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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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  • Ship History
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  • World War I 1917-1918
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Rappahannock I (Id. No. 1854)


A river in Virginia.

(Id. No. 1854: displacement 17,000; length 471'2" (between perpendiculars); beam 59'2"; draft 26'6"; speed 11.5 knots; complement 155; armament 1 5-inch, 1 3-inch)

Pommern was launched by the Bremer-Vulcan yards, Vegesack, Germany, in March 1913 and operated prior to the Great War by the North German Lloyd Line. Voluntarily interned in the United States at the outbreak of hostilities in Europe, Pommern was seized when America entered the conflict. She was then assigned to the Navy by the U.S. Shipping Board; converted; delivered to the Navy on 7 December 1917; given the identification number (Id.No.) 1854; renamed Rappahannock; and commissioned on 8 December 1917.

Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS) as an animal transport, Rappahannock completed her fourth transatlantic run to France on 16 November 1918, five days after the Armistice. Remaining in NOTS until transferred to Train, Atlantic Fleet, on 4 February 1919, she completed one more round-trip from New York to Europe before being assigned temporary reserve status at Portsmouth, N.H., in the summer of 1919. She was returned to active status in June 1922 as a refrigerated store ship with the designation AF-6 and, for the next two  years, carried cargo for both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets.

Rappahannock was decommissioned on 10 December 1924 and remained in reserve at the Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, Calif., until stricken from the Navy list on 19 July 1933.

She was sold to the Luckenbach Steamship Co. of New York City on 5 October 1933. Renamed William Luckenbach, she was transferred to the War Shipping Administration at Seattle, Wash., on 3 February 1942. Returned to the Luckenbach firm on 27 July 1946, the ship was sold to the Italian Government on 4 December 1946. 

9 August 2019

Published: Sat Aug 10 23:29:19 EDT 2019