Bella (Id. No. 2211), a cargo carrying screw steamer built in 1906 at Newcastle, England, by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Ltd., was purchased by the Navy on 22 February 1918 and commissioned at the Naval Air Station, Paulliac, France, on 15 March 1918, 1st Lt. J. H. Crozier, USCG, in command.
Serving as a support ship for naval aviation units in Europe, she spent the remainder of World War I transporting aviation supplies and equipment between ports in Great Britain and France. Following the end of the war, Bella continued that duty until 27 February 1919 when she was loaned to the Army Transport Service at Bordeaux. Although under Army orders, the ship remained in Navy possession and continued to be Navy manned.
She plied the Gironde River in Army service until late in 1919 when she headed for the United States. Bella arrived in Philadelphia on 29 November 1919 and was decommissioned there on 20 February 1920. She was sold to Mr. Antonio Carozza, of Baltimore, on 2 August 1920.
Raymond A. Mann
23 February 2006