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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Willimantic

 

(ScStr.: dp. 10,690 (n.); l. 396'0"; b. 53'0"  (wl.); dr. 24' (aft); s. 10.5k.; cpl. 52)

 

Willimantic (Id. No. 3549)—a cargo steamer launched on 29 May 1918 at Seattle, Wash., by the Todd Drydock & Construction Co. for the United States Shipping Board—was delivered to the Navy on 2 November 1918 at Puget Sound and was commissioned that same day, Lt. Comdr. Erik G. Froberg, USNRF, in command.

 

Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, Willimantic completed her trials and loaded a cargo of flour and put to sea on 14 December, bound via the Panama Canal for New York where she arrived on 9 January 1919. On the 21st, still loaded with 6,400 tons of flour, she departed New York and set a course for the Mediterranean Sea. The cargoman arrived at Gibraltar on 7 February but remained only briefly since she received orders there to continue her voyage immediately—destination: Fiume on the Adriatic coast. Willimantic reached Fiume 11 days later and unloaded her cargo of flour. After almost a month there, she set sail on 12 March to return home. Loaded only with water for ballast, she stopped again at Gibraltar and the Azores on the way and arrived back in New York on 13 April. Willimantic was decommissioned at New York on 21 April 1919 and was returned to the United States Shipping Board the same day. She remained on the rolls of the Shipping Board, and later those of the Maritime Commission, through the 1920's and 1930's. Early in 1942, she was transferred to the United Kingdom and served with the British during the remainder of the war. In 1945, her name disappeared from the merchant marine registers.