Ladies Who Launch - Ship Christening Photographs from Delaware Valley Shipyards - Independence Seaport Museum

Album One

USS Kansas, 1905

USS Kansas, 1905

Launching party, USS Kansas, August 11, 1905. New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey.

Miss Anna Hoch, sponsor and daughter of the Governor of Kansas, used a bottle of water from the John Brown Spring in Linn County to christen the ship. Kansas being a prohibition state at the time accounted for this deviation from custom.

Observers reported the day of the event was "warm and sultry" and the guests at the ceremony "suffered from the heat during several vexatious delays."


SS E. L. Doheny Third, 1918

SS E. L. Doheny Third, 1918

Mrs. E. L. Doheny, Jr., sponsor, SS E. L. Doheny Third, August 17, 1918. New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey.

Built for Petroleum Oil Transport Company, this tanker was named for a member of a prominent California family.


USS Mercer, 1918

USS Mercer, 1918

Mrs. R. McGregor, sponsor, USS Mercer, 1918. Federal Shipbuilding Company, Kearny, New Jersey.

In this ship's 39-year history, under 6 owners and 3 ports of registry, it was known variously as Mercer, Empire Kangaroo, Parthenia, Erminia Mazzella and Pina Onorato.


USS Westmoreland, 1919

USS Westmoreland, 1919

Launching party, USS Westmoreland, June 14, 1919. Federal Shipbuilding Company, Kearny, New Jersey.


USS King, 1920

USS King, 1920

Mrs. Allene A. King, widow of Frank Ragan King and sponsor, USS King, October 14, 1920. New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey.

This ship was named after the commander of the minesweeper Richard Buckley, who displayed extraordinary heroism in saving the lives of the crew when his ship struck a mine in the North Sea on July 12, 1919 and sank in 7 minutes. King’s last act was to put his own life preserver on a sailor and help him over the side.


SS Newton, 1925

SS Newton, 1925

Miss Doris Shannon, sponsor, SS Newton, 1925. Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Wilmington, Delaware.

The tug Newton was built for the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, and worked in New York harbor.


USS Nashville, 1937

USS Nashville, 1937

Misses Mildred and Ann Stahlman, daughters of James G. Stahlman, publisher of Nashville Banner, sponsors, USS Nashville, October 2, 1937. New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey.

In April 1942, light cruiser Nashville escorted the aircraft carrier Hornet on its mission to launch the surprise attack on Japan led by Lt. Col. James Doolittle. This daring operation, using Army bombers modified to take off from carrier flight decks, was conceived mostly as a way to boost American morale after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and although only a modest strategic success, it demonstrated resolve and ingenuity.


USS Guam, 1943

USS Guam, 1943

Mrs. George Johnson McMillin, sponsor, USS Guam, November 21, 1943. New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey.


Album One

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