(Id. No. 3407: displacement 12,700; length 416'6"; beam 53'; draft 26'5" (mean); speed 10 knots (maximum); complement 62; armament none)
Zirkel, a single-screw steel-hull cargo vessel built in 1918 at Oakland, Calif., for the United States Shipping Board (USSB) by the Moore Shipbuilding Co., was inspected by the Navy in the Twelfth Naval District on 15 September 1918, aftger which she was recommended for employment as a service collier. She was delivered to the Navy at San Francisco, Calif., on 27 September 1918. Having been assigned the Identification Number (Id. No.) 3407, Zirkel was commissioned at San Francisco on 28 September 1918, Lt. Cmdr. David R. Williams, USNRF, in command.
Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service as a cargo vessel, Zirkel got underway for the Gulf of Mexico with a cargo of nitrates. Steaming via the Panama Canal, she arrived at New Orleans, La., on 30 January 1919 and unloaded her cargo. Following repairs to her turbines, the ship filled her holds with cotton, coffee, and steel, and put to sea on 6 February. After a 21-day voyage, Zirkel entered port at Liverpool, England, and began unloading her cargo. She then took on about 800 tons of iron ore and headed back to the United States on 13 March.
On 29 March 1919, the freighter arrived in Philadelphia, Pa., and, after unloading, began preparations for demobilization. On 3 May 1919, she was placed out of commission and was returned to the custody of the USSB, which agency retained her until 1930 at which time her name ceased to appear in merchant vessel registers.
Raymond A. Mann
7 December 2015