Date: May 15, 2013
For Immediate Release
Savannah City Council on Thursday will recognize Savannah’s significant contribution to World War II through the production of 88 Liberty Ships, which were critical to the Allies’ supply chain. Over the course of its operation, Savannah’s Southeastern Shipbuilding Corporation, located about two miles downriver from City Hall, employed 46,000 people and injected an estimated $112 million into the local economy.
The first Liberty Ship to be produced in Savannah was the S.S. James Oglethorpe, whose maiden voyage was on Feb. 25, 1943. The Oglethorpe was attacked and sunk by German U-boats on March 17, 1943. During WWII, Savannah lost an estimated 83 merchant marines, most on ships sunk by German torpedoes in the Atlantic Ocean.
The following presentations will be made during City Council’s regular meeting at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 16:
• A proclamation designating May 22, 2013 as “S.S. James Oglethorpe and the Battle of the Atlantic Day” in Savannah will be received by Howard Morrison, Organizer; Mark V. Smith, Chairman of the Georgia International and Maritime Trade Center Authority; Robert H. Coffey, General Manager of the Georgia International and Maritime Trade Center Authority; Christy Crisp, Director of Programs for the Georgia Historical Society; and Michael Jordan, President of Cosmos Mariner Productions.
• Luciana Spracher, Director of the City’s Research Library and Municipal Archives, will present the new “S. S. James Oglethorpe” Council Chamber exhibit in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Oglethorpe and commemorating Savannah’s Liberty ships. The exhibit will be on display in the second floor City Hall Council Chamber through December 2013 and can be viewed on City Council meeting days and during the monthly First Tuesday Tours of City Hall (held the first Tuesday of each month at noon). The public can register for an upcoming tour by contacting the Library & Archives at Lspracher@savannahga.gov or (912) 651-6411.