Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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USS Kroonland (SP-1541)

Please see below for item level images and donated collections containing photographs of USS Kroonland (SP-1541)

USS Kroonland (SP-1541) was built In 1902 by William Cramp & Sons, Philadelphia, Pa., for the International Merchantile Marine Co. and operated as a passenger liner principally between New York and Antwerp. On 2 February 1915 en route to San Francisco, she was one of the first passenger liners to transit the Panama Canal. In 1916 she transferred to the American Line and ran between New York and Liverpool.

Shortly before the United States entered World War I, the Navy placed guns on the ship, and an armed naval guard embarked 25 March 1917 to protect her from German submarines. On the morning of 20 May 1917, while the liner steamed through a heavy fog toward Liverpool, a torpedo struck her without exploding. Although the U-boat, apparently also taken by surprise, reversed her screws and tried to turn to avoid a collision, USS Kroonland (SP-1541) lightly struck the liner's hull and scrapped along her side before diving out of sight. Meanwhile two more torpedoes came with some 20 feet of hitting Kroonland's stern. That afternoon the liner sighted another submarine surfaced some 1,000 yards off her port quarter. USS Kroonland (SP-1541) immediately began shelling the U-boat, forcing her to dive for safety.

The Army took over the ship at New York 18 February 1918, loaded her with military equipment, and sent her to St. Nazaire, France. After returning New York 9 April, USS Kroonland (SP-1541) was converted to a troop transport by William J. Kennedy Co. The Navy acquired and commissioned her 22 April, Commander Mauley H. Simons in command. As a naval transport, she made five round-trip voyages to France before the Armistice.

After the war USS Kroonland (SP-1541) shuttled across the Atlantic returning American veterans. She decommissioned and was returned to her owner 1 October 1919. On 14 April 1920 USS Kroonland (SP-1541) resumed commercial runs between the United States and Europe. In 1923 she transferred to Panama Pacific Line to sail between New York and San Francisco. She was scrapped in 1927.

For a complete history of USS Kroonland (SP-1541) please see its DANFS page.