The ship sustained major damage and barely escaped being sunk. [44] The torpedo boats then launched five torpedoes at the Liberty. [87], The 1981 book Weapons by Russell Warren Howe says that Liberty was accompanied by the Polaris ballistic missile-armed Lafayette-class submarine USS Andrew Jackson, which filmed the entire episode through its periscope but was unable to provide assistance. [20]:38, McGonagle testified that he "believed that the time of initial sighting of the torpedo boats ... was about 14:20", and that the "boats appeared to be in a wedge type formation with the center boat the lead point of the wedge. [26], At 11:24 am, the Israeli chief of naval operations received a report that Arish was being shelled from the sea. Fifty-eight Liberty ships were lengthened by 70 feet (21 m) starting in 1958. [59] According to the Navy Court of Inquiry's record of proceedings, four days were spent hearing testimony: two days for fourteen survivors of the attack and several U.S. Navy expert witnesses, and two partial days for two expert U.S. Navy witnesses. Other survivors run several additional websites. Vice-Admiral William I. Martin recalled the aircraft minutes later. [11] Several days before the war began, the USS Liberty was ordered to proceed to the eastern Mediterranean area to perform a signals intelligence collection mission in international waters near the north coast of Sinai, Egypt. (, Translation: "We express deep sorrow for the thirty-four friends who died by our hands in combat they should not have been involved in. 9 July 1943: U-511 sank the Liberty Ship Samuel Heintzelman in the central Indian Ocean. The Liberty class was designed to fill a void in merchant marine ships as the United States rapidly ramped up its war effort. It began its first deployment in 1965, in waters off the west coast of Africa. Each dive was completely amazing! [29], On 10 March 1943 SS Lawton B. Evans became the only ship ever to survive an attack by the German submarine U-221. The helicopters conducted a brief search for crew members of the ship who may have fallen overboard during the air attack. The Johnson administration conveyed "strong dismay" to Israeli ambassador Avraham Harman. In 2008, SS Arthur M. Huddell, a ship converted in 1944 into a pipe transport to support Operation Pluto,[50] was transferred to Greece and converted to a floating museum dedicated to the history of the Greek merchant marine;[51] although missing major components were restored this ship is no longer operational. Ships sunk or damaged during February 1944 (21 ships) Date: Ship: Type: Cause: Result: Location: Deaths: 02/01/44: George W. Childs: Liberty: Damaged by cargo and grounded The ship sustained major damage and barely escaped being sunk. [20]:26,27 McGonagle later testified, at the Court of Inquiry, that this was likely the "extremely effective" firing event he had observed. The American Liberty Ship SS Richard Montgomery sank in the Thames Estuary in August 1944 carrying 6,000 tonnes of ordnance intended to supply the Allied advance in France after D-Day. This section of List of Liberty ships is a sortable list of Liberty ships—cargo ships built in the United States during World War II—with names beginning with M through R. See also: List of Liberty ships: A-F List of Liberty ships: G-Je List of Liberty ships: Je-L List of Liberty ships: S-Z A communication to the Israeli ambassador on 10 June, by Secretary Rusk stated, among other things: At the time of the attack, the USS Liberty was flying the American flag and its identification was clearly indicated in large white letters and numerals on its hull. "[57] Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time of the Liberty incident, said that he, "cannot accept the claim by the Israelis that this was a case of mistaken identity". [27] Division 914, codenamed "Pagoda", was under the command of Commander Moshe Oren. This is similar to the technique used by Palmer's at Jarrow, northeast England, but substituted welding for riveting. [94], Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a critic of the official United States Government version of events, chaired a non-governmental investigation into the attack on the Liberty in 2003. The most intriguing part, though, is that of the 11 treasure-filled ships, four haven't been located. Throughout the war, Liberty Ships were manned members of the US Merchant Marine, with gun crews provided by the US Naval Armed Guard. "[61], The Clark Clifford report concluded: "The unprovoked attack on the Liberty constitutes a flagrant act of gross negligence for which the Israeli Government should be held completely responsible, and the Israeli military personnel involved should be punished. vessel. More than 2,400 Liberty ships survived the war. Liberty Ships served in all theaters with distinction. [40], In 1953, the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), began storing surplus grain in Liberty ships located in the Hudson River, James River, Olympia, and Astoria National Defense Reserve Fleet's. Ambassador Walworth Barbour in Tel Aviv, Israel, Rusk asked for "urgent confirmation" of Israel's statement. Lenczowski further states: "It seems Johnson was more interested in avoiding a possible confrontation with the Soviet Union, ... than in restraining Israel. To this day, golden goblets and silver plates wash up on Treasure Coast beaches, most of which probably end up being deep fried by retirees with poor eyesight. For the most part, the senators were dismayed about the attack, as expressed by Senator Bourke B. Hickenlooper: "From what I have read I can't tolerate for one minute that this [attack] was an accident." While I am not aware of a comprehensive list of Liberty Ship Masters, my colleague Rebecca Collier in College Park located the following information in the series Armed Guard Files, 1934-1946:. [42][43], As the torpedo boats rapidly approached, Captain McGonagle ordered a sailor to proceed to machine gun Mount 51 and open fire. [39] Among the wounded was McGonagle, who was hit in the right thigh and arm. [12], Any group which raised war bonds worth $2 million could propose a name. The ships had a range of 17,000 miles. on the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, a communications interception vessel, on 8 June 1967."[98]. [7] The Liberty's survivors contradict Spector. One variant, with basically the same features but different type numbers, had four rather than five holds served by large hatches and kingpost with large capacity booms. Fougner to head a study into the feasibility of building ships made of ferro-concrete, or concrete reinforced with steel bars. Two Case Studies Although most Liberty Ships were sunk by means of war, a significant number of them failed with sudden fractures that raised questions. [55] SS Benjamin Chew had its existing condensers modified and a new superheater and geared turbine installed to give the ship 6,000 shp, up from 2,500. [7], In the detailed Federal Register publication of the post war prices of Maritime Commission types the Liberty variants are noted as:[7], The Z-EC2-S-C2 Tank carrier type details had not been previously published until 17 August 1946 Federal Register. He reported seeing no flag, but saw the ship's GTR-5 marking. Zillow has 9,376 homes for sale in Utah. JUNEAU and was lost when that ship was torpedoed and sunk in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal on 13 November, 1942. The USS Liberty incident was an attack on a United States Navy technical research ship, USS Liberty, by Israeli Air Force jet fighter aircraft and Israeli Navy motor torpedo boats, on 8 June 1967, during the Six-Day War. The modifications into troop transports also were not given special type designations. She was hit by U-371 on 15 Oct 1943. [20]:39, McGonagle observed that machine gun Mount 53 began firing at the center torpedo boat at about the same time gun mount 51 fired, and that its fire was "extremely effective and blanketed the area and the center torpedo boat". [23] The vessel's location was marked on a CCC control table, using a red marker, indicating an unidentified vessel. Veterans of, Cite error: The named reference "FOOTNOTELenczowski1990110–112" was defined multiple times with different content (see the. She was built and served in World War II as SS Simmons Victory, as a Victory cargo ship. Steam turbine engines required very precise manufacturing techniques and balancing and a complicated reduction gear, however, and the companies capable of manufacturing them already were committed to the large construction program for warships. [63][64], The National Security Agency (NSA) history report is, as its name denotes, a historical report that cites the U.S. Daughter -in-law of liberty. DoD has responded that a new investigation would not be conducted since a Navy Court of Inquiry had already investigated the facts and circumstances surrounding the attack. Shortly before the Liberty's identity was confirmed, the Saratoga launched eight aircraft armed with conventional weapons towards Liberty. Naval Court of Inquiry record contains testimony by Liberty crew members, exhibits of attack damage photographs, and various reports. [33] He also communicated, in effect, that the ship appeared to him like a destroyer or another type of small ship. [58] Three were scrapped in 1971 or 1972 and the diesel-equipped Thomas Nelson was scrapped in 1981. [10], The ships were constructed of sections that were welded together. However, the first highly successful artificial reef development occurred during the mid-1970’s when 12 obsolete Liberty Ships were sunk at five different sites in the Gulf of Mexico. [20]:111 ff. [45] At 1235Z (2:35 local time)[44] a torpedo hit Liberty on the starboard side forward of the superstructure, creating a 40 ft (12 m) wide hole in what had been a cargo hold converted to the ship's research spaces and killing 25 servicemen, almost all of them from the intelligence section, and wounding dozens. USSFiske (United States Navy): World War II: The Edsall-class destroyer escort was torpedoed and sunk in the Atlantic Ocean (47°11′N 33°29′W / 47.183°N 33.483°W / 47.183; -33.483) by U-804 (Kriegsmarine) with the loss of 33 of her 209 crew. There was concern about obtaining more information on the attack, as expressed by Committee chairman J. William Fulbright: "We asked for [the attack investigation report] about two weeks ago and have not received it yet from Secretary Rusk. [24] About the same time, an Israeli jet fighter pilot reported that a ship 20 miles (32 km) north of Arish had fired at his aircraft after he tried to identify the vessel. [60] No testimony was heard from Israeli personnel involved. Admiral Shlomo Erell, head of the Israeli Navy in 1967, stated that no successful argument of benefit has been presented for Israel purposely attacking an American warship, especially considering the high cost of predictable complications that would follow an attack on a powerful ally. In 2004, in response to the publication of A. Jay Cristol's book The Liberty Incident, which Boston said was an "insidious attempt to whitewash the facts", Boston prepared and signed an affidavit in which he said that Admiral Kidd had told him that the government ordered Kidd to falsely report that the attack was a mistake, and that Boston and Kidd both believed the attack was deliberate. A sonar scan showed the hull of a sunken ship. It claimed that President Lyndon B. Johnson launched allegedly nuclear-armed aircraft targeted against Cairo from a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean. Six Liberty ships were converted at Point Clear, Alabama, by the United States Army Air Force, into floating aircraft repair depots, operated by the Army Transport Service, starting in April 1944. of another Liberty Ship, only being possible owing to the simple mass production design. [2] The combined air and sea attack killed 34 crew members (naval officers, seamen, two marines, and one civilian NSA employee), wounded 171 crew members, and severely damaged the ship. [32] The Mysteres were readying to attack again when the Israeli Navy, alerted by the absence of return fire, warned Kislev that the target could be Israeli. Within an hour of learning that the Liberty had been torpedoed, the director of the U.S. National Security Agency, LTG Marshall S. Carter, sent a message to all intercept sites requesting a search of communications that might be connected to the attack or any reaction to it. [18] Liberty crewmembers say that one of the Noratlas aircraft flew so close to Liberty that noise from its propellers rattled the ship's deck plating, and that the pilots and crewmembers waved to each other. He chose not to make any public statements and delegated this task to Phil G. Goulding, who was an assistant secretary of defense for public affairs at the time. [61] It concludes: "The attack was not made in malice toward the U.S. and was by mistake, but the failure of the IDF Headquarters and the attacking aircraft to identify the Liberty and the subsequent attack by torpedo boats were both incongruous and indicative of gross negligence. American inquiries, memoranda, records of testimony, and various reports involving or mentioning the Liberty attack include, but are not limited to, the following: The U.S. The number was doubled in 1939 and again in 1940 to 200 ships a year. The aircraft approaching Liberty were recalled to the Saratoga. [27] The Chief of Naval Operations took them seriously, and at 12:05 pm torpedo boat Division 914 was ordered to patrol in the direction of Arish. 220 The torpedo boats gave chase, but did not expect to overtake their target before it reached Egypt. Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East, Hornet (Aérospatiale Super Frelon) helicopters, US Defense Department's June 28, 1967, News Release, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Testimony, House Armed Services Committee Investigation, "New revelations in attack on American spy ship". Naval Court of Inquiry record, various military and government messages and memorandum, and personal interviews for its content. The combined air and sea attack killed 34 crew members (naval officers, seamen, two marines, and one civilian NSA employee), wounded 171 crew members, and severely damaged the ship. Crew 6 - Master sent to Jap POW camp and later killed in … [6] Others, including survivors of the attack, have rejected these conclusions and maintain that the attack was deliberate. The order was also recorded in the torpedo boat's log, although Commander Oren claimed not to have received it. I didn't believe them then, and I don't believe them to this day. [17] It would ultimately steam to about 13 nmi (15 mi; 24 km) north of the Sinai Peninsula. [39] Aircraft carrier USS America dispatched eight aircraft. [20]:38 However, he then noticed that the boats appeared to be flying an Israeli flag, and "realized that there was a possibility of the aircraft having been Israeli and the attack had been conducted in error". The ships were designed to minimize labor and material costs; this was done in part by replacing many rivets with welds. [20]:39 Machine gun mount 53 was located on the starboard amidships side, behind the pilot house. [14][15] SS E. A. Bryan detonated with the energy of 2,000 tons of TNT (8,400 GJ) in July 1944 as it was being loaded, killing 320 sailors and civilians in what was called the Port Chicago disaster. The class was developed to meet British orders for transports to replace ships that had been lost. [85], Lenczowski notes that while the Israeli decision to "attack and destroy" the ship "may appear puzzling", the explanation seems to be found in Liberty's nature and its task to monitor communications from both sides in the war zone. Rabin ordered the torpedo boats to remain at a safe distance from the ship, and sent in two Hornet (Aérospatiale Super Frelon) helicopters to search for survivors. Public Affairs in the USS LIBERTY Incident. ... it is crucial that our announcement about prosecuting those who are to blame be publicized before – I repeat, before – the publication of the American report here. SS Robert Battey: Masters include Frank C. Hunt, Paul Brolin (as of December 12, 1943), O.M. But then, Israeli Mirage III fighters, armed with rockets and machine guns, descended upon the Liberty. Britain specified coal-fired plants, because it then had extensive coal mines and no significant domestic oil production. These were simple but fairly large (for the time) with a single 2,500 horsepower (1,900 kW) compound steam engine of obsolete but reliable design. Weyerhaeuser operated a fleet of six Liberty Ships (which were later extensively refurbished and modernized) carrying lumber, newsprint, and general cargo for years after the end of the war. John Barry ( United States): World War II: The Liberty ship was torpedoed and sunk in the Indian Ocean (15°10′N 55°18′E  /  15.167°N 55.3°E  / ) by U-859 ( Kriegsmarine) with the loss of two of her 68 crew. It had the additional advantage of ruggedness and simplicity. Many of the events surrounding the attack are the subject of controversy: He told me that since I was the senior Liberty survivor on board he wanted to tell me in confidence what had actually transpired. In a speech announcing the emergency shipbuilding program President Franklin D. Roosevelt had referred to the ship as "a dreadful looking object", and Time magazine called it an "Ugly Duckling". [24] The predominantly welded hull construction allowed small cracks to propagate unimpeded, unlike in a hull made of separate plates riveted together. After being cleared to attack, the Mirages dove on the ship and attacked with 30-mm cannons and rockets. [54] Other Liberty sailors received decorations for their actions during and after the attack, but most of the award citations omitted mention of Israel as the perpetrator. Anne Hutchinson, SAtlantic, Torpedo & Shelled, Sunk, 10/26/42, Liberty, Crew 3 Anson Burlingame, Philippines, Unknown, Unknown, 11/26/44, Liberty, None [AG wounded] Antietam, NEAtlantic, Mine, Total loss, 01/30/46, Liberty, Crew 1 Antigua, Pacific, Collision, Damaged, 10/00/44, Freighter, None In 2009, however, a Silver Star was awarded to crewmember Terry Halbardier, who braved machine-gun and cannon fire to repair a damaged antenna that restored the ship's communication; in his award citation Israel was named as the attacker. These ships were built as quickly and cheaply as possible, with a "programmed obsolescence" of just five years, with the first ship (the Patrick Henry) being launched in September 1941. [95], According to John Loftus and Mark Aarons in their book, The Secret War Against the Jews, Liberty was attacked because the Israelis knew that the ship's mission was to monitor radio signals from Israeli troops and pass troop movement information to the Egyptians. However, Kislev was still disturbed by a lack of return fire and requested one last attempt to identify the ship. In Portland, Oregon, the hulls of Richard Henry Dana and Jane Addams serve as the basis of floating docks. [citation needed] He consulted an Israeli identification guide to Arab fleets and concluded the ship was the Egyptian supply ship El Quseir, based on observing its deckline, midship bridge and smokestack. [99][100] The rescue helicopters relayed urgent requests that the rescuers ask the first survivor pulled out of the water what his nationality is; there was discussion as to whether the survivors would speak Arabic.[101]. Minor revisions to the hatches and various reinforcements were applied to the Liberty ships to arrest the cracking problem. [27] It consisted of three torpedo boats numbered: T-203, T-204 and T-206. This 10,000-ton freighter were constructed of prefabricated sections that were welded together and could be assembled in less than 5 days. William Patterson was considered to be a failure as reliability was poor and the scalability of the design was poor. [64] The report ends with a section entitled, "Unanswered Questions", and comes to no conclusion regarding culpability. [48] Soon afterward, the Israelis said that they had mistakenly attacked the ship. It was adopted as a Merchant Marine Act design, and production awarded to a conglomerate of West Coast engineering and construction companies headed by Henry J. Kaiser known as the Six Companies. John Sergeant was considered overall to be a success, but problems with the reversible pitch propeller ended its trial after three years. The first of these was SS Patrick Henry, launched by President Roosevelt. [35] The attack came a few minutes after the crew completed a chemical attack drill, with Captain McGonagle on the command bridge. Further investigation revealed the submerged vessel is consistent in size and shape with a 417-foot-long, 56-foot-wide World War II Liberty ship. The torpedo boats then closed in and strafed the ship's hull with their cannons and machine guns. The Ministry of War Transport borrowed the British-built Empire Duke for testing purposes. "[65], The USS Liberty Veterans Association, composed of veterans from the ship, states that U.S. congressional investigations and other U.S. investigations were not actually investigations into the attack, but rather reports using evidence only from the U.S. Navy Court of Inquiry, or investigations unrelated to culpability that involved issues such as communications. [47] (pp. The Liberty ships were slightly over 441 feet long and 57 feet wide. The deck of the American spy ship … [20]:39 So, he "sent Mr. Lucas around the port side of the bridge, around to the skylights, to see if he could tell [Seaman] Quintero, whom [he] believed to be the gunner on Machine gun 53, to hold fire". SS Robert Battey: Masters include Frank C. Hunt, Paul Brolin (as of December 12, 1943), O.M. At 1:41 pm, the torpedo boats detected an unknown vessel 20 miles northwest of Arish and 14 miles (23 km) off the coast of Bardawil. [29] Moreover, Israeli forces had standing orders to fire on any unknown vessels sailing in the area at over 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph), a speed which, at the time, could only be attained by warships. One common type of crack nucleated at the square corner of a hatch which coincided with a welded seam, both the corner and the weld acting as stress concentrators. McGonagle testified at the naval court of inquiry that during .mw-parser-output .templatequote{overflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px}.mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequotecite{line-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0}, the latter moments of the air attack, it was noted that three high speed boats were approaching the ship from the northeast on a relative bearing of approximately 135 [degrees] at a distance of about 15 [nautical] miles. [7][8], In May 1968, the Israeli government paid US$3.32 million (equivalent to US$24.4 million in 2019) to the U.S. government in compensation for the families of the 34 men killed in the attack. However, the journalist who transcribed the tapes for that article, Arieh O'Sullivan, later confirmed that "the Israeli Air Force tapes he listened to contained blank spaces". On an earlier matter Boston had been willing to bump heads with Kidd when Boston felt it was more important to do the right thing than to curry favor with the senior who would write his fitness report. Barbour responded: "No request for info on U.S. ships operating off Sinai was made until after Liberty incident." Commander Oren requested that the Israeli Air Force dispatch aircraft to intercept. When the United States finally entered World War I in 1917, steel became scarce, and at the same time the demand for ships increased. As America entered the war, the shipbuilding yards employed women, to replace men who were enlisting in the armed forces. The ships were made assembly-line style, from prefabricated sections. [49][50], George Lenczowski notes: "It was significant that, in contrast to his secretary of state, President Johnson fully accepted the Israeli version of the tragic incident." But the Egyptian ship – the El Quseir – was an unarmed 1920s-era horse carrier out of service in Alexandria, four times smaller than the Liberty, which bore virtually no resemblance to the Liberty. Request denied. The Richard Montgomery was a Liberty Ship, a type of transport ship meant to be manufactured quickly and in large quantities during World War II. Although greatly outgunned, the crew of Stephen Hopkins fought back, replacing the Armed Guard crew of the ship's lone 4-inch (100 mm) gun with volunteers as they fell. According to the War Shipping Administration, the U.S. [20]:39 Ensign Lucas "reported back in a few minutes in effect that he saw no one at mount 53". Torpedo Junction. Liberty ships were designed to carry 10,000 long tons (10,200 t) of cargo, usually one type per ship, but, during wartime, generally carried loads far exceeding this.[6]. 2 dives were the wreck, two others were down the beach with other artifacts that have been pushed into the ocean. The helicopters arrived at about 3:10 pm, about 35 minutes after the torpedo hit the ship.