Valley Forge

The Valley Forge started life during WWII as the Liberty ship SS Horace H. Harvey. She was built as a tanker in late 1943 by the War Shipping Administration (created in 1942 to control all US shipping during the war) at the Delta Shipbuilding Corp in New Orleans in only 1 1/2 months.

We don’t have her full wartime history, but we do know she made at least one voyage carrying fuel to Sydney in July 1944 and she was then part of a convoy to Liverpool in August 1944. She also made at least two convoy trips carrying supplies to North Africa.

After the war she was sold to a private shipping company in 1948 and renamed the Groton Trails. Her new owners converted her to a cargo ship in 1949, and she helped carry supplies to South Korea following the outbreak of the Korean War.

Noteably she participated in the evacuation of UN troops, refugees, and supplies from the port of Hungnam after the PRC joined the conflict and their offensive surrounded the port. She also later made a number of voyages in the mid-1950s carrying cargos such as coal and grain between the US and Europe.

She changed hands again in 1957 and was renamed the Valley Forge. In 1959 she was on passage from Portland, OR (USA) to Madras, India with a full cargo of wheat when she ran aground south of Singapore near Mapor Island. She split abaft her engine room, with both parts of the ship listing to various degrees to starboard. It was decided that it would be uneconomic to salvage her despite the shallow depth, and she was written off as a total loss.

Wreck Details
Name: Valley Forge (orig Horace H Harvey, then Groton Trails)
Type: American Bulk Freighter
Cargo: 10,000 tons wheat
Length: 134.6m
Beam: 17.3m
Tonnage: 7,218 GRT, 10,674 DWT
Engines: Steam
Propulsion: Single Screw
Max Speed: 11 knots
Launch Date: Nov 1943
Shipyard: Delta SB Co
Sinking Date: Dec 1959
Max Depth: 16m to the bottom
Min Depth: 4m to highest point
Orientation: Quite broken up, but generally facing North

Detailed Original Newspaper Report on the Sinking and the Rescue of the Crew from Jan 1960