph, White Falcon, Fairwind, Golden, Fleece, Santa Leonor, Black Warrior, Sirocco, Stella Lykes (II), Ruth Lykes, American Ranger, American Banker (III), American Farmer (III), Kenneth McKay, Velma Lykes, Louise Lykes (II), Elizabeth Lykes, Reuben Tipton (II), Harry Culbreath (II), Red Gauntlet, Simoon, Canvasback, National Eagle, Eugene Lykes, Sue Lykes, Rattler, Stag Hound (III), Red Jacket (II), Resolute, Courser, Onward, Charles Lykes, Dick Lykes, Kendall Fish
The C2-S-AJ1 design resulted from the very successful C2-Cargo basic design, had the same hull form and in appereance resembled the C2-Cargo-type, but had a high, thin funnel. The vessels of types C2-S-AJ1, C2-S-AJ2 (no passenger accomodations, but extensive refrigerating installations), and C2-S-AJ3 (built for the Navy are "fullscantling" designs. The same is valid for type C2-S1-AJ4 (see above) with accomodations for 52 passengers and type C2-S-AJ5 (without passenger accomodations). Of the conversions of these types the Amphibious Force Flagship (Navy AGC) are especially remarkable. In total 111 C2-S-AJ1 to AJ5 (excluding C2-S1-AJ4) were built only by North Carolina Shipbuilding Company at Wilmington, North Carolina. Number of kingposts and the loading gear vary. A large number of Navy C3-S-AJ3 were reconverted after the war to the AJ1 standard, and sold in large numbers to U.S.Steamship Companies under the Merchant Sales Act of 1946 (none to Foreign Interests). United States Lines operates in the 1950's over 40 C2-S-B1 and AJ1 in his fleet (Drawing shows an AJ1 with United States Lines Funnel).

Design: C2-S-AJ1 North Carolina SB Co.,Wilmington,North Carolina
Amphibious Force Flagship MC-1347 to 1354, 1363, 1705, 1707 and 1710 (Turbine /  12 built) USS Mount  McKinley AGC-7, USS Mount Olympus AGC-8, USS Wasatch AGC-9, USS Auburn AGC-10, USS Eldorado AGC-11, USS Estes AGC-12, USS Panamint AGC-13,      USS Teton AGC-14, USS Adirondack AGC-14, USS Pocono AGC-16, USS Taconic AGC-17
Eleven C2-S-AJ1's were acquired by the Navy whilst under construction and joined four B1-type ships to form a group of fifteen out of eighteen Amphibious Force flagships (AGC's). Originally rated as Combined Operations-Communications Headquarters Ships, the AGC's carried Fleet or Force commanders and their staffs, a total complement on each ship of over six hundred. When on combined operations they also carried Army or Marine HQ units. The ships were equipped with elaborate communications gear, radio and radar. The fifteen converted C2 ships all carried 'mountain' names. In January 1969 the last five of this group to remain in service wore redesignated as Amphibious Command ships (LCC). Four of them were stricken during 1969-71 and the fifth decommissioned in 1973. Drawing shows the USS MOUNT MCKINLEY AGC-7 in her 1957 configuration.
Design: C2-S1-A1 Moore DD Co., Oakland, California
Passenger - Breakbulk / Navy Evacuation Transport MC-175 to 177 (Turbine / 3 built) Alcoa Courier (I) (APH-1 USS Tryon), Alcoa Corsair (I) (APH-2 USS Pinckney), Alcoa Cruiser (I) (APH-3 USS Rixey)
The three vessels of this type were modified C2-type ships laid down by the Moore Dry Dock Co at Oakland, Cal, in 1941 for the Alcoa SS Co. Specially designed for the West Indies bauxite run, they were intended to be the answer to the growing demand for luxury passenger accommodation on freighters. Each was to carry 102 passengers in spacious accommodation designed for tropical cruising, with facilities featuring those which were once the sole domain of the largest liners, including a swimming pool and beach deck, sports and sun decks, glass-enclosed promenades and a 'great hall' (lounge) two decks high with tall windows facing aft to the veranda deck. Adjoining were cocktail lounges, library and the passenger staterooms with private baths and showers. Despite this ample accommodation the sisterships were to have 313,000 cu ft of cargo space, with refrigerated hold. The lower holds, for bauxite, were self-trimming whilst large hatches would enable rapid discharge and quick turnround. The first of the fleet was launched in October 1941 as ALCOA COURIER, but before any of the three vessels could enter their owner's service they were taken over by the US Navy and completed as Evacuation Transports, being designated the APH's 1 to 3 and named after former Surgeon-Generals of the Navy. Even as Navy vessels they stood out as different, with clipper bows, raking masts, terraced midship deckhouse overhanging the hull and oval-shaped solarium circling their small tapered funnel. They were also shorter in length than the standard C2 vessels. Armed, they were outfitted with considerable troop space which could be quickly converted into spacious hospital wards for the evacuation of some 700 wounded from combat zones. Their main machinery was of the C3 turbine type, developing a maximum of 9,350 shp instead of the conventional C2 machinery of 6,000 hp. In 1946 the three vessels were transferred to the US Army and given Army names, but in October 1949 the MSTS took over both the Navy and Army transport services. They retained their army type names but were given the T-AP' designation. By 1 954-55 they were laid up in Navy Reserve and some two years later two were transferred to Marad, with the remaining one following in 1960. They remained in this status till 1969 70, when they were sold to shipbreakers. Drawing shows th T-AP-185 USNS PVT.WILLIAM H.THOMAS owned and operated by the Military Sea Transportation Service.

Design: C2-S-AJ5 North Carolina SB Co.,Wilmington,North Carolina
Breakbulk MC-2612 and 2796 to 2804 (Turbine / 10 built) Rapid (later Pioneer Glen), Defender (later Pioneer Star), Whistler (later Pioneer Gem), American Merchant (II), American Shipper (III), American Forwarder, American Importer, American Clipper, American Scout and American Traveler
The ten vessels of this designation were all modified from the AJ1 type for the United States Lines. The last seven ships were completed with the company's usual 'American' style of nomenclature but the earlier trio, with Maritime Commission names, were not renamed with their owner's customary 'Pioneer' prefix for the Pacific service until 1947. All the vessels were delivered by the North Carolina SB Co from their Wilmington, NC, shipyard between October 1945 and February 1946. The modifications for United States Lines were not so extensive as those carried out on the vessels altered for Grace Line services (see AJ2 and AJ4 types) but nevertheless included the installation of refrigeration plant for frozen produce in Nos 3 and 4 'tween decks. Additional deep tanks were installed in No 4 hold above the shaft for the carriage of 800 tons of cargo oil or additional oil fuel to obtain the necessary cruising radius. For this reason the deep tanks in No 2 hold were eliminated, as ballast voyages were not expected in normal service. The resultant bale capacity for dry cargo was approximately 426,000 cu ft and refrigerated capacity about 37,000 cu ft. Gross tonnage was 8,295 and the deadweight 10,400. Drawing shows the AMERCREST (ex- AMERICAN TRAVELER) the last AJ5 delivered to United States Lines from North Carolina SB Company. AMERICAN TRAVELER operated up to July 1969 under the Flag of the United States Lines, when she was removed from operations and sold to the Amercrest Shipping Corp.a U.S.corporation and continued service under U.S.Flag and Registry. She was renamed to AMERCREST and operated by this Company up to February 1972 when she was seized by the U.S.Marshall service and sold to Chi Shun Hua Steel Co.Ltd.for scrapping in Taiwan.

Design: C2-S1-AJ4 North Carolina SB Co.,Wilmington,North Carolina
Breakbulk MC-2805 to 2810 (Turbine / 6 Built) Santa Barbara (II), Santa Cecilia (II), Santa Margarita (II), Santra Maria (II), Santa Luisa, Santa Isabel
Build for Grace Lines as compensation of war losts, all vessels were delivered in 1946 to Grace. A very modern and impressive design, with similarities to C2-S built for Robin Line, with no sheer at bow and stern, and a massive deckhouse. Loading gear very similar to C3-type.

Design: C2-SU Sun SB & DD Co., Chester, Pennsylvania
Breakbulk MC-111 to 113 (Diesel / 3 built) China Mail (I), Island Mail, China Mail (II) (ex- Japan Mail)
These three vessels were built as Motorships by Sun for the American Mail Line. The CHINA MAIL (I) were aquired at delivery date by the Maritime Commission and transferred to British Ministry of War Transport under the terms of the Lend Lease Act. Renamed to EMPIRE PEREGRINE, she returned in April 1942 to U.S.Flag and Registry, retained her name and was converted to an troop transport for war service. She was operated by American Mail Line as Sub-agent for the War Shipping Adminstration. In December 1947 she returned from operatons and was laid-up. Finally removed from Reserve Fleet in January 1948, she was sold to American Mail Line in May 1948 and renamed to OCEAN MAIL. Title transferred to Marad in August 1959 and vessel chartered back from Marad. Removed from operations in August 1962 and laid up at Olympia Reserve Fleet. The second vessel the ISLAND MAIL also converted to an troop transport. In January 1947 returned to American Mail Line and reconverted, she served for the Company up to August 1959, when the title was transferred to the Maritime Administration and the vessel was chartered back. In April 1962 removed from service and laid up at the Olympia Reserve Fleet. The history of the third vessel is similar to her sister ships. Launched as JAPAN MAIL she was renamed to CHINA MAIL (II) after her sister ship was transferred to the British. Like the other ships she was converted to an troop transport. Returned to American Mail Line in October 1946, reconverted and served up to August 1959 by American Mail, when title was transferred to Marad and vessel was chartered by American Mail. In February 1962 removed from operation, the vessel was laid up at Olympia Reserve Fleet. All three vessels were sold in June 1968 to Zidell's Exploration Corp.for scrapping. Physically delivered July 1968. OCEAN and ISLAND MAIL were scrapped at Tacoma, Washington (as of 12-19-68 and 08-18-69) and CHINA MAIL was scrapped at Portland, Oregon as of 02-13-69.