SS Clarksdale Victory, Hippa Island

SS Clarksdale Victory, Hippa Island

by | Nov 4, 2018

SS Clarksdale Victory was a Victory ship that ran aground and was wrecked on Hippa Island, near Graham Island, British Columbia on November 24, 1947. Clarksdale Victory was en route from Whittier, Alaska to Seattle when she broke in two after striking a reef and sank in a storm with waves up to 50 feet (15 m). SS Denali was sent out in a rescue effort, but the rescue was called off due to the severe conditions. Coast Guard cutters Wachusett and Citrus rescued four survivors, but 49 of the 53 crew were lost that day.

Clarksdale Victory was built by the California Shipbuilding Corporation in Los Angeles and launched on January 27, 1945. She was built in just 86 days under the Emergency Shipbuilding Program enacted during World War II. Victory ships were designed to replace the earlier Liberty Ships that were intended only for wartime use. Victory ships were designed to last longer and to serve the U.S. Navy after the war, however, many were sold for use as commercial transports.

Graham Island is the largest island in the Haida Gwaii Archipelago, formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands. It is separated only by a narrow channel from Moresby Island (or Gwaii Haanas in the language of the Haida people). Graham Island was named in 1853 by James Charles Prevost, commander of HMS Virago, for Sir James Graham, who was First Lord of the Admiralty at the time. Read more here and here. Explore more of Hippa and Graham Islands here:

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