Randwijk, a 2401 gross ton (7500 tons displacement) freighter, was built at Alblasserdam, The Netherlands, in 1912 for Dutch owners. She was seized at Key West, Florida in March 1918 by the United States Government under the right of angary, which allowed a belligerant power to use the property of a neutral nation if necessary, subject to full indemnification. She was commissioned in the Navy as USS Randwijk (ID # 2546) on 2 April 1918. Departing Key West on 5 April, the ship arrived at Santiago, Cuba, on 9 April and loaded a full cargo of ore. She then sailed to Baltimore, Maryland, arriving on 22 April. Because she was carrying a commercial cargo, the Navy decided that she should be manned by a civilian crew. The ship was therefore decommissioned and turned over to the United States Shipping Board on 23 April 1918. That agency probably operated her through the end of World War I and returned her to her Dutch owners circa early 1919. Following more than two decades of subsequent commercial operation in peace and war, S.S. Randwijk was sunk by aircraft bombs at Hamburg, Germany, in October 1944. She was scrapped at Antwerp in 1948.
This page features the only views we have concerning S.S. Randwijk and USS Randwijk (ID # 2546).
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Photo #: NH 1889
USS Randwijk (ID # 2546)
Shown flying the American flag, possibly after being taken over at Key West in April 1918. This Dutch freighter, built in 1912, was commissioned on 2 April 1918 but was decommissioned and turned over to the Shipping Board at Baltimore on 23 April 1918. She was then probably operated by the Shipping Board until returned to her Dutch owners circa early 1919.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Online Image: 53KB; 740 x 570 pixels
Page made 1 December 2007