Tuesday, March 27, 2018
N.C.'s Liberty Armada-- Part 10: SS Zebulon Vance Launched Dec. 6, 1941
The first Liberty Ship to slide down the ways into the Cape Fear River, then, was the Zebulon B. Vance. It was 441.6 feet long, 56 foot beam and displaced 14,100 tons with a draft of 27.8 feet.
It was manned by 44 officers and crew and could carry more than 9,000 tons of cargo: 440 tanks, 2,840 jeeps or 230 rounds of small arms ammunition. It cost $1,610,000.
These Liberty Ships were not just being built here, but in shipyards all along the seaboard.
The launch took place on December 6 in a short ceremony with brief remarks. North Carolina Governor Joseph M. Broughton also spoke. His wife, Alice W. Broughton christened the ship with the traditional bottle of champagne.