Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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(Str: dp. 27,000; l. 600'; b. 65'; dr. 33'6"; s. 16.5 k; a. 2 6")

A merchant name retained.

Mongolia, a steamer, was laid down 7 June 1902 by New York Steam Ship Co., Camden, N.J.; launched 25 July 1903; delivered to the Pacific Mail Service 5 February 1904; and transferred to the Atlantic Transport Co. 19 October 1915.

Shortly before the United States entered World War I President Wilson saw the necessity of arming merchant ships; Mongolia took an armed guard 17 March 1917. On 19 April, she was attacked by a German submarine, passing from her port bow to starboard quarter to attack. Mongolia fired on the submarine, wrecking her periscope and conning tower, then pursued, forcing the submarine to submerge in this, the first encounter of an American ship with a U‑boat. Mongolia was assigned two additional 6‑inch guns 20 May.

On 27 April 1918, Mongolia was taken over by the Navy. She commissioned 8 May 1918, Comdr. E. McDowell in command, to serve as a transport during the war. She made 13 voyages from the United States to France before decommissioning 11 September 1919 for return to her owner.

Mongolia subsequently operated on the New York‑Hamburg steamship line, before joining the Panama Pacific Lines in 1925. She was transferred to the Dollar Steam Ship Lines and renamed President Fillmore 7 December 1929. Continuing merchant service, she was sold to Wallam & Co. 2 February 1940; renamed Panamanian she sailed under Panamanian registry until scrapped at Shanghai 20 May 1946.