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Park Victory Tavla III

S/S Park Victory
16.5.1945 – 24.12.1947 III

S/S Park Victory in cattle transport

At the beginning of 1946 S/S Park Victory was converted for the transport of cattle. The ship participated in the UNRRA project, within the frames of which cattle was gathered in the United States for delivery to Europe, devastated by war.

S/S Park Victory made six voyages with cattle transport to Europe.

Cattle were transported to Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Greece, and Poland.

The cargo was unloaded in the nearest port that was functioning.

The animals were loaded and unloaded mainly one by one by the help of a lifting cage, but in order to speed up the unloading it was probably sometimes necessary to use a ”lift bag” and double lifting.

In Poland the cargo of S/S Park Victory was unloaded in the badly bombed harbour of Gdansk. The lifting cage in front of the ship.

During these six voyages S/S Park Victory transported 2600 horses, 1500 mules, and 700 other animals. Of the about 5000 animals transported, only 50 died during the voyages.

The crew did not have to ”take care of the cargo”. On board for the cattle were 32 ”seagoing cowboys”, young men who looked after the animals’ well-being 24/7.

At the arrival, the animals were to be in great form and were therefore treated as first class passengers. On board were also two veterinaries.

On 2 May 1946 on the Mediterranian, heading for Greece, S/S Park Victory was damaged, having hit a German mine. The ship was able to continue on its own to the port of Larnaka in Cyprus, where it waited for docking. The damages that were caused by the mine were repaired at the Italian Navy shipyard in Taranta.

foto Peggy Reif-Miller

text, material and editing Jouko Moisala / layout Maarit Nissilä