Capt. Gregory C. Daley

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Sea Stories
SS Lane Victory
Volunteer AB on a World War II Cargo Steam Ship

The SS Lane Victory was built in 1944 near the end of World War II as a Victory Class Cargo Ship. These ships were designed to go faster than the older Liberty ships to outrun German and Japanese submarines. She is the only existing operating Victory ship. She is berthed in San Pedro, CA just South of Los Angeles. There are three Liberty ships operating today in San Francisco, Baltimore and Florida.

The ship is owned and operated by the US World War II Merchant Marine Veterans. Most of the members served on Merchant Marine ships during World War II. I am one of the youngest members and enjoy helping.

I was introduced to the ship by a fellow Auxilliarist in the US Coast Guard. I deeply admire what the ship and people who crewed her have done for our country. I have been serving as an AB since 2004 on her. I have gained great insight as to what life was like living aboard these ships. The experience motivated me to learn more about crewing large ships.

The pictures on this page are cropped from a full size picture which gives a better perspective to what is being shown. To see a picture full size, simply click on the picture and it will appear full size in a new browser.


Click on picture to see an enlargement. The SS Lane Victory is 455 feet long, 65 feet wide and has a draft of 28 feet. She can carry 10,750 dead weight tons. She has five cargo holds from 57 to 81 feet long. Her 19 ft. diameter prop is propelled by cross compound steam turbines with a reduction gear. She delivers 6,000 HP at 90 RPM. She makes over 17 knots at full power, consuming about 40 tons a fuel oil a day. She has three masts rising over 100 feet above the deck and many crane booms for back loading and off loading cargo.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. The ship is maintained from the funds collected by operating 6 trips to Catalina for the general public and by renting the ship out to make TV shows and major films.

We make six trips a year to Catalina and back carrying about 750 people at $125 per person. During these trips we hold a memorial service and have a variety of entertainment and food.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. The ship has been restored to almost original equipment with the guns being made to shoot "blanks". We hold mock fights with German aircraft from the Van Nuys Airport.

Looking down from the bow, you can see our bow wave.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. The entertainment is mostly 1940's style with small bands and some dancers in clothing of the era.

Some of the band members are also members of the US World War II Merchant Marine Veterans.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. As one of the aircraft makes a low pass at the ship, we "shoot" it down.

The plane goes down trailing smoke. Of course, they never actually hit the water.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. Another memorial that is held is the missing plane wing formation.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. Much research has gone into the Merchant Marine (non-Navy) ships that were sunk during the war. Each cruise we choose one ship and read the particulars of the ship - how it was sunk and who died. A flower is thrown into the water for each person. It is a very moving ceremony to see these veterans honor their fallen brethren.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. As US Coast Guard Auxilliarists, Diane Kohm and I participate by ringing the ships bell once for each fallen crew man and officer.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. Meals at sea are always important. We seem to be able to prepare some of the most atrocious food I have ever eaten at sea. If the sailors ate they this, they definitely deserve special praise.

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Click on picture to see an enlargement. I am one of the volunteer AB watchstanders. I helm the ship in and out of the harbor and take the 1:20 to 2:40 watch at the helm.

Diane Kohm takes the 12 to 1:20 watch at the helm. You can see the Captain on the phone to the engine room to change our speed.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

Click on picture to see an enlargement. Of course we undergo rigorous inspections from the US Coast Guard. Because we are a National Monument and a working ship, it is hard to determine what standard to hold us to.

The big blue covered boxes on deck hold the 750 plus life jackets, just in case we are torpedoed on one of our cruises.

Click on picture to see an enlargement.

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Captain Gregory C. Daley
PO Box 3826, Lafayette, LA 70502

email: info@CaptainGreg.net

(337) 456-5661
(337) 237-7777
(310) 463-6626

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