Military Wiki
SS John Philip Sousa
Career (United States)
Name: John Philip Sousa
Namesake: John Philip Sousa
Owner: War Shipping Administration (WSA)
Operator: Wessel Duval & Co., Inc.
Ordered: as type (EC2-S-C1) hull, MC hull 1200
Builder: St. Johns River Shipbuilding Company, Jacksonville, Florida[1]
Cost: $2,279,886[2]
Yard number: 8
Way number: 2
Laid down: 29 March 1943
Launched: 4 July 1943
Sponsored by: Mrs. Kenneth A.Merrill
Completed: 6 August 1943
  • Call sign: KOAB
  • ICS Kilo.svgICS Oscar.svgICS Alpha.svgICS Bravo.svg[2]
Fate: Placed in the Hudson River Reserve Fleet, Jones Point, New York, 6 June 1946
Status: Sold for commercial use, 15 October 1946, withdrawn from fleet, 1 November 1946
Career  Honduras
Name: Erato
Owner: Compania Internacional de Vapores
Operator: Simpson, Spence, and Young
Status: Sold, 1954
Career (Honduras)
Name: Taxiarchis
Owner: Compania Nav. de Belen
Operator: Lemos Bros.
Status: Sold, 1960
Career  Greece
Name: Protostatis
Owner: Compania Nav. de Protostatis
Operator: Lemos Bros.
  • Grounded in Lake Ontario, 30 September 1965
  • Refloated and grounded on Wolfe Island, St. Lawrence River, 16 November 1965
Status: Scrapped, 1966
General characteristics [3]
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 Filer & Stowell Co., Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
  • 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 Philip Sousa was a Liberty ship built in the United States during World War II. She was named after John Philip Sousa, an American composer and conductor of the late Romantic era known primarily for American military marches.


    John Philip Sousa was laid down on 29 March 1943, under a Maritime Commission (MARCOM) contract, MC hull 1200, by the St. Johns River Shipbuilding Company, Jacksonville, Florida; she was sponsored by Mrs. Kenneth A. Merrill, the wife of the vice president of the St. Johns River SB Co., she was launched on 4 July 1943.[1][2]


    She was allocated to Wessel Duval & Co., Inc., on 6 August 1943. On 6 June 1946, she was placed in the Hudson River Reserve Fleet, Jones Point, New York. She was sold for commercial use, on 15 October 1946, to Compania Internacional de Vapores, and renamed Erato. She was withdrawn from the fleet, 1 November 1946. On 30 September 1965, while operating as Protostatis, she ran aground in Lake Ontario and suffered extensive damage. After being refloated, she again ran aground on Wolfe Island, at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, while being towed to Montreal, on 16 November 1965. She was declared a constructive total loss (CTL) and scrapped in 1966.[4]

    The bell from the ship is still used by the United States Marine Band, particularly in Sousa's piece, The Liberty Bell.[5]


    1. 1.0 1.1 St. John's River SBC 2010.
    2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 MARCOM.
    3. Davies 2004, p. 23.
    4. MARAD.
    5. "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band, The Liberty Bell, 2009,


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