Cafe Unknown scores again with a great story about ship building in Portland for World War II. And I didn't know we built ships for Russia!
It was an order to build fifteen freighters for Great Britain that brought industrialist Henry Kaiser to Portland to establish Oregon Shipbuilding in the first place. A similar order provided twenty “liberty ship” freighters to the Soviet Union.
Russian crews, often captained by women, attracted much attention in Portland while they waited for their vessels to be completed. After launching, the ships, some named for scions of old local families, were handed over to the Soviets and renamed.