In Greek mythology, a god of the sea represented as a kind and wise old man who was the eldest son of Pontus and Gaea and the father of fifty mermaids, the nereids.
(AC10: dp. 19,081 (f.); l. 522; b. 62; dph. 369; dr. 278; s. 14 k.: cpl. 181; a. 4 4; cl. Proteus)
The second Nereus was laid down 4 December 1911 by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va.; launched 26 April 1913; sponsored by Miss Anne Seymour Jones, daughter of U.S. Representative W. A. Jones of Virginia; and commissioned 10 September 1913.
The new collier was assigned to the Atlantic Fleet and carried coal from east coast ports to U.S. naval bases in the Caribbean. After the United States entered World War II, Nereus was assigned to NOTS at its establishment 9 January 1918. Through the war she supplied American ships and bases with fuel to keep a steady flow of men, equipment and supplies flowing from the east coast to the front in France.
Detached from NOTS 12 September 1919, Nereus served with the Atlantic Fleet until decommissioned at Norfolk 30 June 1922. She was laid up there until struck from the Navy List 5 December 1940. Sold to the Aluminium Co., of Canada, 27 February 1941, Nereus operated out of Montreal carrying bauxite from the Caribbean to aluminum plants in the United States and Canada. On 10 December 1941 while steaming from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands with ore destined to be transformed into Allied fighting planes, Nereus sank, presumably after being torpedoed by a German U-boat.