(Str: dp. 11,900; l. 409'3"; b. 52.7'; dr. 25'10" (mean); s. 10 k.)
Rhaetia--a steamer built in 1904 at Vegesack, Germany, by the Bremer Vulcan Werke for the Hamburg-America Line--was seized by United States Customs officials at Philadelphia in April 1917, upon the entry of the United States into World War I. The former German merchantman was initially assigned to the Army under the name Black Hawk and served in that capacity from June 1917 to January 1919. Sometime during that period, she received the name Black Arrow. While in Army service, she made five recorded round-trip voyages from New York to various French ports, returning from the last sometime late in December 1918 or early in January 1919.
At that time, Black Arrow was turned over to the Navy and assigned the identification number Id. No. 1534. She was placed in commission at New York on 27 January 1919, Lt. Comdr. Walter S. Lynch, USNRF, in command. Her naval career--during which she made three round-trip voyages to Europe and back--lasted a little more than six months. She was placed out of commission on 9 August 1919 and was turned over to the United States Shipping Board for disposal that same day. Her name was also struck from the Navy list that same day.
Raymond A. Mann
6 February 2006