Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Related Content
  • DANFS (Dictionary of American Fighting Ships)
Document Type
  • Ship History
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War I 1917-1918
File Formats
  • Image (gif, jpg, tiff)
Location of Archival Materials

Oakland I (Id.No. 2847)


The first Oakland (Id.No. 2847) retained the name she carried at the time of her acquisition. The second Oakland (CL-95) was named for the city in the state of California.


(Id.No. 2847: displacement 12,000 (normal); length 416'6"; beam 53'; draft 26'5"; speed 10.5 knots; complement 90; armament 1 3-inch, 1 4-inch)

The steel-hulled, single screw freighter War Breeze—built for the Cunard Steamship Co., at Oakland, Calif., by Moore & Scott, shipbuilders—was launched on 14 March 1918. Taken over by the U.S. Shipping Board (USSB), the vessel was renamed Oakland and assigned the identification number (Id.No.) 2847.

SS Oakland
Caption: Starboard side view of Oakland in camouflage, running trials on 30 May 1918. Gun platforms are visible in this image, but the guns (3-inch/50 caliber forward, 4-inch/50 aft) have not yet been fitted. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 65109)

SS Oakland
Caption: Port side view of Oakland, 30 May 1918. She is flying her builder’s flag forward, but her jack and national ensign are at half-staff. (Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph NH 65139)

Oakland was commissioned at San Francisco, Calif., on 3 June 1918, Lt. Cmdr. Andreas A. Langkilde, USNRF, in command, and assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS), U.S. Army Account. Upon completion of fitting-out, the ship proceeded to Port Costa, Calif., to load a cargo of flour to be transported to the east coast of the U.S. Completing the loading on 15 June, she then set course for New York, N.Y., steaming via the Panama Canal.

Reaching her destination on 15 July 1918, Oakland discharged her cargo of flour at New York before receiving orders to proceed to Galveston, Texas, and load a cargo of flour consigned to the Italian Ministry of Shipping. Making port at Galveston on 10 August, she worked cargo for two days, loading not flour but steel billets, “aeroplane lumber,” and tobacco. Proceeding thence to Norfolk, Va., she bunkered [took on coal] there then set course for Gibraltar.

Making arrival at Gibraltar on 27 September 1918, Oakland there received onward routing to Genoa, Italy, where she discharged her cargo, thence to proceed to Anga Amuda, Spain, to load a return cargo of ore. She completed the latter task four days after Christmas of 1918, then sailed that day [29 December] for the United States, making port at Philadelphia, Pa., on 21 January 1919.

Discharging the ore brought from Spain, Oakland then set out on 19 February 1919 on her second cargo-carrying voyage to Italy, reaching Palermo on 25 March. After discharging cargo at her destination, she loaded a return cargo of lemons and pumice, taking departure for the homeward voyage on 16 April, and setting course for New York. Arriving at her destination on 1 May, the cargo vessel was placed in line for demobilization. Following voyage repairs, Oakland was decommissioned on 13 May 1919 and returned to the USSB the same day.

Oakland remained in custody of the Shipping Board until abandoned due to age and deterioration in 1933, and was broken up for scrap.

Robert J. Cressman

4 March 2021

Published: Thu Mar 04 14:30:10 EST 2021