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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Photo # NH 105725:  USS Black Arrow in port, 1919

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

USS Black Arrow (ID # 3913, later ID # 1534), 1919-1919.
Previously the Civilian freighter Rhaetia (1904), Black Hawk and Black Arrow

USS Black Arrow, a 11,900-ton (displacement) transport, was built in 1904 at Vegesack, Germany, as the 6599 gross ton Hamburg-America line freighter Rhaetia. She was seized by the United States Government in April 1917, when the U.S. entered World War I. Renamed Black Hawk and later Black Arrow, she spent the rest of the war carrying cargo for the U.S. Army, making at least five trips to France. In January 1919 the ship was transferred to the Navy, which placed her in commission as USS Black Arrow and put her to work bringing American service personnel home from the former war zone. After the completion of three round-trip voyages for this purpose, she was decommissioned in August 1919 and returned to the U.S. Shipping Board.

As a side note, significant to those interested in tracking the numbers assigned to ships by the U.S. Navy, this ship (then named Black Hawk) was inspected for possible Navy service by the Fifth Naval District about mid-1917 and given the registry ID # 1534. However, the record of this action was apparently misplaced, and the ship (by now named Black Arrow) was given the new ID # 3913 at about the time she entered Naval service. On 3 April 1922, nearly three years after she had been returned to the Shipping Board, the error was corrected and her number changed back to 1534. This reflects the Navy's contemporary effort to maintain a registry of civilian ships for possible acquisition in the event of another national emergency.

This page features all the views we have concerning USS Black Arrow (ID # 3913) and the civilian ship Black Arrow, which was previously named Rhaetia and Black Hawk.


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 102940

USS Black Arrow
(ID # 3913)

In a U.S. East Coast port, 1919.
The original photograph, taken by the National Photo Service, Inc., is printed on postal card ("AZO") stock.

Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2005.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 66KB; 740 x 480 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 105725

USS Black Arrow
(ID # 3913)

In port, 1919
The original image is printed on post card ("AZO") stock.

Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2008.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 68KB; 740 x 475 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 102873

USS Black Arrow
(ID # 3913)

In port, 1919.

Courtesy of Boatswain's Mate First Class Robert G. Tippins, USN (Retired), 2005.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 78KB; 740 x 495 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 99385

S.S. Black Arrow
(American Freighter, 1904)

In port, possibly when inspected by the Third Naval District on 20 March 1919.
Built in 1904 as the Hamburg-America Line steamer Rhaetia, this ship was seized by the United States in April 1917. Renamed Black Hawk, and later Black Arrow, she served on U.S. Army account for the rest of World War I. Transferred to the Navy, she was placed in commission on 27 January 1919 as USS Black Arrow. The ship was decommissioned and returned to the U.S. Shipping Board on 9 August 1919. While in Navy service she apparently had registry ID # 3913, reflecting the March 1919 inspection. This was changed to ID # 1534 on 3 April 1922, indicating that she had been inspected in about mid-1917 and assigned the lower number, but that this had been overlooked when she was taken over by the Navy.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 78KB; 560 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 104780

USS Black Arrow
(ID # 3913)

In port, possibly at Gibraltar, 1919.
This photograph was originally the property of Warren W. Joy, who made two trips as a member of Black Arrow's crew, one from New York to Bordeaux and the other to Marseilles.

Courtesy of Stanley R. Joy, 2007.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 48KB; 740 x 440 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 99392

USS Black Arrow
(ID # 3913)

Ship's Officers and Crew on deck, 1919.
Panoramic photograph by the Taylor Studio, Norfolk, Virginia.
Note the group of African-American Sailors in the lower right.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 127KB; 900 x 370 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 99393

USS Black Arrow
(ID # 3913)

Ship's Officers on deck, 1919.
Photographed by the Taylor Studio, Norfolk, Virginia.
Note the grating underfoot, and sign for the ship's Canteen partially visible at the far right.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 103KB; 740 x 455 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 16 June 2004
New image added 3 May 2007