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photo from the Richmond Centennial festival
Sal Campagno and Richmond Museum of History promote the Red Oak Victory at the Richmond Centennial Festival.
Photo by Tom Bernard

Lifeboat on the davits
Volunteer showing the re-installed life boat.
Photo by David Moore

The Richmond Museum Association has as its mission the preservation and restoration of the SS Red Oak Victory as an operational vessel. The SS Red Oak Victory, a National Memorial Ship, will be developed into a maritime museum focused on the wartime contributions of the residents and workers of the City of Richmond and the shipbuilding ingenuity of Henry J. Kaiser.

As an operational museum the SS Red Oak Victory will provide a unique perspective on the history-making achievements of the City of Richmond and the Richmond Shipyard workers. As a community resource, the vessel will be a site for local events, service to the children and youth of the community and an intriguing family recreation and entertainment destination. Finally, the SS Red Oak Victory will be a ceremonial ship to recognize and honor those who served with valor in the armed forces, the merchant marine and home-front facilities such as the Kaiser Richmond Shipyards.


Our foremost artifact is the SS Red Oak Victory and we will not obscure any aspect of the ship.

Ship restoration efforts will reflect the SS Red Oak Victory's national service during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Under the supervision of the Richmond Museum Curator, the SS Red Oak Victory will include collections and exhibits consistent with the ship's service, Richmond heritage and the mission statement.

We will have exciting exhibits such as:

  • A portrayal of the contribution that Victory and Liberty class vessels made to the national security of the United States.
  • Displays that illustrate the contributions that the City of Richmond and Kaiser Richmond Shipyards made during World War II.
  • The operational history of the SS Red Oak Victory and similar vessels.
  • The history of the merchant marine in World War II and subsequent conflicts.
  • Displays that honor the contribution of American Women’s labor during World War II.
  • Wartime artifacts relating to the sale of war bonds, victory gardens and shipyard employment.
  • Kaiser Richmond Shipyard tools and documents.
  • Merchant marine activities during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

We will be the site of community events:

  • World War II film festivals
  • Benefits and fundraisers for cultural groups and humanitarian causes.
  • National and veteran ceremonial events
  • Civic, professional and private organization meetings, parties, symposiums, and dinners.
  • Weddings and other events

Our service to Children and Youth of the Community will include:

  • Grade school through high school camp and educational programs (e.g., naval history, mechanical science, marine engineering, navigation and leadership training).
  • Programs involving sea cadets, boy and girl scout groups, church and other youth groups.
  • Teacher education, seminars and symposiums

SS Red Oak Victory as a Ceremonial Ship:

  • Supports the activities of the Navy’s Fleet Week and Merchant Marine activities.
  • Conducts special events on National and Patriotic Holidays including the 4th of July, Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

Our long term goal, as funding sources are identified, is to restore the SS Red Oak Victory to an operational capability. This will allow us to take the history of the ship and museum displays to other ports and cities.


  • The SS Red Oak Victory is dedicated to the merchant mariners and “citizen sailors” who made the greatest sacrifice in the service of the nation.
  • Our task is to tell the unique story of the wartime contributions made by the Richmond Shipyard workers and their influence on World War II. This story includes the manufacturing ingenuity and vision of Henry J. Kaiser and the extraordinary changes that shipyards made on the demographics and economics of the Richmond, California Area.
  • We will be responsive to the community and maintain the SS Red Oak Victory as a community asset and resource.
  • We will preserve the historic fabric of the ship.
  • We will create an exciting and stimulating museum environment and encourage its use for family recreation.
  • We will create a stimulating work/study leadership environment for the benefit of our community youth.
  • Under the guidance and direction of professional museum managers, we will utilize community volunteers to restore, maintain and operate the SS Red Oak Victory.
  • We acknowledge the extraordinary contribution of our restoration volunteers. Major decisions concerning the ship will include their input and involvement.

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Ver 2.00, 28 Mar 08