(Freighter: dp. 10,475; l. 393'0"; b. 49'11"; dr. 26'0" (mean); s. 11.4 k.; cpl. 93; a. 1 5", 1 3")
A river that rises in Drake County, Ohio, near Fort Recovery and meanders westward across Indiana until it reaches Illinois at a point just southwest of Terre Haute. South of that point, it outlines the border between the two states until emptying into the Ohio a few miles west of Uniontown, Ky. Wabash is an abbreviation of the Miami Indian name for the stream, Wabashiki, which means "bright white" or "gleaming white." It refers to the limestone bed of the stream along its upper course.
Wartburg, a single-screw, steel-hulled freighter completed in 1900 at Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, by Wigham Richardson and Co., Ltd., for service with the Deutsche Dampferfahrts Gesellschaft, was renamed Tubingen between 1906 and 1907 and owned by the Norddeutscher Lloyd line. She was interned by the United States Government at the onset of World War I. In April 1917, when the United States entered the conflict, the steamer was taken over by the United States Shipping Board (USSB). She was acquired by the Navy on 9 February 1918, at Hoboken, N.J., for use with the Naval Overseas Transportation Service. The cargo ship was renamed Wabash; designated Id. No. 1824; and commissioned on the same day, Lt. Comdr. Frank C. Seeley, USNRF, in command.
Loaded with construction iron and ammunition, Wabash departed New York City on 28 February, bound for France. After delivering her cargo at Paulliac, she returned to the United States on 22 April. She made four more voyages to St. Nazaire, France, and returned to New York from her last run on 6 April 1919. Decommissioned on 21 April, the freighter was returned to the USSB.
The ship subsequently home-ported at New York and operated under the flag of the North Atlantic and Western Steamship Co., until sometime in 1924 or 1925. She was then transferred to Italian registry.