Built during 1918 by the Federal Shipbuilding Co., Hackensack, NJ. Launched on June 19, 1918. Completed in October 1918. Delivered to the U. S. Navy on October 7, 1918 and commissioned the same day as USS Liberty (ID 3461). On May 7, 1919 decommissioned at Newport News, VA and returned to the United States Shipping Board (USSB) the same day.
During 1939 or 1940 acquired by the U. S. Army. In May 1941 the Army and Navy agreed that the Navy would eventually take over and man the larger Army ships, received the designation AK-35 but remained an Army ship.
On January 11, 1942 while escorted by USS Paul Jones (DD-230) and the HNLMS Van Ghent, damaged by torpedoes fired by Japanese submarine I-166 roughly 10 miles southwest of
Lombok Strait off northern Bali Island. After the attack, attempts were made to tow the damaged vessel, but the transport was taking on too much water and was instead beached at Tulamben on the northeastern coast of Bali Island.
The shipwreck was partially above the water and heavily salvaged. By 1963, due to earthquakes caused by the eruption of Mount Gunung Agung, the shipwreck
Today, the shipwreck is a popular dive site and one of Bali's most famous SCUBA dive sites and is encrusted with marine growth. Although the wreck is broken up, guns, toilets, boilers, anchor change and other features are clearly visible. It is a popular spot for SCUBA diving, photography and night diving.
Geko Dive - USAT Liberty (includes map)
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August 18, 2018