We’re making a splash this #MaritimeMonday ...

Black and white image of a large freighter ship being dropped into a busy river with many ships.

We’re making a splash this #MaritimeMonday. This photograph shows the launching of the Cape Bon in Wilmington, Delaware on April 17, 1943.

The C1-A freighter was built by the Pusey & Jones Corporation for the for U.S. Maritime Commission. The vessel was initially used as a freight ship, but was converted to a troop ship by Bethlehem Steel’s 56th Street shipyard in New York City in October of 1943.

Thereafter, the Cape Bon was operated by the Grace Line for the War Shipping Administration during World War II, traveling between ports in San Francisco, California and Portland, Oregon to sites in Hawaii, Guadalcanal, Japan, the Philippines, and various atoll islands in the Pacific Ocean before being scrapped in 1965.

This item is part of Hagley Library's Pusey and Jones Corporation photograph collection (Accession 1972.350). Pusey and Jones was founded in 1848, and built ships and machines in Wilmington, Delaware. While the company was best known for its yachts and pleasure crafts, that business declined in the mid-20th century. After World War II, the company shifted all of its operations to paper-making machinery until its closure in 1959.

This collection has not been digitized in its entirety, but our Digital Archive offers a selection of over 2,200 images dating from the 1860s to the 1950s. To view it online now, just click here.