Armed Guard - The Liberty Ships
 Liberty Ship Nomenclature 

 This is a listing of the original and completion
 names of the 2710 Liberty ships built between
 September 27, 1941 and September 2, 1945. 
 Many of the pictures displayed are peacetime pictures
 and show the ships with a different name and without
 guns, but they are the ships we sailed.

 The style of nomenclature adopted for the
 emergency vessels the United States Maritime
 Commission used broad guidelines. Initially,
 the ships - with certain military exceptions and in
 some of the variations to the basic type - were,
 generally, named for eminent Americans from all
 walks of life who had made notable contribution to
 the history or the culture of North America in general 
 or the United States of America in particular - some 
 famous, some forgotten, yet others heroic - or even 

 Then, as war progressed, 120 Liberties were named for
 heroes of the American Merchant Marine; not only those
 who had lost their lives by enemy action but in other
 disasters at sea. All ranks were among them, from master
 to seaman, chief engineer to wiper, purser to cook, as well
 as radio operators, utility men and a stewardess. 

 Altogether, more than one hundred Liberty ships were
 named for women and another group honoured some of the
 war correspondents killed on duty. 

 But the main guideline was that the name used had to be of
 a deceased person, and during the term of the Liberty
 shipbuilding program the Maritime Commission received many
 letters from American citizens suggesting that certain of 
 their ancestors or relatives 'qualified' for a ship to be 
 named for them. 

 Only one Liberty ship, FRANCIS J. O'GARA, was named for a
 living person - and this in error. Purser of JEAN NICOLET, 
 sunk by a Japanese submarine, he was thought to have perished, 
 but returned home after the war from a Japanese prisoner-of-war 

 And there were also complaints received at the USMC Public
 Relations Office, generally from persons who objected to the
 names already allocated. It is said that one prominent 
 politician complained '... I understand my name has been
 given to a Liberty ship. I am not dead, not in dry dock and 
 do not need my bottom scraped. Please cancel the name.' He
 was advised that the ship had been named in honor of another 
 person of the same name who had been dead for many years. 

 The first column is the USMC Hull Number. 

 The names in the second column are arranged in
 alphabetical order by the entire name. That means that
 "JOHN W. BROWN" is found under the "J" group, not the
 "B" group. 

 Of all these ships, there are only two left 
 in operating condition,  SS JOHN W. BROWN on
 the East Coast, and SS JEREMIAH O'BRIEN on 
 the West Coast.