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LIBERTY SHIP: Liberty ship found and lost

There are a number of Liberty ship hulls still afloat, most nearly unrecognisable in their present form. One such is the 1942-built Davy Crockett, a war-time product of the Todd-Houston Shipbuilding Corporation at Houston, Texas. The 431ft Liberty survived the war and over two decades of lay-up in the US reserve fleet before being converted into an offshore pipelaying barge by construction contractor Peter Kiewit Sons in 1969.

After another decade of lay-up in Puget Sound, she was converted to a flat barge for General Construction on the Columbia River. In 2002 she was sold again, and was under a very slow process of illegal demolition by owner Brett Simpson when oil began leaking from the hull. The US Coast Guard then took over the wreck and launched a project to stem the oil flow and scrap the ship on site. This has cost US$13 million so far, with the resulting scrap steel selling for less than £300.000.

Ships Montly - January 2024

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