A former name retained. In Chinese, Nanshan means “south mountain” and refers to a small group of mountains in Kwangtung Province.
(AG–3: dp. 5,059; l. 295’8”; b. 39’; dr. 21’3”; s. 11 k.; cpl. 45; a. 1 6–pdr.; cl. Nanshan)
Nanshan was launched in 1896 by Grangemouth Dockyard Co., Grangemouth, Scotland, for merchant service as a collier in the Far East; purchased at Hong Kong 6 April 1898 from Frank Smythe; and placed in service the same day, Capt. E. H. Stovell of the British Marine Service in command.
Acquired by the Navy as a supply ship for Commodore George Dewey’s Asiatic Squadron, Nanshan sailed from Hong Kong 24 April 1898 with the squadron, remaining outside the harbor during the Battle of Manila Bay 1 May. She coaled Dewey’s victorious ships until Manila was occupied 13 August, and continued to serve in the Philippines and on the China Station. Aside from a brief period out of service at Cavite Navy Yard for upkeep 29 March 1906 through 1 February 1907, Nanshan served in the Far East until 10 May 1913, when she returned to San Francisco to coal ships along the coasts of California, Mexico, and South America. Placed out of service at Mare Island 31 March 1914 for repairs, Nanshan was placed in full commission 1 August 1914 with her first Navy crew. Supply missions ranging from Alaska to Hawaii continued until 1 February 1918, when she sailed for Hampton Roads, Va., via the Panama Canal.
This cargo trip ended with her return to Mare Island 16 May when she resumed her usual operations, which included in July 1919 an emergency mission to Kodiak and the Pribiloffs bringing badly-needed food. Between 5 December 1919 and 3 December 1921, Nanshan served as a target repair ship. She decommissioned at Mare Island 18 January 1922 and was sold 29 July 1922 to John A. Bercovich Co.