Monday, March 26, 2018
N.C.'s Liberty Armada-- Part 9: South Carolina-Named Ships Launched in North Carolina?
The first of the North Carolina Shipbuilding Company's designated "Liberty Ships" scheduled to be launched in December 1941, was to be named Francis Marion, honoring the American Revolution guerrilla leader from South Carolina. Others were to have the names Nathaniel Greene and Daniel Morgan, Revolutionary War generals from Rhode Island and New Jersey. Four more were to be named after South Carolinians: John C. Calhoun, Charles C. Pinckney, William Moultrie and Edward Rutledge.
These names struck a blow to local pride and the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce wrote a letter to the United States Maritime Commission in charge of the ships reading: "Thus, it would appear that, to date, South Carolina has gained more recognition than any other state in the number of vessels constructed here."
Just weeks before the Marion's launch, the name was changed to Zebulon B. Vance, the Civil War governor of North Carolina.