Re: Liberty Ship (?) Jupiter
Posted by Ron Carlson on December 12, 2014, 4:10 pm, in reply to "Liberty Ship (?) Jupiter"
Hi John, |
You have a genuine Liberty ship steam gauge. And you are correct, the ship was renamed, several times in fact by the time you happened upon her. (Also, in fact, there were at least three other Liberty ships renamed JUPITER, all of which were scrapped about the same time "your" JUPITER was wrecked.)
This JUPITER was constructed by the Todd Houston Shipbuilding Corp., Houston, Texas, in 45 days between December 30, 1944, and February 13, 1945. Her original name was BERNARD L. RODMAN. See http://shipbuildinghistory.com/history/shipyards/4emergencylarge/wwtwo/toddhouston.htm and scroll to hull number 199.
She survived the war (during which she must have played only a very minor role, as the war ended only months after she was built) and apparently remained the property of the federal government, through the U.S. War Shipping Administration, for several years. As of 1951 she had been sold to a private shipping company and sailed under the U.S. flag as SEAFIGHTER. In 1953 she was sold again and renamed MELIDA, operating under the Panamanian flag. In 1959 she was sold yet again to a company that operated the ship under the Liberian flag (and therefore would have had Monrovia painted on her stern as her hailing port). In 1967 she was sold to Jupiter Maritime Corp., still under the Liberian flag.
On March 29, 1968, she came to grief, going aground at Cabo San Lazaro, Mexico, where you found her seven years later. See http://www.mariners-l.co.uk/LibshipsB.html and scroll to BERNARD L. RODMAN, about 2/3 of the way down the page. See also http://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?110737 for very sketchy information about the wreck; the map at the bottom of the page confirms its approximate location.
The Bernard L. Rodman (1896-1942) after whom the ship was named was a merchant seaman lost on SS ARCATA when it was shelled by a Japanese submarine in 1942 in the Gulf of Alaska.
I hope this is useful.
Ron Carlson, Webmaster
Armed Guard / Merchant Marine website