Stuff You Should Know
SS Samuel Huntington was a standard Liberty Ship built during World War II by Permanente Metals Corporation and launched in April 1942. It was one of about 220 Liberty Ships that were equipped to carry troops or prisoners of war. The ship served in the Pacific, South America, Africa, and UK areas until January 1944 when it was hit by a Henschel Hs 293 guided missile launched by a German Luftwaffe bomber plane, killing four men in the process. The ship was near the beach of Anzio carrying over 7 tons of cargo, including high-explosive material such as ammunition, gasoline, and TNT. The vessel was abandoned just before a second explosion sunk the ship. However, the sea bottom was only 3 feet below the keel so most of the ship remained above the water. Efforts were made to extinguish the fire and salvage the cargo but without success. The fire managed to reach the canned gasoline load which exploded, completely disintegrating the ship.