Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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  • Ship History
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Matsonia
(SP‑1589: dp. 16,800 (norm.); l. 501'4"; b. 58'1"; dr. 29' (mean); s. 17 k.; a. 4 6", 2 1‑pdr.; 2 mg.)

Former name retained.

Matsonia (SP‑1589), built by the Newport News Ship Building Co., Newport News, Va., in 1913, served the Matson Navigation Co. until taken over by the U.S. Shipping Board and turned over to the Navy at New York, 22 January 1918, for use as a troop transport. She was commissioned 1 March 1918, Capt. John M. Luby in command.

Beginning 14 March, when she sailed for France with troops and Army cargo, Matsonia completed six round trips to Europe prior to the Armistice. During that time she transferred to Europe 13,329 passengers, and carried back only 10. After the Armistice she continued her transatlantic crossings to return over 23,000 troops in 8 voyages, ending such crossings at New York, 20 August 1919. She decommissioned 12 September 1919 and was returned to her former owner on the 17th.