SS Pearl Shell departed New York as part of a convoy on 10 June 1918, but had to return due to defective fuel oil. The oil was causing the vessel to emit an excessive amount of smoke, which the escort commander feared would increase the risk of collisions or alert submarines to their location.
Photograph Of S. S. Pearl Shell. Date- October 16th. 1918. Nationality: - American. Tonnage: - 5614. Captain: - Oscar Lane. Owners: - Shell S. S. Co. Where From: - New Port News, VA. Destination: - Port Arthur, Texas. Where Photographed: - Charleston, S. C. Sixth Naval District. By Whom Photographed: - J. B. Dearborn. Date: - Sept. 3rd. 1918. Where Camouflaged: - New Port News, VA. Date: - Sept. 4th. 1917. By Whom Camouflaged: - Orders Of The U. S. Gov't. Type Of Ship: - Oil Tanker; Length: -432 ft.; Beam: -52 ft.; Draft: -26 ft. Color Numbers: -#1. Olive; #3. Blue; #2 Grey; Black & White. Masts: - Two, Fore & Aft Painted: -#1. Olive; #3. Blue & #1. Olive. Smokestacks: -One, #1. Olive, & White. Two 4" 40 Calebra Guns; Two Otters. Distinguishing Objects: - Fore & Aft Bridge.
Record Group 181: Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments, 1784-2000.
Department of the Navy, Sixth Naval District, Office of the Aide for Information, ca. 1916-1920.