USS Otis W. Douglas (SP-313), 1917-1919.
Also known as Douglas.
Originally the civilian trawler Otis W. Douglas (1912)

Otis W. Douglas, a 295 gross ton "Menhaden Fisherman" type trawler (also reportedly a freight boat) was built at Wilmington, Delaware in 1912. She was acquired by the Navy in April 1917 and placed in commission that August as USS Otis W. Douglas (SP-313). Under the July 1917 Navy General Order # 324, her name was officially shortened to Douglas, but the longer original name also continued in use.

Following commissioning, the ship crossed the Atlantic to north-western France, where she was employed as a minesweeper through the remainder of World War I and into 1919. In late April of that year, Otis W. Douglas left Brest, France to return to the United States. Encountering a severe storm early in the voyage, she foundered at sea on 27 April 1919.

This page features the only views we have concerning USS Otis W. Douglas (SP-313) and the fishing vessel Otis W. Douglas.

Photo #: NH 100225

Otis W. Douglas
(American Menhaden Fishing Vessel, 1912)

Photographed prior to World War I. Delivered to the Navy on 7 April 1917, she was placed in commission on 10 August 1917 as USS Otis W. Douglas (SP-313). Her name was shortened to Douglas by a July 1917 General Order, but the longer name also continued to be used.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 52 KB; 900 x 555 pixels

Photo #: NH 107332

USS Otis W. Douglas

Moored to a buoy off Lorient, France, circa 1918.
She has the numeral "5" painted on her bow.
At the time this photograph was taken, this ship's name had been formally shortened to Douglas.

Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2011.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 82 KB; 900 x 650 pixels

Photo #: NH 45084

Lorient, France

View taken on 4 July 1918, showing U.S. Navy minesweepers in the right center, alongside the dock at Base 19. The French Navy machinist school is at left.
The inboard ship is a hulk, presumably an old French warship employed as a harbor support vessel. Minesweepers tied up outboard of it include (from left to right):

USS Cahill (SP-493),
USS Douglas (SP-313),
USS Hinton (SP-485),
USS Courtney (SP-375), and
USS McNeal (SP-333).

These former fishing vessels were originally known by their civilian names, respectively: Winfield S. Cahill, Otis W. Douglas, John B. Hinton, Warren J. Courtney and Kenneth L. McNeal. Though ordered shortened to surnames by a July 1917 Navy General Order, the longer names were often used afterwards.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 72 KB; 900 x 535 pixels


For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions

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.

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