SS Hellas Liberty (restored).jpg
SS Hellas Liberty in Piraeus Port, Greece after major restoration (2010)
United States
Name: Arthur M. Huddell
Namesake: Union leader Arthur M. Huddell (1869-1931)[1]
Ordered: MCE hull 1215
Builder: St. Johns River Shipbuilding, Jacksonville, Florida[2]
Laid down: 25 October 1943[2]
Launched: 7 December 1943[2]
Refit: 1944
Fate: sold for preservation in Greece
Name: Hellas Liberty
Acquired: 2008
Identification:IMO number: 5025706
Status: Converted to a museum ship
General characteristics
Type: Liberty ship
Displacement: (as built) 14,257 (fl) tons[2]
Length: 441 feet 6 inches (134.6 m)[2]
Beam: (molded) 56 feet 10.75 inches (17.3 m)[2]
Draft: (as built) 25 feet 3.25 inches (7.7 m)[2]
Installed power: 2 x Combustion Engineering oil-fired boilers[3]
Propulsion: Filer and Stowell triple expansion, reciprocating engine; 2,500 shp (1,900 kW)[3]
Speed: 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph)[3]
Range: 19,000 nautical miles (35,000 km; 22,000 mi)[3]

Coordinates: 37°56′33″N 23°37′51″E / 37.942414°N 23.630944°E / 37.942414; 23.630944

SS Arthur M. Huddel, IMO: 5025706, is a Liberty ship built by St. Johns River Shipbuilding Company with keel laid 25 October 1943 and the yard workers working overtime to launch on 7 December 1943 and complete outfitting nine days later.[1]

She has been transferred to Greece and serves as the museum ship Hellas Liberty.

Wartime operation

Arthur M. Huddell carried explosives and general cargo first being loaded in Jacksonville, Florida for London after joining a convoy out of New York, then after return to Norfolk, Virginia and carrying coastal cargo departed Charleston, South Carolina, for Oran, Algeria with a cargo of high explosives.[4]

During the summer of 1944 the ship was converted to a pipe carrier and transported pipe in her aft two holds from the United States to England that was used in the construction of a fuel pipeline under the English Channel, Operation PLUTO, following the Normandy landings.[5][6] She made the first and last pipe transport voyage carrying 70 miles (112.7 km) of pipe departing New York on 22 September 1945 and then spending eighty-four days in London discharging 17 miles (27.4 km) of pipe into pipe laying ships and unloading the remainder at the dock.[7] For the remainder of the war and immediate post war period Arthur M. Huddell carried coal, general cargo and personnel in voyages involving the United States, France, Italy and Algeria before a final return to Baltimore, Maryland in July 1945 and a voyage to New York before lay up.[7]

Post war operation

After the war she was laid up at Suisun Bay. She was chartered by AT&T in 1956 and was converted to a cable transport and layer.[5] After operations in support of Distant Early Warning (DEW) line she was transferred to the US reserve fleet from 1957 until 1964. The ship was used to support cable operations for the Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) until 1984.[5] Arthur M. Huddell was classified as a barge and again laid up at James River. After that date many components, including the rudder, were removed and used as spare parts for SS John W. Brown. Arthur M. Huddell is one of three Liberty ships remaining afloat, with the others being John W. Brown and Jeremiah O'Brien.[8]

Museum ship

In 2008 she was transferred to Greece for conversion to a maritime museum and was renamed Hellas Liberty.[2][9] On December 6, 2008 she left Norfolk, Virginia under tow for Piraeus harbour in January 2009.[10] General repairs and conversions took place at Perama and Salamis during 2009 and 2010, including installation of a new rudder and propeller. The rudder was fabricated new in Greece, but the propeller was donated by the US government to the Greek government. The propeller was a spare Victory Ship Propeller which is the same diameter of 18 feet, same on the Liberty ship. The difference is that the Liberty was 2500 HP and the Victory was approx 7500 HP. They had a different pitch, but as not turning, it doesn't make a difference. In June 2010 she was presented to the public in her restored form in Piraeus harbor.


References cited

  • Brian Clayton (2011). "Arthur M. Huddell (HAER No. VA-132)" (PDF). Historic American Engineering Record. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  • Ashley T. Walker for the National Park Service (2009). "Operation "Pluto" - Arthur M. Huddell, James River Reserve Fleet, Newport News, Newport News, VA". Historic American Engineering Record. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  • Hellenic Communication Service (14 April 2009). "The Return of an 'Old Loved One' to Greece Last Liberty Arrives to Become a Museum". HCS Article Index or Archives: History--American-Hellenic. Hellenic Communication Service. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  • Ship Management International (January 14, 2009). "Last Liberty ship reaches Greece". Elaborate Communications Limited. Retrieved 1 December 2013.

External links

  • Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) No. VA-132, "Arthur M. Huddell, James River Reserve Fleet, Newport News, Newport News, VA"
  • Business Plan for a National Hellas Liberty Ship Memorial Museum