She was built in Quincy, Massachusetts, U.S.A. by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation and she entered service early in 1950 as Independence for American Export Lines Inc., New York. She sailed through the 1950s and most of the 1960s before laying up in 1969 along with her fleetmate Constitution. The two remained in layup until late in 1973 when they were both sold to Atlantic Far East Lines Inc., Liberia (A C.Y. Tung Group Company). They renamed Independence, Oceanic Independence in 1974 and operated her through the reminder of the 1970s. By 1982 though she was laid up at Lantau, Hong Kong and in a deteriorating condition she was sold to American Global Line Inc and returned to U.S. registry as Independence.
After an extensive refit she returned to service by August of 1982 and remained operational between North America and Hawaii for the Great Independence Ship Company. Independence was under the management of American Hawaii Cruises Inc. It is not known when her ownership changed but by 2001 her owners were American Classic Voyages. They went bankrupt during October of 2001 and shortly thereafter Independence was laid up at Honolulu, Hawaii. In November of 2001 she was handed over to the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) and subsequently laid up in Suisan Bay. When this picture was added to the archives she was still there.
Thanks to Ralph Dazert, Netherlands for the update on the layup of Independence
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