Monday, March 19, 2018
N.C.'s Liberty Armada-- Part 3: Using New Technology
What they had planned for this new Cape Fear shipyard was to construct 37 new cargo ships at a cost of $42 million. They would be built to a uniform design adopted from the British and to be used in all American shipyards to build these ships, to be known as Liberty Ships.
They could be modified for use as tankers and fitted out with anti-aircraft guns. They would carry supplies to England through the Lend-Lease Act of 1941.
Plus, they would be built using new technology. Instead of the traditional expensive and time-consuming method of riveting steel plates, workers would build the ships in modules and weld the pieces together. This had never been tried before in ocean-going ships.
The Liberty Ships were not expected to hold up for more than a few years, but the speed of construction and efficiency were deemed to be worth it. The Allies needed supply ships right away and these would fit the bill.