The Navy retained the name carried by this seagoing barge at the time of her acquisition.
(Id.No. 1239: tonnage 2,128 (gross); length 240'10" (overall); beam 43'9"; draft 25'8" (mean); depth of hold 19'4"; complement 6; armament none)
W. F. Babcock, a wooden-hulled, three-masted schooner-rigged barge launched in 1882 at Bath, Maine, by A. Sewall & Co., was acquired by the Navy from the Luckenbach Steamship Co. on 18 October 1917 for employment as a coastwise collier.
Given the identification number (Id.No.) 1239 and commissioned on 8 November 1917, W. F. Babcock operated in the waters of the Fifth Naval District until 8 August 1918, when she was assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service. Plying the eastern seaboard between New England and Norfolk, W. F. Babcock served as a coastwise collier through the end of the Great War.
Reassigned to the First Naval District on 15 August 1919, she was stricken from the Navy Register on 20 November 1919 and simultaneously sold to Reinhard & Hall. Her name disappeared from shipping registers about that time.
Updated, Robert J. Cressman
1 April 2021