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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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  • Ship History
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Lake Forest
(Str: t. 1,157; l. 261'; b. 43'6"; dr. 18'1"; s. 10 k.; cpl. 79; a. 1 5", 1 6-pdr.)

Lake Forest, a mine and cargo carrier, was launched 3 November 1917 under USSB contract by Detroit Shipbuilding Co, Detroit, Mich.; taken over by the Navy 24 December 1917 at New York; and commissioned 15 January 1918, Lt. Comdr. H. R. O. Johnston, USNRF, in command.

Assigned to NOTS, Lake Forest carried coal from New York and Norfolk to Boston and from Norfolk to Bermuda between 9 February and 25 April. After loading coal and cargo at Norfolk, she sailed 14 May for Europe via Halifax, and reached Clyde, Scotland, 4 June.

Departing in ballast for the United States 17 June, she was attacked 27 June by a surfaced German U-boat. The enemy submarine fired 60 rounds at Lake Forest, causing some damage but no casualties. The cargo ship fought back with 21 shots that drove off the attacker. Arriving Norfolk 4 July, she received repairs, loaded a cargo of mines, then steamed to Scotland 18 July to 12 August.

Returning to Norfolk 25 August to 10 September, she proceeded to the Madiera Islands 22 October to 5 November with food and relief supplies for the Red Cross commission. She steamed to New York 17 November to 2 December, made a coaling run to Melville, R.I., then departed Norfolk for Guantanamo 21 December. Arriving the 30th, she loaded bulk sugar before returning to New York 15 to 22 January 1919. Lake Forest proceeded to Norfolk 29 to 30 January, decommissioned 4 March, and was returned to USSB the same day. She was sold to Lloyd Royal Belge Society in 1920 and operated out of Antwerp under the name Venitier.

Published: Tue Jul 28 21:43:15 EDT 2015