Keresan, a 4507 gross ton (8700 tons displacement) cargo ship, was built at Sunderland, England, in 1912 as Electra for one Austro-Hungarian shipping firm but was completed for another (M. V. Martinolich & Co.) and renamed Erodiade. In August 1914 she took refuge at Buenos Aires and was laid up there. In 1917 she was purchased by the Kerr Navigation Co. of New York -- which also bought seven other Austrian freighters after they were seized in the U.S. in April 1917 -- and was renamed Keresan. In late 1917 or in 1918 the ship was chartered by General Pershing to carry Army supplies within the European theater. She was taken over by the Navy at New York on 18 September 1918 and placed in commission as USS Keresan (ID # 1806). In October she carried a cargo of ammunition from New York to France. Returning to New York in ballast in December, after repairs she sailed in January 1919 for Buenos Aires with general cargo, arriving in early February. Delayed by a strike, in early May Keresan departed for New York with a cargo of maize. She discharged her cargo there in June and on the 26th was decommissioned and delivered to the Shipping Board for simultaneous return to her owners.
Keresan became the American Mt. Seward in 1921, the Hungarian Debreczen in 1922, the British Fenwell in 1927 and Chislehurst in 1928. Sold to a Shanghai-based firm in 1933 she became Yolande B and then Yolande. She was wrecked near Weihaiwei, China, on 5 March 1938.
This page features the only views we have concerning USS Keresan (ID # 1806) and the civilian freighter Keresan (ex-Erodiade) of 1912.
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Photo #: NH 105210
S.S. Keresan (American Freighter, 1912)
In port with two barges alongside, possibly when inspected by the Third Naval District on 23 September 1917. This British-built ship served as USS Keresan (ID # 1806) from 18 September 1918 to 26 June 1919. Formerly the Austro-Hungarian Erodiade, she was acquired from a U.S. firm, the Kerr Navigation Co.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Online Image: 51KB; 740 x 465 pixels
Photo #: 19-N-14816
USS Keresan (ID # 1806)
Photographed circa late 1918, while painted in World War I "dazzle" camouflage.
This British-built freighter was the former Austro-Hungarian Erodiade.
Photograph from the Bureau of Ships Collection in the U.S. National Archives.
Online Image: 36KB; 740 x 500 pixels
Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.
Page made 6 August 2007