The Fighting Liberty Ships: A Memoir

by A. A. Hoehling

Book cover for The Fighting Liberty Ships: A Memoir

Some 2,700 Liberty ships were built during World War 11, merchant vessels that carried supplies to America forces in every theater of war. U.S. Navy personnel formed the "armed guard" or guncrews for these ships. Dolph Hoehling was a gunnery officer in the Tampico and James Harrod. His duties took hin into the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, to India, and eventually to Southampton and near death in the aftermath of a collision with another Liberty. The constant stress from possible attacks by German aircraft but most frighteningly from submarines was tempered by the boredom of long stretches at sea. Often the greatest danger was from the weather, like the "Great Atlantic Storm" of 1944. Hoehling's memoir tells the story of his service, of young men of his command who died obscure deaths, and withal something of the history of the Liberty ships, the "ugly ducklings" that have long since disappeared.

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