Military Wiki
SS John Morgan
Liberty ship at sea
A Liberty ship at sea
Career (USA)
Name: SS John Morgan
Namesake: General John Tyler Morgan
Builder: Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Baltimore, Maryland
Yard number: 2128
Way number: 12
Laid down: 31 March 1943
Launched: 4 May 1943
Completed: 12 May 1943
Fate: Sunk after collision, 1 June 1943
General characteristics
Class & type: Type EC2-S-C1 Liberty ship
Displacement: 14,245 long tons (14,474 t)[1]
Length: 441 ft 6 in (134.57 m) o/a
417 ft 9 in (127.33 m) p/p
427 ft (130 m) w/l[1]
Beam: 57 ft (17 m)[1]
Draft: 27 ft 9 in (8.46 m)[1]
Propulsion: Two oil-fired boilers
Triple-expansion steam engine
2,500 hp (1,900 kW)
Single screw
Speed: 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph)[1]
Range: 20,000 nmi (37,000 km; 23,000 mi)
Capacity: 10,856 t (10,685 long tons) deadweight (DWT)[1]
Crew: 81[1]
Armament: Stern-mounted 4 in (100 mm) deck gun for use against surfaced submarines, variety of anti-aircraft guns

SS John Morgan was a World War II liberty ship built by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation at their Bethlehem-Fairfield yard at Baltimore, Maryland, and launched on 4 May 1943.[2]

However, on 1 June 1943, during its maiden voyage John Morgan collided with the tanker SS Montana off Cape Henry on the coast of Virginia. The John Morgan broke in two and sank immediately at position 36°59′56″N 75°23′59″W / 36.99889°N 75.39972°W / 36.99889; -75.39972Coordinates: 36°59′56″N 75°23′59″W / 36.99889°N 75.39972°W / 36.99889; -75.39972, but started fires aboard the Montana. The USS Shubrick, engaged in gunnery practice in Chesapeake Bay, was sent to investigate. She sent a party aboard Montana to assist in extinguishing the fires, but recalled them after discovering that Montana was also carrying ammunition. Soon afterwards Herndon and Nelson arrived, and circled the area looking for survivors, but recovered only 12 bodies.[3]

The wreck

The ship lies in approximately 110 ft (34 m) of water. It is largely broken up, but the bow and a structure known as the "hospital" are still recognizable. The ship was on the United States lend-lease program and was loaded with war supplies such as Valentine tanks, P-39s, and large amounts of ammunition.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Davies, James (2012). "Liberty Cargo Ships". p. 23. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  2. "Bethlehem Fairfield". 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  3. "Destroyer Photo Index Unidentified". 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  4. "John Morgan". 2005. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 

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