Military Wiki
SS John Bascom
Career (United States)
Name: John Bascom
Namesake: John Bascom
Owner: War Shipping Administration (WSA)
Operator: Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc.
Ordered: as type (EC2-S-C1) hull, MC hull 1521
Builder: J.A. Jones Construction, Panama City, Florida
Cost: $2,062,150[1]
Yard number: 3
Way number: 3
Laid down: 7 September 1942
Launched: 31 March 1943
Sponsored by: Mrs. Harry G. Fannin
Completed: 30 April 1943
  • Call Signal: KLEG
  • ICS Kilo.svgICS Lima.svgICS Echo.svgICS Golf.svg[1]
Fate: Sunk off Bari, Italy, 2 December 1943
Status: Sold for scrapping, 20 February 1948
General characteristics [2]
Class & type:
  • Liberty ship
  • type EC2-S-C1, standard
  • 10,865 LT DWT
  • 7,176 GRT
  • Displacement:
  • 3,380 long tons (3,434 t) (light)
  • 14,245 long tons (14,474 t) (max)
  • Length: 441 ft 6 in (135 m)
    Beam: 56 ft 10.75 in (17.3419 m)
    Draft: 27 ft 9.25 in (8.4646 m)
    Installed power:
    • 2 × Oil fired 450 °F (232 °C) boilers, operating at 220 psi (1,500 kPa)
    • 2,500 hp (1,900 kW)
  • 2 × oil-fired boilers
  • 1 × triple-expansion steam engine, 2,500 horsepower (1,900 kW) (manufactured by Alabama Marine Engine Co., Birmingham, Alabama)
  • 1 × screw propeller
  • Speed: 11.5 knots (21.3 km/h)
    Capacity: 10,800 long tons deadweight (DWT)
    Complement: 41
    • Stern-mounted 4"/50 caliber (102 mm) gun for use against surfaced submarines
    • variety of anti-aircraft guns

    SS John Bascom was a Liberty ship built in the United States during World War II. She was named after John Bascom, a professor of rhetoric at Williams College from 1855 to 1874, and the president of the University of Wisconsin from 1874 to 1887.


    John Bascom was laid down on 7 September 1942, under a Maritime Commission (MARCOM) contract, MC hull 1521, by J.A. Jones Construction, Panama City, Florida; she was sponsored by Mrs. Harry G. Fannin, the wife of the mayor of Panama City, she was launched on 31 March 1943.[3][1]


    She was allocated to Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc., on 30 April 1943. On 2 December 1943, she was sunk during the German air raid on Bari, Italy. On 20 February 1948, she was sold, along with 39 other vessels, including her sister ships SS Isaac Shelby and SS Niels Poulson, for $520,000, to Venturi Salvaggi Ricuperi Imprese Marittime Societa per Azioni, Genoa.[4]


    • Captain Otto Heitmann, Master of John Bascom was given the Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal by The President of the United States. With disregard to his painful injuries he aided and comforted his crew.[5]
    • Allen G. Collins, Third Mate on John Bascom was given the Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal by The President of the United States. Collins showed great courage and his self-sacrificing to aid his shipmates. John Bascom was attacked in the harbor of Bari, Italy. Around exploding and sinking ship that caused fire on John Bascom's deck with strafing enemy planes, Collins continued his gun crew until seriously wounded by a bomb. Wounded, he assisted other men to lifeboats, helped lower the boat, manned an oar for the trip to the breakwater and assisted in dragging three additional injured men from the flaming oil covered waters of the harbor. Several days later he died in a local hospital as a result of the injuries he had incurred.[5]



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