Ship Model, Transport American Merchant

The United States entered World War I in April 1917. Within days, the federal government created the Emergency Fleet Corporation (EFC) to construct a fleet of merchant ships. The EFC hired the American International Shipbuilding Corporation to build and operate the largest shipyard in the world: Hog Island, near Philadelphia.
Most of the Emergency Fleet Corporation’s 122 ships were Type A cargo freighters. However, a few were Type B troop transports. Originally named Sisladobsis, this single-screw transport was completed in December 1920 by the American International Shipbuilding Corporation as Aisne for the US Shipping Board at Hog Island, Philadelphia. In 1924, it was renamed the American Merchant and later sold to the United States Lines. In February 1940 it was sold again to a Belgian holding company partly owned by the United States Lines and renamed Ville de Namur.
In mid-June 1940, the Ville was transporting a cargo of horses from Bordeaux, France to Liverpool, England. On the 19th, it was struck by two torpedoes from the German U-Boat U-52 and sank quickly. Fifty-four of its crew of 79 survived.
Object Name
ship model
model, ship
date made
overall: 15 5/8 in x 56 1/4 in x 7 5/8 in; 39.6875 cm x 142.875 cm x 19.3675 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
The Emergence of Modern America
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
On the Water
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Transferred from U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce (through Hon. Wesley L. Jones)
Publication title
On the Water online exhibition
Publication URL

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