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

Photo # NH 84083:  USS Housatonic at the Boston Navy Yard, 28 March 1919

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

USS Housatonic (ID # 1697), 1918-1919

USS Housatonic, a 7620-ton (displacement) minelayer, was built at Newport News, Virginia, in 1899 as the 4664 gross ton commercial passenger-cargo ship El Rio. She was taken over by the Navy late in 1917, renamed, placed in commission in January 1918 and converted to a minelayer. Once this work was completed Housatonic steamed across the Atlantic to Scotland, from which she operated for the rest of World War I helping to build a barrier of mines across the North Sea in an effort to restrict the movements of German submarines. The ship returned to the U.S. following the November 1918 Armistice and was converted to a troop transport. She was then employed by the Cruiser and Transport Force to bring American servicemen home from France. Housatonic was decommissioned in early August 1919 and returned to her owner, the Southern Pacific Steamship Company.

This page features all the views we have concerning USS Housatonic (ID # 1697).


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 102875

USS Housatonic
(ID # 1697)

Halftone reproduction of a photograph of the ship at anchor, in 1918.

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

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 56KB; 740 x 445 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 84083

USS Housatonic
(ID # 1697)

At the Boston Navy Yard, Massachusetts, on 28 March 1919.
Panoramic photograph by J.C. Crosby, Boston.
The "cage" masts of a battleship are visible behind Housatonic.

Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. Crosby Collection.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 89KB; 1200 x 420 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 103112

USS Housatonic
(ID # 1697)

In port, while serving as a troop transport in 1919.

Donation of the City Museum of Washington, D.C., 2005.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 88KB; 740 x 465 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 53575

USS Canandaigua
(ID# 1694);
USS Roanoke (ID # 1695);
USS Canonicus (ID # 1696); and
USS Housatonic (ID # 1697)

Sketch of "Rearrangement of Steering Gear" on ships' bridges, made at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia, 23 April 1918.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 81KB; 590 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 53574

USS Housatonic
(ID # 1697)

Broken air pump discharge chamber on the ship, circa 1918.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 101KB; 600 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 52819

Mine Squadron One, U.S. Atlantic Fleet


Senior officers of the squadron, photographed on board ship in the North Sea area, September 1918.
Those present are identified in Photo # NH 52819 (complete caption).

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 96KB; 740 x 430 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 52995

Mine Squadron One, U.S. Atlantic Fleet


Senior officers of the squadron, photographed on board ship in the North Sea area, September 1918.
Those present are identified in Photo # NH 52995 (complete caption).

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 88KB; 740 x 495 pixels

 


The following photographs show USS Housatonic in the middle distance:

Photo #: NH 61101

U.S. Navy Mine Layers


Steaming in line abreast during the laying of the North Sea mine barrage, September 1918.
Analysis of camouflage patterns indicates that these ships are (from front to rear):
USS Roanoke (ID # 1695);
USS Housatonic (ID # 1697);
USS Shawmut (ID # 1255);
USS Canandaigua (ID # 1694);
USS Canonicus (ID # 1696);
with USS Quinnebaug (ID # 1687) and USS Saranac (ID # 1702) in the left and right center distance.
A four-stack British cruiser is in the left distance.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 86KB; 740 x 610 pixels

 
Photo #: 111-SC-43563

Laying the North Sea Mine Barrage, 1918


U.S. Navy minelayers proceeding to sea in two columns, in Area Number 2 of the North Sea, September 1918.
Ships in the column at left are (from front to rear): Roanoke, Housatonic, Quinnebaug and Baltimore.
Ships in column at right are (from front to rear): Canonicus (out of picture, to right), Canandaigua, Aroostook and Saranac.
Note disruptive "dazzle" camouflage worn by these ships.

Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 59KB; 740 x 460 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: NH 2805

Laying the North Sea Mine Barrage, 1918


U.S. Navy minelayers steaming in column in the North Sea, September 1918. At left, British destroyers are covering the formation's flank with a smoke screen.
Ships in the minelayer column are (from front to rear): Roanoke, Housatonic, Quinnebaug and Baltimore.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 76KB; 740 x 560 pixels

 


The ships seen in the following photographs MAY include USS Housatonic:

Photo #: NH 89508

U.S. Navy mine layers and British warships in a Scottish harbor, 1918


Photographed from on board either USS Shawmut (ID # 1255) or USS Aroostook (1256), with a British light cruiser at left.
Two U.S. mine layers are at right. That nearest the camera is either USS Quinnebaug (ID # 1687) or USS Saranac (ID # 1702). Immediately ahead of her is either USS Housatonic (ID # 1697), USS Canonicus (ID # 1696), USS Roanoke (ID # 1695) or USS Canandaigua (ID # 1694).

Collection of Lieutenant (Junior Grade) A. Alvin Booth, USNRF.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 89KB; 740 x 455 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 99468

U.S. Navy Transport


Crowded with troops, probably in a French port just before departure for the United States in 1919.
This ship is not USS Ohioan. She is rather one of the four former Morgan Line steamers converted to minelayers during World War I and employed as transports in 1919. These were USS Canandaigua (ID # 1694), USS Roanoke (ID # 1695), USS Canonicus (ID # 1696) and USS Housatonic (ID # 1697).
Photographed from USS Scranton (ID # 3511).

Photograph from the USS Scranton photo album kept by J.D. Bartar, one of her crew members.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 64KB; 740 x 440 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 19 November 2004
Link added 20 April 2007