Edited by board administrator May 29, 2013, 10:49 am
SS SARAZEN was built in 1920 by the Pensacola Shipbulding Company, Penasacola, Florida. The vessel was originally named CITY OF WEATHERFORD, renamed PONCE DE LEON in 1940, renamed again in 1943 to SARAZEN, and finally scrapped in 1947. See http://shipbuildinghistory.com/history/shipyards/4emergencylarge/wwone/pensacola.htm and scroll to hull number 8.
SARAZEN made a number of voyages across the North Atlantic in 1943-1945. Do a search at http://www.warsailors.com/search.html for details.
There are photographs of the 1920 launching of CITY OF WEATHERFORD at http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth18183/ and http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth18180/. The ship bore this original name because the city of Weatherford, Texas, was particularly successful in selling war bonds in World War I. The federal government recognized Weatherford's accomplishment by naming a ship after the city.
I was unable to find online photographs of the ship as PONCE DE LEON or as SARAZEN. (There have been several ships named PONCE DE LEON, including a Liberty ship built in 1942-1943, for which photographs may be available, so avoid confusing the several ships by that name.)
If you are interested in obtaining a photograph of CITY OF WEATHERFORD/PONCE DE LEON/SARAZEN, please see this web page for sources of photographs of U.S. merchant ships: http://www.usmm.org/photosource.html. Again be cautious about confusing the ships named PONCE DE LEON.
Ron Carlson, Webmaster
Armed Guard / Merchant Marine website