Newly Refurbished WWII Ship Returns to Tampa

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After visiting the drydock for inspections, renovations and paint jobs, the SS American Victory is back in the waters off downtown Tampa.

Once every five years, the boat must go into dry dock to have its line inspected. While there it received a fresh coat of paint, which protects it from the environment.

“The Dazzle paint scheme was used during World War II to provide camouflage on open waters,” explained Bill Kuzmick, president of The Victory Ship Incorporated. “There are different colors and different hues depending on where the ship was sailing. Blues were very common in the Caribbean and beyond, so we have a mixture of grays and blues and brighter blues and the bottom red… We’re kind of giving a nod to all of our sports teams here in the Tampa Bay area for having all of these colors woven in… there’s even part of a lightning bolt woven into the paint scheme.

Hidden behind the Florida Aquarium, the SS American Victory has been a downtown Tampa staple for about 20 years.

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In 1945, it took only 55 days to build the ship SS American Victory. At the time, the United States War Shipping Administration was supporting the war effort with freighters and transports for the American World War II effort.

“It’s just a great piece of history,” Kuzmick said. “She was launched at the end of WWII. She saw service in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. I have to tell everyone she still serves today because we do a lot of training with active duty military police officers, firefighters, law enforcement of all types, working dogs and maritime training, we do a lot throughout the community and it’s a walk in history. can explore the whole ship and put yourself back in your ancestors and your grandparents and what they may have seen and felt during WWII and beyond.”

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There is a museum inside the ship, but the main artifact is the ship itself. Guests can explore exhibits throughout the boat to help understand its history.

The ship is moored in the Garrison Channel in the Port of Tampa behind the Florida Aquarium at 705 Channelside Drive.

LINK: Learn more about the SS American Victory at https://www.americanvictory.org/.

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