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Photo # NH 103100:  USS Alameda at the Norfolk Navy Yard on 7 March 1921

Online Library of Selected Images:

USS Alameda (AO-10), 1919-1922.
Later USS Silver Cloud (IX-143), 1944-1946

USS Alameda, a 14,450 ton (displacement) tanker built at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was commissioned in October 1919. She was one of twelve "oil tank steamers" ordered by the Navy in October 1918 as part of the World War I emergency shipbuilding program, four at Philadelphia and eight at Newport News, Virginia. Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, she operated primarily along the east coast, making periodic trips to Port Arthur, Texas, to load oil. Beginning in February 1920 Alameda also carried oil across the Atlantic to support American warships in European waters. On 19 November 1921, while about 30 miles off Cape Henry, Va., she suffered an explosion in her fireroom. The resulting fire forced her crew to abandon ship in stormy weather. Merchant ships rescued the entire crew, and naval tugs brought the damaged ship into Norfolk. Formally decommissioned in March 1922, Alameda was stricken from the Navy list and sold in August 1922.

Repaired by her new owner, she entered merchant service in 1925 as S.S. Olean. On 15 March 1942 the unescorted tanker was torpedoed twice in the engine room off Cape Lookout by the German U-158. Six of her crew were killed while abandoning ship. Olean was later towed to Hampton Roads and drydocked. She was first declared a total loss, but the War Shipping Administration (WSA) took her over in April, requisitioned her in June, and had her rebuilt at Baltimore. She returned to service in April 1943 as S.S. Sweep.

In October 1943 the Navy selected Sweep for use as a mobile floating storage tanker in the Pacific and in November chose the name Silver Cloud for her. The ship was accepted and commissioned at Eniwetok in July 1944 as USS Silver Cloud (IX-143). She moved to Manus Island in August 1944 and to Leyte in January 1945. At the end of December 1945 she sailed from Leyte to Mobile, Ala. for disposal. Silver Cloud was delivered to WSA there in March 1946, stricken from the Navy list in April 1946, and sold for scrapping in January 1947.

This page features the only view we have concerning USS Alameda (AO-10) and USS Silver Cloud (IX-143).

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

Photo #: NH 103100

USS Alameda

At the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Virginia, 7 March 1921.
Panoramic photograph by Crosby, "Naval Photographer", 324 First Street, Portsmouth, Virginia.

Donation of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum, 1970.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 77KB; 1200 x 475 pixels


If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

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Page made 5 September 2005