Creating Liberty and Victory

Creating Liberty and Victory

Generally, I overlook errors I carch in publicarions I read, bur rhis one was too much.

On page four, you apologize for labeling rhe Lane Victory as a Liberry Ship.

Then yo u make anorher grievous error in saying, “Liberry ships and Victory ships were builr by rhe US Navy … . “

A linle larer you refer to rhe War Shipping Adminisrrarion (WSA).

Perhaps ir was a slip, bur all mercham ships of W\VII were builr by WSA, nor rh e US Navy.

WSA was a warrime sub-grouping of rhe independem US Maririme Commission. The same individual, Admiral Emory Land, headed borh organizarions.

During the early momhs of WWII, the US Navy’s principal contribution with regard to the mercham ships being sunk.

by German submarines along our Atlantic coastline was to object to convoys or naval escorts,

saying that they were not needed or the existing naval ships and planes were being held in port for higher purposes.

Finally, England’s Prime Minisrer urged FDR to urilize rhe convoy sysrem wirh naval prorecrion- rhe logistic.

supply to rhe UK was under threar as Brirish ships, as well as US-Aag ships, were being sunk.

Thar was ir (also, rhe media were simultaneously reporring ships being sunk in sight of rhe American coast).

By rhe middle of rhe year rhe convoy system was in use. Despite the hard knocks that sometimes come with letters to the editor, I do enjoy reading the mail (and e-mail) from our readers!

As a membership publication, our collective experience and expertise is the best way to move information and learning forward.

With app roximately 20, 000 members, the National Maritime Historical Society has, as a group, tremendous depth.

We can only tap into that knowledge if you write us with corrections, additional information, and anecdotes pertaining to articles we have p rinted in Sea History.

Please keep them coming! ALL letters are read and appreciated. On this same topic, Louis D.

Chirillo, CDR, Sail Rails USN (Ret.}, was kind enough to send in facsimiles of two letters written by President Roosevelt to Admiral Land in early 1942.

In the first letter, FDR wrote: “You are therefore instructed and directed to build merchant ships in the calendar year 1942.

to the extent of eight million dead weight tons and in 1943.

to a minimum of ten million dead weight tons I know you will let nothing interfere with the accomplishment of this program.

It must be carried out with the utmost urgency.

I have every confidence that you will do this. ”

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