XB-70A

A little tour on board the S.S 'American Victory' cargo ship

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Hi all,

 

Today was my last in the Clearwater area before moving to Melbourne, FL, tomorrow. And to take advantage of this I decided to drive to Tampa :

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The reason? There is a museum here I wanted to visit since a long time... the S.S American Victory!

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Docked on the Ybor channel, the ship is a general cargo from the Victory class, heir of the much more famous Liberty ships.

 

 

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Built in California in 1945 the ship is the 792nd of its class which counted 875 units. The work started in March and she was launch in May, entering into service on the 20th June 1945. Arriving nearly at the end of the War she was however immediately deployed in the Philippines. Following the end of the conflict she was re-assigned to civil merchant shipping until 1950 when the Korean War started. She then served for three years before being devoted once again to the civil. She finally was deactivated in 1969 and place into reserve. Nearly thirty passed before an association saved her from disassembling at the last moment.

They renovate her for more than two millions, transfer her to Tampa and she still is operational to this date, realizing about two trips every years with members of the association.

Now, let's go aboard!

 

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A traditional and cracking foot bridge to welcome you.

 

 

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Some short stories and different ships models or ammunition are exposed in the welcoming area. Here a destroyer from the Clemson class.

The entrance is costing $10. Which is not so much for such a historic piece.

 

 

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O.K let's start! The inboard temperature just is normal for such an old ship, which means terrible. Some fans are present to help the peoples but do not expect any A.C units in most of the ship.

Mmmmh and this delicious smell of oil everywhere! You really feel like you still are aboard a living and operational ship!

 

 

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A good example of how "hybrid" the ship was at the date she was placed out of service. A mix of old and outdated stuff with more much modern ones.

 

 

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One deck lower is situated one of the loading area, inaccessible, alas.

 

 

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Let's go up to discover an impressive stock of life jacket, all of them being mark of 80... not so great to stay alive for hours.

 

 

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A bit of light in the darkness. And more important... some fresh air!

 

 

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A view of the ship's bridge. We will go inside later.

For now let's walk to the bow.

 

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Where we can discover a 76 mm/3 inch dual purpose canon.

 

My local time being 24:25 it's time for me to take a break but I will share the end of the visit tomorrow.

Edited by XB-70A

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Some closer views of the piece :

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The 76 mm round was able to reach an altitude of more than 30 000 feet, nearly 10 km, at its maximum elevation.

Most of the pieces are present and you can even seat down here if you want!

 

 

 

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The Louisiana gas ship entering into the port while two tugboats were taking care of the maneuvers.

It firstly surprise me not by the size of the ship in this part of the port but by the fact that the Louisiana was registered in Jacksonville (Florida) so in the U.S.A! Not in a tax haven like the Bahamas, Liberia or the Marshall Islands as usual.

 

 

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I simply could not retain myself from sitting down at the gun...

 

 

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Two close view of the bow anchor mechanism and its gears.

 

 

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We are now leaving the bow for the stern. Here we can see the vessel became a disco ship with purple lights.

 

 

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A panoramic view of the rear section with typical Floridian weather... which means sun and thunder clouds.

 

 

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OH YES!!! FOR SURVIVAL!

 

 

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Then after 20 seconds of break to cool down a bit we restart our walk to reach the stern with its particular smoking area.

 

 

Next step?

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The stern cannons!

 

 

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Other views of a 3 inch/50 cal dual purpose canon.

 

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Waiting for enemy aircraft! This second piece actually was in a better state than the bow one. Much more pieces still being present, like this complete AA sight.

 

 

And now let's go to the biggest artillery piece of the ship...

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The stern 127 mm/5 inch artillery gun.

A small turn around of this really famous cannon.

 

 

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Target insight! Distance 200 yards!

(Should make a great BOOM)

 

 

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Different instruments of aim.

 

 

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Generator for mechanical assistance in aiming. Of course realizing the aiming just by human force would have required huge efforts from multiple crew sailors.

 

 

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Artillery sights.

 

 

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The phone having a pitiful lens only a panoramic view was able to take a picture of the whole gun, alas.

 

 

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Hercules gave us some company. Strangely with everything deployed at such an altitude.

 

 

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Time to go downstairs once again!

 

Next will be a visit of the inside and the different crew compartments.

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Fantastic pictures as always, but I have to ask. . .

 

17 hours ago, XB-70A said:

Today was my last in the Clearwater area before moving to Melbourne, FL, tomorrow. And to take advantage of this I decided to drive to Tampa :

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How did you manage to find a freeway in Tampa with no traffic on it? :0.0:  Is that the upper deck of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway (aka, The Crosstown)? 

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31 minutes ago, Ten Key said:

Tampa with no traffic on it? :0.0:

I laugh while reading it. It seems so impossible indeed! But to be honest there was two other cars behind me.

And you're totally right, it was on the upper Selmon Expressway. Despite having a SunPass I usually took the Adamo Drive, but yesterday it was so busy that the Expressway was the best choice to evade it.

Edited by XB-70A

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Great photos. Somewhere in my collection of photos I have the tour my wife and I took of the SS Jeremiah O'Brien up in San Francisco. Her grandfather was Merchant Marine in WWII, he served on a Liberty Ship in the Pacific.

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I have visited the retired aircraft carrier U.S.S. Yorktown in Charleston, South Carolina. Nothing prepares you for the sheer size of the ship. It is enormous. The carrier is almost exactly the same shape it was in when it was retired. All of the original "graffiti" and comics in the mess hall tables are still there. Black circles painted onto the deck indicate where the ship was hit by kamikazies and the hangar is home to quite a few historic aircraft. Here is a picture of the entire ship:

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Excellent photographs! Thanks for sharing! :)

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