100 Objects: 43. Kokomo Victory Ship

Hitting water for the first time on Dec. 18, 1944, in Fairfield, Maryland, the S.S. Kokomo Victory served as a cargo ship – and once a troop transport - during America’s WWII efforts. The ship’s launch came less than two months after the laying of its keel in Maryland’s Bethlehem-Fairfield, which constructed both Liberty and Victory ships. Accompanying the ship, which was officially delivered to the U.S. War Shipping Administration on Jan. 20, 1945, were a number of lifeboats produced at Kokomo’s Globe plant.

The launch provided another Kokomo connection when it was christened by S.S. Kokomo Victory Mother of Honor Clara Maddox, a local resident. As the mother of eight military sons – seven of whom served in WWII – Maddox also was selected as the Indiana War Mother of 1945. Following the war, the ship was sold to a Dutch shipping firm operating in the East Indies, where it was renamed. Ultimately, the ship was scrapped in 1969 in Taiwan.