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Photo # NH 98237:  Panoramic photograph of USS America at Boston, Mass., 1917

Online Library of Selected Images:
-- U.S. NAVY SHIPS --

USS America (ID # 3006), 1917-1919.
Originally the German passenger liner Amerika (1905-1917).
Later the U.S. Army Transport America (1919-1920), the U.S. passenger liner America (1921-1940) and the U.S. Army Transport Edmund B. Alexander (1940-1957)

USS America, a 21,085-ton transport, was built at Belfast, Northern Ireland, as the German passenger liner Amerika. Completed in October 1905, she spent the next nine years on the Hamburg-America Line's service between Germany and the United States. She was caught at the western end of the route when World War I began in August 1914 and was laid up at Boston, Massachusetts, from then until the U.S. entered the conflict in April 1917. Seized at that time by American authorities, Amerika was turned over to the Navy for conversion to a troop transport. In August 1917, while this work was underway at the Boston Navy Yard, she was commissioned as USS Amerika, a name soon changed to America.

In late October 1917, America began active work for the Navy, carrying U.S. service personnel across the Atlantic to France. She was employed on this vital duty for almost the remainder of the First World War, making nine round-trip voyages. On 14 July 1918 her seventh eastbound crossing was briefly interrupted by a collision that sank the merchantman Instructor, but left America with slight damage. Her ninth trip to France was notable for a severe outbreak of influenza, which took the lives of more than fifty men. On 15 October 1918, just before departing for another trip, the transport accidently sank alongside her pier at Hoboken, New Jersey. Raised and repaired over the next four months, America returned to service in February 1919 to begin the first of eight round-trip voyages that brought nearly 47,000 Americans home from the former European war zone.

In late September 1919, USS America was decommissioned and transferred to the U.S. Army Transportation Service. While employed as an Army Transport during the rest of the year, she completed two more trips to and from Europe. Between January and August 1920, USAT America made a long journey, via the Panama Canal and the Pacific Ocean, to carry members of the Czech Legion from Vladivostok, Russia, to Trieste, Italy. She was then converted for use as a civilian passenger liner, making her first Atlantic crossing as SS America in June 1921. Except for time out caused by a serious fire in March 1926, the ship continued in this service until the early 1930s, when she was laid up on the Patuxent River, Maryland. She returned to active service in 1940 as the U.S. Army Transport Edmund B. Alexander. Again laid up in 1949, the old ship was sold for scrapping in January 1957.

This page features, and provides links to, all the views we have concerning USS America, the civilian passenger liner Amerika, and the U.S. Army Transports America and Edmund B. Alexander.

For more images related to this ship, see:

  • USS America (ID # 3006) -- Views taken in 1919-1920;
  • USS America (ID # 3006) -- On Board, Close Up and Miscellanous Views; and
  • Edmund B. Alexander (U.S. Army Transport, 1940-1957).


    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 57603

    SS Amerika
    (German Passenger Liner, 1905)

    Photographed prior to World War I. She served as USS America (ID # 3006) in 1917-1919.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 117KB; 740 x 580 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 94203

    SS Amerika
    (German Passenger Liner, 1905)

    Photographed circa 1917, possibly while being prepared for U.S. Navy service. She was USS America (ID # 3006) in 1917-1919.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 45KB; 740 x 230 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 98237

    USS America (ID # 3006)


    At Boston, Massachusetts, 1917, with her topsides crowded with men.
    Panoramic photograph by the George Photo Company, Boston.
    USN Derrick Barge # 13 is at left, and USN Coal Barge # 52 is alongside America in the right center.

    Donation of Eleanor M. Anderson, 1975.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 130KB; 1200 x 375 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 106240

    USS America
    (ID # 3006)

    Halftone reproduction of a photograph showing the ship wearing pattern camouflage, circa mid-1918.

    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2008.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 94KB; 740 x 480 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 103244

    USS America
    (ID # 3006)

    Under salvage at Hoboken, New Jersey, circa October-November 1918. She accidently sank at her pier on 15 October 1918.

    Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, D.C. Collection of Admiral Albert Gleaves, USN.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 79KB; 740 x 535 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 57604

    USS America (ID # 3006)


    Sunk at Hoboken, New Jersey, circa October-November 1918.
    America had accidently sunk at her dock on 15 October 1918. Raised on 21 November, she was repaired and returned to transport service in February 1919.

    Donation of John G. Krieger, 1967.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 77KB; 740 x 465 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 103245

    USS America
    (ID # 3006)

    Under salvage at Hoboken, New Jersey, circa October-November 1918. She accidently sank at her pier on 15 October 1918.
    This photograph provides a close-up view of the ship's port side, amidships, showing men on her deck, signal flags drying and laundry hanging from railings, smokestack stays and other locations.
    Note the camouflage pattern painted on America's hull, superstructure and forward smokestack.

    Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, D.C. Collection of Admiral Albert Gleaves, USN.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 98KB; 740 x 525 pixels

     


    Related (if only slightly) image:

  • Photo # NH 105584 is a view of ship identified on the original print as USS America. However, the ship seen is actually USS Kroonland (ID # 1541), which was considerably smaller than America, though of somewhat similar general appearance.

    For more images related to this ship, see:

  • USS America (ID # 3006) -- Views taken in 1919-1920;
  • USS America (ID # 3006) -- On Board, Close Up and Miscellanous Views; and
  • Edmund B. Alexander (U.S. Army Transport, 1940-1957).


    NOTES:

  • To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.

  • Some images linked from this page bear obsolete credit lines citing the organization name: "Naval Historical Center". Effective 1 December 2008 the name should be cited as: "Naval History and Heritage Command".


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


    Return to Naval History and Heritage Command home page.

    Page made 5 December 2002
    New images added and page divided 15 December 2008