Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Related Content
  • Boats-Ships--Battleship
Document Type
  • Biography
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War I 1917-1918
File Formats
  • Image (gif, jpg, tiff)
Location of Archival Materials

Loss of Conestoga

NH 71507. Conestoga (AT-54) Deck Division beside the ship, circa early 1921.

NH 71507. USS Conestoga (AT-54) Deck Division posed beside the ship, San Diego, California, circa early 1921. The sailor marked by an arrow (top row) may be Seaman 1st Class W. P. Burbage. [Editor's note: Seaman 1st Class Burbage was not assigned to the ship at the time of the disappearance.] Courtesy of W.P. Burbage, 1970. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command photograph. Click image for download options.

USS Conestoga was commissioned on 10 November 1917 and carried out towing duties along the Atlantic coast during World War I. In 1920, the ship was formally classifed as a fleet tug, AT-54. The ship was ordered to duty at Tutuila, American Samoa, a destination she never reached. Conestoga disappeared after setting sail from California in 1921. On 30 June 1921, the Navy declared Conestoga lost with all 56 sailors.

The Wreck

Find out about the wreck of Conestoga, discovered more than 90 years after the ship's disappearance. Read what's next for Conestoga.

The Ship

Learn more about the history of Conestoga.


View images in the NHHC collection concerning Lieutenant Ernest L. Jones, commanding officer of Conestoga at the time of the ship's disappearance.

The Sailors

Read brief biographies (PDF, 0.9 MB) of the 56 sailors lost with Conestoga, provided courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Research.

Published: Mon Aug 17 12:52:53 EDT 2020