Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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Santa Barbara I (Id. No. 4522)


A seaside resort and residential city in southwestern California.


(Id. No. 4522: displacement 13,320; length 420'5"; beam 53'9"; draft 28'6"; depth of hold 34'2"; speed 12 knots; complement 106; armament 1 5-inch, 1 6-pounder)

The first Santa Barbara, a single-screw, steel freighter, built during 1916 by William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, Pa., was ordered taken over by the Navy on 1 February 1918 from the Atlantic & Pacific Steamship Co. of New York; and commissioned on 15 April 1918 at New York, Lt. Comdr. J. Williamson, USNRF, in command.

Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS) during World War I, Santa Barbara made three round-trip voyages to European ports before, and one after, the signing of the Armistice on 11 November 1918. Sailing each time from New York, she carried up to 7,854 tons of general cargo on a single trip, unloading at Marseilles, Quiberon, St. Nazaire, and Verdon, France. Santa Barbara was detached on 19 February 1919 from NOTS and assigned to the Cruiser and Transport Force, Atlantic Fleet.

Santa Barbara underwent drydocking and overhaul before resuming her transatlantic crossings. Departing New York on 30 March 1919, she commenced the first of four round-trip missions to Bordeaux and St. Nazaire returning thousands of Army veterans. Arriving at Philadelphia on 23 July 1919, Santa Barbara was detached from the Cruiser and Transport Force the following day. Santa Barbara was simultaneously decommissioned and returned to her owner on 6 August 1919 at William Cramp and Sons' yard, Philadelphia, Pa. Remaining under United States registry as Santa Barbara and later as American, she was sunk by submarine torpedoes off the east coast of British Honduras [Belize] on 11 June 1942.

Santa Barbara (Launch No. 64)

Launch No. 164, serving at Washington Navy Yard and the proving grounds at Indian Head, Md., bore the name Santa Barbara during the World War I period. As far as is known, however, she was not commissioned.

Updated by Mark L. Evans
10 October 2018

Published: Wed Oct 10 15:11:05 EDT 2018