(Motor Boat: length 65 feet; beam 15 feet, 6 inches; draft 7 feet (aft); speed 9 knots; complement 9)
Alameda (SP-1040)—a motorboat built in 1917 by the Western Boat Building Co.—was inspected for service on the section patrol in the spring of 1917. Apparently she was never taken over by the Navy for no records have been found to substantiate her acquisition or service.
(Screw Steamer: displacement 5,000; length 332 feet 5 inches; beam 41 feet; draft 22 feet; speed 15 knots)
During World War I, Alameda (Id. No. 1432)—a screw steamer built in 1883 at Philadelphia, Pa., by William Cramp & Sons—was inspected in the 13th Naval District, but apparently was never acquired by the Navy.
(Fuel Ship: displacement 14,450 (normal); length 446 feet; beam 58 feet (waterline); draft 25 feet 6 inches (mean); speed 11 knots; complement 86; armament 2 5-inch guns; capacity 1,000 tons)
The first Alameda—a fuel ship—was laid down on 16 December 1918 at Philadelphia, Pa., by William Cramp & Sons for the United States Shipping Board (USSB); launched on 15 July 1919; sponsored by Mrs. Richard G. Widdows; acquired by the Navy from USSB on 17 October 1919; and commissioned that same day at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Comdr. Malcolm P. Nash, USNRF, in command.
Soon after commissioning, Alameda was assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS). She embarked upon her first voyage—to Port Arthur, Tex.—took on a cargo of oil at that Gulf of Mexico port—and headed back to the Atlantic coast. She entered port at Norfolk on 27 November and underwent repairs there until 5 December. After visiting Boston and New York, she departed the latter port on 29 December and once again headed for Port Arthur. She stopped at Charleston for engine repairs between 2 and 11 January 1920, then resumed her voyage to the gulf coast, and arrived at Port Arthur on 16 January. Since no fuel oil was available at that time, she headed back to Hampton Roads on the 23d without a cargo. The fuel ship arrived at Norfolk on 29 January and began another round of engine repairs.
Alameda departed Hampton Roads on 11 February and arrived at Port Arthur on the 18th. There, she loaded a cargo of fuel oil in preparation for her first transatlantic voyage. On the 21st, she set sail for the British Isles. She entered port at Clyde, Scotland, on 13 March and remained there until the 24th when she headed back toward the Texas coast. The fuel ship reached Port Arthur on 16 April and began loading another cargo of fuel oil. Upon completing that evolution, she put to sea bound for Norfolk where she arrived on 2 May. She underwent 10 days of repairs at Norfolk before heading for New York on the 12th. She entered port on the following day and began fueling ships of the Atlantic Fleet. Four days later, she departed New York and headed back to Norfolk for additional repairs. On 1 June, Alameda exited the Chesapeake Bay and shaped a course back to Port Arthur. Arriving at the latter port on the 6th, she loaded fuel oil and then put to sea bound for Glasgow, Scotland. Later that summer, the Navy adopted the alphanumeric system of hull designations; and Alameda became AO-10.
Alameda continued to serve with NOTS for the remainder of her brief naval career. In addition to operations between Port Arthur and east coast ports, she also made further voyages across the Atlantic to support American warships operating in European waters. On 19 November 1921, while steaming about 30 miles off Cape Henry, Va., she suffered an explosion in her fireroom. She was abandoned when firefighting efforts proved fruitless. The fuel ship remained afloat, however, and was towed into Norfolk, Va., on the 20th. There she remained until formally decommissioned on 29 March 1922. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 8 August 1922, and she was sold to the Newport Engine Co., of Washington, D.C., on 9 August 1922.
After serving in merchant service as Olean and Sweep, the ship was transferred from the War Shipping Administration to the Navy under a bareboat charter on 12 July 1944, serving under the name Silver Cloud (IX-143) (q.v.).
The name Alameda and the classification AP-68 was approved for assignment to the Oceanic Steamship Company SS Monterey on 22 August 1942, in light of the recent acquisition of the ship for use as a transport. The ship, however, was returned to the War Shipping Administration on 25 September 1942 and thus never served under that name.
15 April 2004