Produced in 1945, "Hannibal Victory" documents the activities of the World War II Victory Ship S.S. Hannibal Victory, named after Mark Twain’s Mississippi River hometown of Hannibal, Missouri. Departing from San Francisco, the ship carries a cargo of eight steam locomotive engines and cars across the Pacific to the Philippines. The crew’s daily routines are portrayed along with occasional threats by Japanese vessels.
During World War II, 534 "Victory ships" were built to transport materials to support United States military efforts in theaters of operation across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The Victory ship (officially called VC2) was 455 feet long and 62 feet wide. A cross-compound steam turbine with double reduction gears developed 6,000 or 8,500 horsepower. The first of 534 Victory ships, the S.S. United Victory, was launched on February 28, 1944. The next 34 Victory ships were named for each of the Allied nations; the subsequent 218 were named after American cities (one of them named for Hannibal, Missouri in recognition of successful war bond sales), the next 150 ships were named after educational institutions, and the rest received miscellaneous names.
The 10,000 ton S.S. Hannibal Victory, hull number 579 was built by Permanente Metals Corporation's shipbuilding division in Yard No. 2 at Richmond, California in January 1945. Since her retirement the Hannibal was last reported as being "In reserve" in Suisun Bay near San Franciso, California. The following is a transcript of the narration of the motion picture produced by the U.S. Maritime Commission in 1945 which documented the maiden voyage of the Hannibal Victory across the Pacific Ocean to the Philippines. Some of her cargo included one of six locomotives and railroad car wheels manufactured at the Hannibal Car Wheel and Foundry at 1200 Collier Street. in Hannibal. The half hour color film was photographed on location in Hannibal and aboard the ship as she crossed the Pacific from San Francisco to the Philippines.
After the war in September, 1946 Vice-Admiral William Ward Smith of the the U.S. Maritime Commission came to Hannibal to present the 8 by 18 foot battle flag of the Hannibal Victory to the city and the documentary film was also premiered on that occasion. Taking part in the flag presentation ceremony were Governor Phil Donnelly; Mayor W. J. Schneider; William C. Garnett, president of the Chamber of Commerce; Floyd Shoemaker of the State Historical Society, Fred Hibbard, sculptor of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn statues; and two attorneys who had just returned from the war, Elgin Fuller and Branham Rendlen. Fifty copies of the film were given to various agencies nationwide.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD and 2k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com