Biesbosch, a 484 gross ton steel-hulled steamer, was built at Groninjen, the Netherlands, in 1916. Seized by the U.S. Government in about March 1918, she was taken over by the Navy in August of that year, converted to a salvage ship and placed in commission in mid-November as USS Biesbosch (ID # 2499). By that time the First World War had been over for a week, but the ship continued preparation for active service and, in December 1918, steamed south to her new base at Key West, Florida. Biesbosch began her salvage work late in that month, beginning the two week job of refloating the freighter Bedminster, which was aground on the Georgia coast. In February 1919 she assisted the Navy tanker W.L. Steed, stranded in the Bahamas; the S.S. Novian, aground near the mouth of the Mississippi River; and the S.S. Paloma, which had run aground in Cuban waters. Her last major task was in late March and early April, refloating the French steamer Boieldieu. USS Biesbosch returned north in late April 1919 and was decommissioned at Staten Island, New York, in mid-May. Following return to her owners she resumed her commercial career, which lasted, under both the Dutch and Belgian flags, until about 1923-1924.
This page features all available views concerning the Dutch steamer Biesbosch, which was USS Biesbosch (ID # 2499) in 1918-1919.
Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.
Photo #: NH 99362
Biesbosch (Dutch Steamship, 1916)
In port, possibly when inspected by the Third Naval District on 1 April 1918.
This ship was taken over by the Navy on 12 August 1918 and placed in commission as USS Biesbosch (ID # 2499) on 18 November 1918. After use as a salvage vessel, she was decommissioned on 13 May 1919 and later returned to her owners.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Online Image: 76KB; 690 x 625 pixels
Page made 5 June 2004