Book Review: The Liberty Ships of World War II

By Greg H. Williams
McFarland 2014
Softcover (7 x 10) and electronic
372 pages
13 photos, glossary, bibliography, index
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7945-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1754-1

This book details the 2,710 Liberty ships and the Emergency Shipbuilding Program during World War II. These ships sailed for the mercantile fleets of the US, UK and Soviet Union as well as some for the US Navy.

A very thorough listing of all the ships, in alphabetical order of each shipbuilder, lists the name and its origin, call sign and operator. The welded construction was quite novel at the time and save about 500 tons of weight as compared to UK and Canadian built near sisters, built of riveted construction.

An excellent addition to this book was a listing of the domestic husbandry agents, brokers and operators.

A detailed history of the restored Jeremiah O’Brien in San Francisco is included, which might have been better and expanded into a book of its own.

More photographs would have been nice, but apart from that, is an excellent edition for the collection of nautical history agencies, institutions and persons.