From a flier obtained in a vertical file at the Georgia Historical Society Library (transcribed by Charles E. Varner)
To view a scanned image of the original flier, though it will be less legible, click below:
Southeastern Shipbuilding Corp.
In selecting port calls outside the vicinity of Baltimore, one very important consideration is to attempt to visit all those ports where Liberty Ship construction yards were located. On the East Coast this means: Wilmington, NC; Savannah; Brunswick, GA; Jacksonville; Providence, RI; Portland, ME:
Steaming south to Georgia and Florida n 2002 will enable us to visit three of the ports on this list in one voyage.
Port calls by the JOHN W. BROWN at these cities are expected to excite particular interest, not only among the residents ~ there are still quite a number of former Liberty Ship builders living near their former shipyards ~ but the media and tourist bureaus as well.
The shipyard which built Liberty Ships in Savannah was called Southeastern Shipbuilding Corp. Here is a brief history of the yard, followed by a list of Liberty Ships (88 of them) built at Southeastern.
Just prior to the United States’ entry into the War, the Maritime Commission awarded shipbuilding contracts to Savannah Shipyards, Inc., this company having made good progress in building its own three-shipway yard without government aid. But these contracts carried many special provisions, since both the management of the yard and the capital structure of the company had not given the Commission much confidence.
The firm was required to recruit a full staff, show sufficient capitalization and complete the facility within thirty to sixty days of contract signing. The builders failed to meet the requirements and the Commission, as per the contract, took possession of the yard, redesigned the facility from a three to a six-way shipyard and awarded management of the yard to a new company.
On 20 January 1942 the Commission awarded management of the yard to the Southeastern Shipbuilding Corp., headed by G. A. Rentschler, William H. Smith and Captain T. Rieber.
As a boost to the shipbuilding program, the yard was considered on the same basis as all the other new six-way yards, whose contracts were not awarded until a month or two later. The result was that Southeastern was able to deliver more ships in 1943 than any of the other new six-way yards. Average man-hours per ship were 706,600 ~ somewhat higher than the other yards, and this slowed production slightly in 1944. Average cost for a Southeastern Liberty Ship was $2,043,000. The yard’s first Liberty Ship was delivered on 13 Feb. 1943 and its last on 24 Feb. 1945 ~ eighty-eight Liberty Ships in just two years!
In April 1943 Contracts were awarded to the yard for the construction of C1-M-AV1 cargo ships and AP type transports.
Seven of Southeastern’s Liberty Ships, like the JOHN W. BROWN, were converted to serve as limited capacity troop transports.
Three Southeastern Liberty Ships were war losses: JAMES OGLETHORPE, JOHN A. TREUTLEN and JONAS LIE, all were torpedoed by German U-boats.