A total of 12 of the 3287 Liberty ships, T1 tankers and T2 tankers built for the US Maritime Commission (USMC) broke in two (prior to 1 April 1953):
  • 3 of 2710 Liberty ships (EC)
  • 1 of 54 T1 tankers
  • 8 of 523 T2 tankers.
None of the 414 Victory ships (VC2) or 958 other ships (C1 to C5, R1,R2, L6, N3, V4) built for the USMC broke in half.

The ships that broke in two prior to 1 April 1953, were --

Vessel Type Date of Event Location
Schenectady T2 16 Jan 1943 Fitting-out pier, Portland, Oregon
Esso Manhattan T2 29 Mar 1943 Ambrose Channel
John P. Gaines Liberty 24 Nov 1943 North Pacific
Valeri Chkalov Liberty 11 Dec 1943 North Pacific
Joel R. Poinsett Liberty 4 Mar 1944 North Atlantic
Donbass III T2 17 Feb 1946 North Pacific
Sacketts Harbor T2 1 Mar 1946 North Pacific
Fort Sumter T2 10 May 1946 North Pacific
Fort Dearborn T2 12 Mar 1947 North Pacific
Ponagansett T2 9 Dec 1947 Refitting pier, East Boston, Mass.
Capitan T1 24 Dec 1948 Under tow, East coast of U.S.
Unknown T2 Feb 1952 Unknown

In addition, at least 19 Liberties sank after developing leaks, broke in two at sea, broke in two after grounding, or were abandoned while breaking up in the period 1965 - 1968. However, these were worn-out ships long overdue in the breaker's yard.

Ref.: H. S. Reemsnyder, "Ships that have broken into two pieces - World War II U.S. Maritime Commission Construction," March 14, 1995.

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