The first Argonne retained the name she carried when acquired by the Navy.
(Freighter: tonnage 8,970; length 385'; draft 51'; draft 27'1"; speed 10 knots; complement 78; armament 1 6-inch, 1 6-pounder)
The steel-hulled single-screw freighter Argonne, built in 1916 at Kobe, Japan, by the Kawasaki Dockyards, was operated prior to World War I by the Argonne Steamship Co., of New York.
While undergoing voyage repairs by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., Newport News, Va., in January 1918, Argonne received a U.S. Navy armed guard. She continued to carry cargo for Allied forces in Europe until 19 October 1918 when she was taken over at Norfolk, Va., by the Navy on a bare-ship basis for the Army account of the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS). She was then manned by the Navy and commissioned on the same day, Lt. Cmdr. M. S. Richardson, USNRF, in command.
On 18 November 1918, a week after the armistice stilled the guns on the Western Front, Argonne sailed for France carrying commissary stores, mules and horses, to Bordeaux, and returned to Norfolk from her only NOTS voyage on 17 December 1918.
On 30 January 1919, Argonne was decommissioned and turned over to the United States Shipping Board, which subsequently returned her to her original owner. Her name was simultaneously stricken from the Navy list.
Robert J. Cressman