Luella, a 4152 gross ton (8800 tons displacement) refrigerated cargo ship, was built at Baltimore, Maryland, as part of the World War I shipbuilding effort. She was ordered by the British as War Whale but was requisitioned by the U.S. Shipping Board and renamed while under construction. Commissioned at Baltimore as USS Luella (ID # 2691) on 27 May 1918, the ship proceeded to New York where, on account of various troubles that had developed, she was decommissioned on 6 August and returned to the Shipping Board for repairs.
Recommissioned at New York on 16 September, Luella left New York on 1 October but was delayed another month by mechanical problems and only joined a convoy bound for Brest, France, on 8 November, a few days before the Armistice brought an end to the First World War's fighting. Her cargo of frozen beef was discharged at St. Nazaire, France, in early December. She returned to New York on 15 January 1919 and, after extensive repairs, departed on 18 March on her second voyage to Europe with a cargo of general Army stores. When departing St. Nazaire on 20 April 1919 Luella collided with the steamship Rosedale, which sank in eight minutes, and suffered serious damage to her holds which required her to be drydocked. Repairs lasted until 2 August, and she then loaded a cargo of ordnance material at Bordeaux and returned to Philadelphia on 15 September. USS Luella was decommissioned and returned to the Shipping Board on 26 September 1919. She remained in Shipping Board hands until scrapped at Baltimore in 1932.
This page features the only view we have concerning USS Luella (ID # 2691) and the civilian freighter Luella of 1918.
|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 105222
USS Luella (ID # 2691)
In port wearing pattern camouflage, possibly when inspected by the Third Naval District on 19 September 1918. This ship was in commission from May to August 1918 and from September 1918 to September 1919.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Online Image: 73KB; 740 x 440 pixels
Page made 11 September 2007