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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Photo #  NH 99300:  Tanker Alabama, photographed circa 1918.


Online Library of Selected Images:
-- CIVILIAN SHIPS --

Alabama (American Tanker, 1901).
Originally named Northtown.
Served as USS Amabala (ID # 2185) in 1918-1919

Northtown, a 2621 gross ton tanker, was built at South Chicago, Illinois, for commercial employment. She operated on the Great Lakes until 1907, then shifted her base to Port Arthur, Texas. The ship was rebuilt in 1914 and renamed Alabama at about that time. The Navy took her over in August 1918 and placed her in commission as USS Amabala (ID # 2185), a rather curious renaming made to avoid confusion with the battleship Alabama.

Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, Amabala steamed across the Atlantic in September 1918 to begin the important work of supplying fuel oil to U.S. warships based at Berehaven, Ireland. She continued in this duty until after the November Armistice ended active combat operations. At the beginning of December the tanker moved to Brest, France, where she fueled American ships until mid-month. Amabala then returned to the United States, arriving in early January 1919. She was decommissioned in late February and given back to her owner.

Her name changed back to Alabama, she had a long subsequent commercial career, under the U.S. flag until 1946-1947 and thereafter under Venezuelan registry. The old tanker appears to have been removed from service in the early 1950s.

This page features the only view we have concerning the tanker Alabama, which was USS Amabala (ID # 2185) in 1918-1919.


If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

Photo #: NH 99300

Alabama
(American Tanker, 1901)

Photographed circa 1918, prior to acquisition by the Navy.
Originally named Northtown, this tanker was taken over by the Navy on 19 August 1918 and commissioned on 21 August as USS Amabala (ID # 2185), with the name change being made to avoid confusion with USS Alabama (Battleship # 8). She was returned to her owner on 27 February 1919.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 51KB; 740 x 380 pixels

 


If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."


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Page made 7 May 2004