What is a liberty ship?
The Liberty Ship was an "emergency" type Cargo Ship built in the US at any of 17 different shipyards between 1939 and 1945. They were built cheap and they were built fast. Each of the over 2,700 constructed was 441 feet long and 56 feet wide. They could make about 11 knots on their three cylinder steam engines and each cost about 2 million dollars. The SS Robert E. Peary required only four and a half days to build, but most were under construction for about two months. They could carry 9,000 tons of cargo each. The Master and 42 men made up the crew, but they also carried a Naval Armed Guard consisting of an Ensign and about 20 sailors.