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Photo # NH 68750:  USS De Kalb underway, circa 1918

Online Library of Selected Images:

with Two Smokestacks and Two Masts

Sixteen of the U.S. Navy's plumb-bow WWI era transports had two smokestacks and two masts. Seven were ex-German passenger liners that entered commissioned service in 1917. After carrying American troops under charter, a former Austrian liner and an older U.S. flag passenger ship were transferred to the Navy in 1918. A sister of the latter was also taken over by the Navy, but suffered a serious accident and did not enter service. In the first months of 1918, two relatively new U.S. flag passenger liners were also commissioned, along with two older U.S. liners converted to hospital ships, but which also performed trans-Atlantic transport duty in late 1918 and early 1919. Another three German liners were acquired in 1919 to bring service personnel home from Europe.

These ships varied notably in size, ranging from over 17,000 to somewhat over 6000 gross tons. The four largest were quite different in appearance. The middle group (six in number) included one ship with widely-spaced smokestacks, three with stacks relatively close together and two more with intermediate stack spacing. The six smallest ships included two pairs of nearly identical ships and two that were different from all the others.

This page features a table (with links to individual ships) of World War I era U.S. Navy transports with two smokestacks and two masts, plus one photograph of each ship in this group.

Click each ship name to access that ship's complete Online Library entry.

Click the small photographs to prompt a larger view of the same image, and the words "Picture Data" to access the Picture Data Sheet for that image.

Ships in this group:

SIXTEEN SHIPS with TWO SMOKESTACKS and TWO MASTS, subdivided as follows:

Four relatively large ships, of differing appearance:

  • Prinz Friedrich Wilhelm, USN 1919-1919 (ex-German S.S. Prinz Friedrich Wilhelm, 1908).
    17,082 Gross Tons; Length 589.9'; Breadth 68.3'
  • Cap Finisterre, USN 1919-1919 (ex-German S.S. Cap Finisterre, 1911).
    14,503 Gross Tons; Length 560.0'; Breadth 65.3'
  • Zeppelin, USN 1919-1919 (ex-German S.S. Zeppelin, 1914).
    14,167 Gross Tons; Length 550.3'; Breadth 67.3'
  • Aeolus, USN 1917-1919 (ex-German S.S. Grosser Kurfürst, 1899).
    13,102 Gross Tons; Length 560.6'; Breadth 62.3'

     USS Prinz Friedrich Wilhelm, 1919:

    Picture Data

     USS Aeolus, 1918:

    Picture Data

     USS Cap Finisterre, 1919:

    Picture Data

     USS Zeppelin, 1919:

    Picture Data

    Two medium-size ships, with smokestacks relatively far apart:

  • Mercury, USN 1917-1919 (ex-German S.S. Barbarossa, 1896).
    10,984 Gross Tons; Length 526.4'; Breadth 60.0'
  • Huron, USN 1917-1919 (ex-German S.S. Friedrich der Grosse, 1896).
    10,771 Gross Tons; Length 523.0'; Breadth 60.1'

     USS Mercury, 1918:

    Picture Data

     USS Huron, 1918:

    Picture Data

    Three medium-size ships, with smokestacks relatively close together:

  • Pocahontas, USN 1917-1919 (ex-German S.S. Prinzess Irene, 1900).
    10,881 Gross Tons; Length 523.5'; Breadth 60.2'
  • Powhatan, USN 1917-1919 (ex-German S.S. Hamburg, 1899).
    10,531 Gross Tons; Length 499.3'; Breadth 60.2'
  • Princess Matoika, USN 1917-1919 (ex-German S.S. Princess Alice, 1900).
    10,492 Gross Tons; Length 523.5'; Breadth 60.1'

     USS Pocahontas, 1919:

    Picture Data

     USS Powhatan, Nov. 1917:

    Picture Data

     USS Princess Matoika, 1919:

    Picture Data

    One medium-size ship, with smokestacks quite far apart and a relatively low superstructure:

  • Louisville, USN 1918-1919 (ex-American S.S. St. Louis, 1896).
    10,230 Gross Tons; Length 535.5'; Breadth 63.0'
  • Note: S.S. St. Paul, Louisville's sister ship, was acquired by the U.S. Navy in early 1918, but capsized while undergoing conversion and did not enter commissioned service.

     USS Louisville, 1919:

    Picture Data

     USS St. Paul, 1898:

    Picture Data

    Two relatively small ships, of differing appearance:

  • De Kalb, USN 1917-1919 (ex-German S.S. Prinz Eitel Friedrich, 1904).
    8797 Gross Tons; Length 488.3'; Breadth 55.7'
  • Martha Washington, USN 1918-1919 (ex-Austrian S.S. Martha Washington, 1908).
    8312 Gross Tons; Length 460.0'; Breadth 56.0'

     USS De Kalb, circa 1917-19:

    Picture Data

     USS Martha Washington, 1919:

    Picture Data

    Two relatively small ships, quite similar in appearance:

  • Great Northern, USN 1917-1919 (ex-American S.S. Great Northern, 1915).
    8255 Gross Tons; Length 509.5'; Breadth 63.1'
  • Northern Pacific, USN 1917-1919 (ex-American S.S. Northern Pacific, 1914).
    8255 Gross Tons; Length 509.5'; Breadth 63.1'

     USS Great Northern, 1919:

    Picture Data

     USS Northern Pacific, 1918:

    Picture Data

    Two relatively small hospital ships, also used as transports, virtually identical in appearance. (Except for one possibly retouched 1918 view, all photographs of these ships show them wearing regular hospital ship markings.):

  • Comfort, USN 1918-1925 (ex-American S.S. Havana, 1906).
    6391 Gross Tons; Length 413.0'; Breadth 50.2'
  • Mercy, USN 1918-1939 (ex-American S.S. Saratoga, 1907).
    6391 Gross Tons; Length 413.0'; Breadth 50.2'

     USS Comfort, circa 1919:

    Picture Data

     USS Mercy, circa 1919-20:

    Picture Data

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

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    Page made 23 March 2007