Bridge I (AF-1)
Horatio Bridge (1806-98) was born Augusta, Maine, and graduated from Bowdoin College in 1826. He was admitted to the bar in 1828 and practiced law until 1838 when he entered the Navy as a Purser. In 1854 he was named Chief of the Bureau of Provisions and Clothing. He was the first in the Navy to employ the idea of comprehensive fleet supply which was carried out with conspicuous success during the Civil War. He retired 8 April 1868 and was advanced to Pay Director with the relative rank of Commodore on the Retired List 3 March 1871. He died in 1898 at Athens, Pa.
(AF-1: dp. 5207; l. 422'11"; b. 55'3"; dr. 20'8"; s. 14 k.; cpl. 238; a. 4 5"; cl. Bridge)
Bridge (AF-1) was launched 18 May 1916 by Boston Navy Yard; sponsored by Mrs. Granville Searcy Fleece, a grandnice of Commodore Bridge; and commissioned 2 June 1917, Lieutenant Commander W. K. Riddle in command.
Following her commissioning Bridge loaded stores and provisions, and transported and issued them to the fleet and shore stations. During 1917-18 she made four round trips across the Atlantic as a unit of the Naval Overseas Transportation Service. On 1 July 1918, while at New York, she was assigned to the Train, Atlantic Fleet, and operated between New York, York River, and the Chesapeake. In 1922 she sailed for Europe and duty with the U. S. Naval Detachment in Turkish Waters. Remaining a year in that area, she then joined Train, Squadron 1, Base Force, U. S. Fleet, in servicing and provisioning the Fleet from bases on both the east and west coasts of the United States, the Caribbean, and Canal Zone. In 1937-38 Bridge spent six months on temporary duty with the Asiatic Fleet. In 1940-41 she made 11 voyages between California bases and Pearl Harbor; the tenth trip also included the outlying bases of Midway, Guam and Wake.
With the entry of the United States into World War II bridge expanded her Pacific voyages to include the Fiji, Tonga, and New Caledonia Islands. Between 10 August and 20 October 1942 she shuttled cargo between San Francisco and Alaska and then returned to the South Pacific. Between October 1942 and April 1943 she carried cargo to the Hawaii, Tonga, Loyalty, and Samoan Islands. From 2 April until 3 July 1943 she ferried supplies between Noumea, New Caledonia, and Auckland, New Zealand. In July she steamed to San Francisco and thence to Alaska where she operated until October. She returned to Pearl Harbor 3 November and operated between the Hawaiian and Ellice Islands until April 1944. Between 19 April 1944 and 27 April 1945 Bridge operated exclusively between Pearl Harbor and the Marshall Islands. During 9-22 May and 11 July-13 August 1945 she landed supplies at Okinawa, returning to Pearl Harbor each time.
On 10 October 1945 Bridge departed Pearl Harbor and steamed to Japan, via Okinawa, for occupation duty. While operating off Korea, 1 November, she struck a mine and suffered considerable damage but no personnel casualties. Towed to Japan 21 November by Sioux (ATF-75), she underwent repairs at Sasebo until January 1946.
Bridge remained on occupation duty until June 1946. She was decommissioned at Sasebo 27 June 1946; turned over to the Foreign Liquidation Commission for disposal; and sold at Manila, Philippine Island, 22 December 1947.
Bridge received one battle star for her World War II service.
7 December 2005