Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Lake Superior
(Str: t. 1,190; l. 261'; b. 43'6"; dr. 18'6"; s. 10k.; cpl. 64; a. 1 5", 1 3")

The largest, northernmost, and westernmost lake of the five Great Lakes of North America.

Lake Superior, a mine cargo ship, was launched under USSB contract as War Bayonet 3 October 1917 by Toledo Shipbuilding Co., Toledo, Ohio; acquired by the Navy 12 December 1917; and commissioned as Lake Superior 30 January 1918 at New York, Lt. Comdr. Hans L. Mortensen, USNRF, in command.

Assigned to NOTS, Lake Superior steamed to Bermuda with a cargo of gasoline 16 to 20 February before sailing to Norfolk 1 to 5 March. After a coaling run to Halifax, Nova Scotia and back 9 to 25 March, she loaded mines and military supplies for transportation to Europe. Departing Norfolk 10 May, she reached Oban, Scotland the 28th; steamed to Klye and Clyde, Scotland; then returned from Clyde to Norfolk 7 to 27 June. Between 18 July and 6 December, she made two more cargo runs from Norfolk to Scottish ports, carrying general supplies and mines.

Resuming collier service out of Norfolk, Lake Superior carried coal on runs from Norfolk to Bermuda, Key West, and Pensacola from 14 December until 20 February 1919. Between 6 March and 7 April she sailed to West Indian ports, transporting Marine Corps aviation equipment. And from 12 April to 21 July she hauled coal and general cargo along the Atlantic coast from Guantanamo Bay to Melville, R.I. Returning to Norfolk from New York 21 July, Lake Superior decommissioned 31 July and was returned to USSB the same day. In 1926 she was sold to the Pacific Spruce Corp. of Delaware and operated out of Newport, Oreg., as C. D. Johnston III.