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Vulcan II (Collier No. 5)


The Roman god of fire and metalworking who was known to the Greeks as Hephaestus. He was also a consort of Venus.


(Collier No. 5: displacement 11,250; 1ength 403'; beam 53'; draft 24'8" (mean); depth of hold 29'6"; speed 12.82 knots; complement 82; armament none)

The second Vulcan (Collier No. 5) was laid down on 5 October 1908, at Sparrows Point, Md., by the Maryland Steel Co.; launched on 15 May 1909; and commissioned at the Norfolk [Va.] Navy Yard on 2 October 1909.

For more than two years, Vulcan operated out of Norfolk, providing coal and stores for the ships of the Atlantic Fleet to support their operations off the east coast and in the West Indies. Placed out of service at the Portsmouth (N.H.) Navy Yard on 4 May 1912, the collier remained inactive until reactivated there and placed back in service on 25 February 1914.

Resuming her coaling operations with the Atlantic Fleet, Vulcan ranged from Portsmouth, N.H., to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and from Melville, R.I., to Vera Cruz, Mexico. In addition to carrying coal, she also transported stores and ordnance supplies for the Atlantic Fleet Cruiser Squadron.

During World War I, Vulcan served the Fleet Train, supplying coal for ships of the fleet. After hostilities ended, the collier was transferred to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS) on 2 January 1919 and served that organization until she was returned to the Fleet Train on 23 June.

After routine operations through the remainder of that year and all of 1920, the collier sailed for European waters on 12 February 1921 to begin a tour of duty supporting American warships attempting to provide an element of stability there during the troubled postwar years. Arriving at Cherbourg, France, on 28 February, she discharged passengers and coaled Chattanooga (PG-30) before sailing soon thereafter for Malta to deliver coal to Pittsburgh (CA-4) on 21 March.

Vulcan then sailed for the Adriatic and arrived at Pola, Italy, on 26 March 1921. Sailing five days later, she reached Naples, Italy, on 3 April but soon got underway for Gibraltar to discharge cargo and passengers.

After returning to New York on 30 April 1921, Vulcan proceeded to Norfolk, where she was decommissioned at the Norfolk Navy Yard on 20 July. Following almost two years in reserve, the collier was stricken from the Navy Register on 26 April 1923. She was sold to N. Block & Co., of Norfolk, on 12 December 1923.

Published: Mon Oct 31 23:34:33 EDT 2016