Stuff You Should Know
SS Robert E. Peary was a Liberty Ship built during World War II by Permanente Metals Corporation at their No. 2 Yard in Richmond California and named after the American explorer Robert E. Peary, the first person to reach the North Pole. The ship is famous for having the shortest construction time out of any other US ship – 4 days, 15 hours and 29 minutes, as a result of a competition between shipyards, and it was delivered only 3 days later, setting another record. The goal of this effort was to show the world that the United States had the ability to produce ships faster than they could be sunk.
SS Robert E. Peary started its service in November 1942 and at first, it operated in the Pacific War, specifically New Caledonia and Guadalcanal. It then sailed towards the Atlantic Ocean where it was tasked with the transportation of war prisoners from North Africa and took part in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day. After the war, the ship was transferred to the Wilmington Reserve Fleet and scrapped in June 1963.