Type C3-class ship

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Type C3
Exporter, the first C3 ship to be completed. Shown in 1943, after conversion by the US Navy to USS Hercules.
Class overview
Preceded by: Type C2
Succeeded by: Type C4
Built: 1940–1947
Completed: 465
General characteristics
Tonnage: 7,800 gross tons
Displacement: 12,000 deadweight tons.
Length: 492 ft (150 m)
Beam: 69.5 ft (21.2 m)
Draft: 28.5 ft (8.7 m)
Installed power: turbine developing 8,500 hp
Speed: 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph) (designed)

Type C3-class ships were the third type of cargo ship designed by the United States Maritime Commission (MARCOM) in the late 1930s. As it had done with the Type C1 ships and Type C2 ships, MARCOM circulated preliminary plans for comment. The design presented was not specific to any service or trade route, but was a general purpose ship that could be modified for specific uses. A total of 162 C3 ships were built from 1939 to 1946. [1]

The C3 was larger and faster than the C1 and C2 contemporaries, measuring 492 feet (150 m) from stem to stern (vs. 459 feet (140 m) for the C2), and designed to make 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h; 19.0 mph) (vs. 15.5 kn (28.7 km/h; 17.8 mph) for the C2). Like the C2, it had five cargo holds. A total of 465 of these ships were built between 1940 and 1947. A total of 75 ships were built with C3 hulls and engines, but not built as cargo ships.

During World War II, many C3 ships were converted to naval uses, particularly as Bogue-class escort carriers, and as Windsor-class and Bayfield-class attack transports, Klondike-class destroyer tenders, submarine tenders, and seaplane tenders.

Ships in type[edit]

Notable incidents[edit]

  • Express a C3-E, was torpedoed and sank off the coast of Madagascar on 30 June 1942.
  • Almeria Lykes a C3, renamed Empire Condor was torpedoed and sank off coast of Tunisia on 13 August 1942.
  • Rio Hudson a C3-P&C, rebuilt and converted to Avenger-class escort carrier. Was renamed HMS Avenger was torpedoed and sank near Gibraltar on 15 November 1942.
  • USS Block Island USN CVE-21, a C3-S-A1, was torpedoed and sank near the Azores-Canary Islands on 29 May 1944.
  • Rio de Janeiro a C3-P&C, Avenger-class escort carrier, renamed HMS Dasher, exploded and sank in the Lower Clyde in Scotland in 1943.
  • The Attack on USNS Card on 2 May 1964, while moored dockside in Saigon, a North Vietnamese frogman, Lam Son Nao, planted an explosive charge that blew a hole in the hull, killing five crewmen.
  • Sea Robin a C3-S-A2, sank in 1953.
  • Sea Tarpon, a C3-S-A2, sank in 1956.
  • Sea Partridge a C3-S-A2, renamed Steel Vendor sank in 1971.
  • Mormacsaga a C3-S-A5, sank in 1973.
  • Mormacland a C3, renamed Union Reliance was wrecked and scrapped in 1962.
  • Riverside a C3-S-A2, wrecked in 1968.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ shipbuildinghistory.com shipbuildinghistory.com, List of all C3 ships
  2. ^ "Moore-McCormack, Mormacland". Moore-McCormack. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
  3. ^ "A history of HMS Archer". Royal Navy Research Archive. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
  • Sawyer, L.A.; Mitchell, W.H. (1981). From America to United States: The History of the Long-range Merchant Shipbuilding Programme of the United States Maritime Commission. London: World Ship Society.
  • "United States Maritime Commission C3 Type Ships". American Merchant Marine at War. Retrieved 2013-07-18.