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Zaanland (Id. No. 2746)


The Navy retained the name carried by the ship at the time of her acquisition.

(Id. No. 2746: 5,417 (gross); length 389'4"; beam 51'1"; draft 23'6" (mean); depth of hold 25'2"; speed 9 knots; complement 81)

Zaanland—, a steel-hulled, single-screw cargo vessel completed in 1900 at Port Glasgow, Scotland, by Russell & Co., was owned by the Koninklijke Hollandsche Lloyd line at the outbreak of World War I. The ship sought security at Hampton Roads, Va., lest, at sea, she fall prey to warships of the Royal Navy.

Later seized by the U.S. government, Zaanland was acquired by the Navy for use by the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS) on 25 March 1918, was assigned the identification number (Id.  No.) 2746 and commissioned at Hampton Roads on 29 March 1918, Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Brown, USNRF, in command.

Zaanland was repaired and fitted out at Newport News, Va., by the Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., before sailing for the Gulf of Mexico on 4 April 1918. Arriving at New Orleans, La., on the 11th, she simultaneously underwent further repairs and conversion work and loaded 4,946 tons of general cargo consigned by the Army Quartermaster Corps. She later departed from New Orleans on 20 April and returned to Hampton Roads five days later.

Zaanland sailed from Norfolk on 30 April 1918 in Convoy HN-67, bound for La Pallice, France. During the voyage, in a heavy mist at 8:26 p.m. on 12 May, she apparently suffered a rudder casualty and was rammed by the tanker Hisko (Id. No. 1953). The collision tore a jagged, 15-foot hole in the cargo ship's starboard side, amidships between her bridge and fireroom. Zaanland soon assumed a heavy list and began to sink by the bow. At 8:40 p.m., all hands were called topside as boats were launched. Within an hour, all of Zaanland's crew were safely on board the NOTS transport Munalbro.

Although settling deeper in the water with each passing hour, the cargo ship remained afloat into the next day. At 4:00 a.m., the end of the mid watch, Lt. Cmdr. Brown reboarded Zaanland and inspected the ship. He found that there was no hope of towing the vessel to port and predicted that she probably would sink within a few hours. Brown's prognostication proved to be correct, for Zaanland sank, bow first, at 7:10 a.m. on 13 May 1918.

Munalbro, while endeavoring to overtake the convoy, soon met Minnesota en route, and transferred Zaanland's crew to the west-bound vessel for passage back to the United States.

Zaanland was stricken from the Navy Register on 26 August 1918.

Commanding Officer                                         Date Assumed Command      

Lt. Cmdr. Daniel Brown, USNRF                          29 March 1918                                                                                                                                                                         

Robert J. Cressman

Updated, 14 February 2024

Published: Thu Mar 21 16:03:45 EDT 2024