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Washington Crew withmascot "Booker" 1942
On this date in 1942, The SS Booker T. Washington was launched at Wilmington, Delaware.
It was the first U.S. Merchant Ship commanded by a Black captain, Hugh Mulzac. The SS Washington was the first of 17 Liberty Ships (out of 2,700) named for an African-American. Marian Anderson christened the Washington as its first honor.
Under Mulzac’s command, the SS Washington made 22 round-trip voyages between 1942-47, carrying 18,000 troops to Europe and the Pacific through dangerous waters.
The Encyclopedia Britannica, Fifteenth Edition.
Copyright 1996 Encyclopedia Britannica Inc.