Former name retained.
(AK: dp. 10,200; l. 364'; b. 51'; dr. 25'; s. 11 k.; cpl. 52; a. 1 6")
El Capitan (No. 1407), a cargo ship, was launched 18 August 1917 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry-dock Co., Newport News, Va.; transferred from the Shipping Board 21 March 1918; and commissioned the same day, Lieutenant Commander J. H. Halsey, USNRF, in command.
Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, El Capitan made four transatlantic voyages between 29 March and 23 November 1918. She carried various supplies and equipment from east coast ports to Brest, Verdon, Le Havre, Plymouth and Devonport. On her second voyage, one day out of Philadelphia, she sighted a U-boat abeam. Her guns forced the submarine to dive before it could attack.
El Capitan was decommissioned 1 February 1919 at New York and transferred to the Shipping Board .the same day for return to her owners.