On November 11, 2022 at the Alhambra Veterans Day ceremony the Alhambra Historical Society unveiled a recently-acquired plaque from the SS Alhambra Victory ship.
By Joyce Amaro
The Alhambra Historical Society also gave a short presentation on the role Victory ships played in World War II and the history of the SS Alhambra Victory. The public event, held at the Alhambra Veterans Memorial, began at 10:00 am with a continental breakfast, followed at 11:00 am with the program.
“We are honored that the US Department of Transportation – Maritime Division gifted this plaque to the Alhambra Historical Society,” stated Chris Olson, Alhambra Historical Society President. “One can only imagine the stories this plaque could tell from its days on the SS Alhambra Victory. We hope to be able to tell a few of those stories as we research the ship and the Alhambra sailors whose service was honored by its name,” continued Olson.
Victory ships were US cargo ships, built by American shipbuilders during World War II. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States found itself in need of sea-ready ships to protect our country’s thousands of miles of coastline and to deliver supplies and troops to the Pacific and European theaters. The answer was the mass production of more than 500 steam-powered Victory ships between 1944 and 1946. Both men and women heeded the call to work on building America’s Victory ships. At peak production, one ship was coming off the assembly line every 24 hours.
The SS Alhambra Victory, a cargo ship named after the city of Alhambra to honor Alhambrans killed in the early days of World War II, was one of those ships. It was built in San Pedro by the California Shipbuilding Corporation (or Calship) and entered service on February 28, 1945. It was part of the American Mail Line, the fleet of ships that was active during World War II with the Maritime Commission and War Shipping Administration. It entered the US Navy’s reserve fleet in October, 1946.
The SS Alhambra Victory ship’s plaque is on display at the Alhambra Historical Society’s Museum. The museum is located at 1550 West Alhambra Road, and is open from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm on the first and third Saturday of each month. Museum admission is free.
Caption: The plaque from the SS Alhambra Victory, a cargo ship that served in World War II and was named for our city to honor Alhambra’s hometown boys who were killed in the early days of World War II.
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