C2 Class, U.S. Cargo Ships

Photograph of a C2-S ship configured as a Navy auxiliary

C2-S configured as Navy auxiliary. U.S. Navy photo from pub. ONI-54 A


Tonnage 6085 gross register tons
8794 deadweight tons
Dimensions 459'6" by 63' by 25'9"
140m by 19.2m by 7.8m
Maximum speed       15.5 knots
Complement 124
1-shaft General Electric geared turbine (6000 shp)
2 boilers
Bunkerage1982 tons fuel oil


12,000 nautical miles (22,000 km)

Cargo 562,849 cubic feet (15,938 m3)

The Maritime Commission standard C2 cargo ships were modern designs adapted for rapid production. Their design was standardized in 1938-1939 and they were intended to be a permanent part of the merchant fleet.

The ships had five holds, three forward of the deck house and two to its rear. There were two forward cranes and one rear crane to load and unload cargo through the large deck hatches. Most had geared turbine machinery, but some were completed with diesel engines to reduce competition for the scarce reduction gear.

A large number of variations on the basic C2-S design were built. These included a number of ships modified by the Navy as attack cargo ships, amphibious command ships, and other auxiliaries.

The C2s have been described as "the pride of the Maritime Commission" and were arguably the most successful non-emergency design. A total of 173 were built between 1940 and 1945, at a cost of about $2.3 million for each unit of the basic Cs-S-AJ1 design.


Friedman (2002)

Lane (1951)

American Merchant Marine at War (accessed 2007-12-29)

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