Naval History and Heritage Command

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Antigone I (Id. No. 3007)

1917-1919 


Image related to Antigone I
Caption: Antigone (Id. No. 3007) at Norfolk, Va., 29 November 1917, being assisted by a tug . Although poor in quality, the print shows the silhouette of a ‘flush-deck’ destroyer painted on the ship’s side.(NH 57625)

The daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta in Greek mythology. Antigone is most famous as the heroine of tragedies by Sophocles and Euripides. She embodied the virtues of faithfulness and heroism which characterized the Greek ideal of womanhood.

I

(Id. No. 3007: displacement 17,024; 1ength 518'1"; draft 27'; speed 14 knots; complement 389; armament 4 5-inch)

Neckar was launched on 8 December 1900 at Geestemude, Germany, by J. C. Techlenborg; and was owned and operated by North German Lloyd. In the North Atlantic at the outbreak of World War I in the summer of 1914, the passenger and freight liner sought sanctuary at the neutral port, Baltimore, Md., lest she fall prey to the warships of the Royal Navy, and was interned, ostensibly for the duration of the conflict. However, when the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, American customs agents seized the ship. She was transferred to the Navy by the United States Shipping Board on 12 July 1917; converted for naval service as a troop transport at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va.; renamed Antigone  on 1 September 1917 and given the identification number (Id. No.) 3007, the ship was commissioned on 5 September 1917, Cmdr. Joseph R. Defrees in command.

Antigone was assigned to the Cruiser and Transport Force, Atlantic Fleet, on 14 September 1917, and she departed Norfolk on 29 November. After coaling and completing sea trials, she proceeded to Hoboken, N. J., and embarked approximately 2,000 American troops. The transport sailed from New York City en route to France on 14 December.

Over the next 11 months, the ship made eight round-trip voyages to France, each of which terminated at either Brest or St. Nazaire. The ship also carried medical supplies and general cargo, as well as 16,526 troops, to Europe before hostilities ended.

After the armistice of 11 November 1918, the transport continued her transatlantic voyages and returned more than 22,000 veterans to the United States. She completed her last trip from France upon her arrival at New York City on 15 September 1919.

She was decommissioned there on 24 September 1919, and her name was simultaneously stricken from the Navy list. The ship was then transferred to the War Department for service in the Army Transport Service.

Published: Wed Mar 29 18:58:31 EDT 2017