World War II ship is now museum; provides great place to view fireworks

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – There’s a place in Tampa where you can watch fireworks on a military vessel to celebrate the Fourth of July.

The American Victory Ship is docked in the heart of Downtown Tampa. Built during World War II, this fully operational cargo ship now acts as museum. It once housed Merchant Marines who manned operations that carried critical supplies across the ocean during WWII.

The ship also served in the Vietnam War and was fired upon during the Korean War. All nine decks are available to explore. Unlike many museums there are no ropes, preventing curious historians from touching the ship, spinning the gunner and simply getting lost in time as they roam the decks.

What’s special about the American Victory ship on the Fourth of July is the bow and main deck will be filled with spectators who will have one of the best seats in the area to watch fireworks. Face painting, food, music, dancing and a live DJ will transform the museum atmosphere into a celebration of Independence Day. It’s an annual event which usually sells out. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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