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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Walter D. Munson

 

(ScStr.: dp. 8,375; l. 384'6"; b. 48'0" (wl.); dr. 22'6"; s. 12k.; cpl. 65; a. 1 5", 13")

 

Walter D. Munson (Id. No. 1510)—a freighter constructed in 1917 by the Bethlehem Steel Co. in its yard at Sparrows Point, Md.—was acquired by the United States Shipping Board from the Munson Steamship Lines early in 1918; turned over to the Navy on 15 April 1918; and commissioned on 19 April 1918 at New York City, Lt. Comdr. William J. Connors, USNRF, in command.

 

Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, she loaded Army supplies at New York and put to sea on 25 April with a convoy bound for France. The ship concluded her first Atlantic crossing at Brest on 10 May and moved on to Gironde on the 13th, in which port she unloaded her cargo and took on ballast for the return voyage. On 27 May, Walter D. Munson departed Gironde with a New York-bound convoy. She entered New York on 7 June, completed voyage repairs, and loaded another Army cargo.

 

The freighter's second east-bound convoy sailed for Europe on 18 June and arrived in Brest on Independence Day 1918. This time, she unloaded a portion of her cargo at Brest before moving on to Gironde on the 6th. The cargoman completed her unloading at Gironde, took on ballast, and stood out to sea on 24 July. Her convoy arrived back in New York on 6 August, and

 

Walter D. Munson made voyage repairs before loading supplies in preparation for her third voyage to Europe and back.

 

Walter D. Munson departed New York on 15 August and entered Brest 15 days later. On the 31st, she was routed on to Le Havre where she discharged her cargo. Before setting out back across the Atlantic, the ship visited Plymouth, England, where she topped off her bunkers with coal. Her return convoy rendezvoused on 10 September and stood into New York on the 23d.

 

During a week at New York, Walter D. Munson completed another series of voyage repairs and loaded her fourth Europe-bound cargo. On 30 September, she departed New York in convoy for France. The ship arrived at Le Havre on 16 October, discharged her cargo there, and then headed back to the United States on the 24th, arriving home on 6 November. Though hostilities ceased on the llth, she completed her turnaround and, four days later, started back across the Atlantic. Walter D. Munson reached France at Qui-beron Bay on 27 November, discharged a portion of her cargo there, and then moved on to Nantes where she unloaded the remainder. The ship stood out of Nantes on 6 December and headed for Brest where she loaded a cargo of steel rails for return to the United States. She left Brest on 11 December and arrived in New York on Christmas Eve. After unloading the steel rails, Walter D. Munson took on a cargo of commissary supplies and gas. On 8 January, she set out upon her last round-trip voyage to Europe. The freighter entered Quiberon Bay on 24 January and, on the 29th, continued on to Nantes where she discharged her cargo. She returned to sea on 15 February and set a course for the Delaware capes.

 

She arrived at Philadelphia on 7 March and there received word of her imminent demobilization. Walter D. Munson was placed out of commission on 14 April 1919 and was simultaneously returned to her owners. She served with the Munson Steamship Lines until 1940 when she was sold to the Greek firm, Rethymnis & Kulukundis (Hellas) S.A. of Piraeus, Greece. Renamed SS Mount Kyllene, the ship remained in merchant service operating out of Piraeus, Greece, until 1960 at which time her name disappeared from mercantile lists.