American Victory Mariners Memorial & Museum Ship
There were 414 cargo ships built during World War II, but the SS American Victory is one of the most famous. It was also one of the last in a line of gigantic merchant ship that were known simply as "Victory Ships." It is now docked in the Ybor Turning Basin, which is part of a channel that leads out into Hillsborough Bay. It is a mariner's museum that is dedicated to educating the public about the SS American Victory's service in WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
Backstory and Context
Then, in 1996, upon learning that the Victory was meant to be scrapped, Captain John C. Timmel began the effort to move the ship to Tampa and turn it into a museum. In 1999 the Victory was towed into Tampa and has remained there ever since. At the museum guests can see, three level cargo holds, radio and gyro rooms, a hospital, a galley, weaponry, steering stations, a flying bridge, signaling equipment, the wheelhouse, mess halls, the engine room, crew cabins, lifeboats, and cargo equipment the way they would have looked in the 1940s. There are also photographs, uniforms, medals, documents, and naval equipment on display. Visitors can either take a self-guided tour or opt to have their tour led by a docent.