By Jennifer Hudson Taylor
Floating in Tampa Bay at the Channelside is the SS American Victory WWII Ship--a historic national treasure. She is one of only 4 fully-operational WWII ships in America. Built in 1945 in California, she is 455 feet long and 62 feet wide. The SS American Victory is able to travel up to 17 knots at top speed. The ship has 9 decks and carried 62 Merchant Marines and U.S. Armed Guard officers and crew.
While she current serves as a Mariners Memorial & Museum Ship, she was once responsible for carrying food, machinery, vehicles, and other supplies to war ravaged areas of Europe and the near East for the U.S. Government's United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. She carries 8.20mm caliber Oerlikon guns, one 3-inch 50 caliber gun, and one 5-inch 38 caliber gun.
If you would like to learn more about this great ship and how to visit and take a tour aboard it, visit www.americanvictory.org. Twice a year, the ship relives history by taking people out on a cruise through the Channel in the spring and fall. Cruisers get a chance to experience the ship in action while enjoying music and entertainment as they relive history.
The ship caught my attention and I snapped a few photos from both angles where she was docked. I wasn't able to research the ship until I returned home. I wish I had had a chance to take a tour, but it is now on my to-do list the next time I return to Tampa.