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UNITED STATES NAVY
TEMPORARY AUXILIARY SHIPS
WORLD WAR I

Photo # NH 42456:  SS Jefferson, sister ship of SS Hamilton, which served as USS Saranac in 1918-1919

Online Library of Selected Images:
-- U.S. NAVY SHIPS --

USS Saranac (ID # 1702), 1918-1919.
Originally the Civilian Steamship Hamilton (1899).

SS Hamilton, a 3723 gross ton coastal passenger steamer, was built in 1899 at Chester, Pennsylvania. She was rebuilt at Newport News, Virginia, in 1909 and, in December 1917, was chartered by the Navy. Converted to a minelayer at South Brooklyn, New York, she was placed in commission in April 1918 as USS Saranac (ID # 1702). The ship crossed the Atlantic to Scotland in June to begin several months of minelaying as part of the squadron that erected an vast anti-submarine mine barrier across the North Sea. This task was completed late in October, a few weeks before the 11 November 1918 Armistice brought an end to the First World War's fighting. Saranac returned to the United States early in the new year. Generally inactive after that, she was decommissioned in March 1919 and turned over to the U.S. Shipping Board for return to her owner, the Old Dominion Steamship Company.

This page features all available views concerning USS Saranac (ID # 1702) and the steamship Hamilton of 1899.


Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

Photo #: 19-N-618

USS Saranac
(ID # 1702),

Photographed by the New York Navy Yard on 22 May 1918 after being painted in pattern camouflage. The civilian 88-foot tug Henry Gillen (1917) is alongside.

Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-N box 57.

 
Photo #: NH 52819

Mine Squadron One, U.S. Atlantic Fleet


Senior officers of the squadron, photographed on board ship in the North Sea area, September 1918.
Those present are identified in Photo # NH 52819 (complete caption).

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 96KB; 740 x 430 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 52995

Mine Squadron One, U.S. Atlantic Fleet


Senior officers of the squadron, photographed on board ship in the North Sea area, September 1918.
Those present are identified in Photo # NH 52995 (complete caption).

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 88KB; 740 x 495 pixels

 


USS Saranac and her sister ship, USS Quinnebaug (ID # 1687), are visible in the background of the following photographs:

Photo #: NH 61101

U.S. Navy Mine Layers


Steaming in line abreast during the laying of the North Sea mine barrage, September 1918.
Analysis of camouflage patterns indicates that these ships are (from front to rear):
USS Roanoke (ID # 1695);
USS Housatonic (ID # 1697);
USS Shawmut (ID # 1255);
USS Canandaigua (ID # 1694);
USS Canonicus (ID # 1696);
with USS Quinnebaug (ID # 1687) and USS Saranac (ID # 1702) in the left and right center distance.
A four-stack British cruiser is in the left distance.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 86KB; 740 x 610 pixels

 
Photo #: 111-SC-43563

Laying the North Sea Mine Barrage, 1918


U.S. Navy minelayers proceeding to sea in two columns, in Area Number 2 of the North Sea, September 1918.
Ships in the column at left are (from front to rear): Roanoke, Housatonic, Quinnebaug and Baltimore.
Ships in column at right are (from front to rear): Canonicus (out of picture, to right), Canandaigua, Aroostook and Saranac.
Note disruptive "dazzle" camouflage worn by these ships.

Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives.

Online Image: 59KB; 740 x 460 pixels

Reproductions of this image may also be available through the National Archives photographic reproduction system.

 
Photo #: NH 51142

USS L-4
(Submarine # 43),
USS L-1 (Submarine # 40), and
USS L-10 (Submarine # 50)
(listed from left to right)

At the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, soon after their 1 February 1919 return to the U.S. from European waters.
Ship in the immediate background is either USS Quinnebaug (ID # 1687) or USS Saranac (ID # 1702), with the other of the two beyond her.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 83KB; 740 x 595 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 51143

USS L-4
(Submarine # 43),
USS L-1 (Submarine # 40), and
USS L-10 (Submarine # 50)
(listed from left to right)

At the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, soon after their 1 February 1919 return to the U.S. from European waters.
Ship in the immediate background is either USS Quinnebaug (ID # 1687) or USS Saranac (ID # 1702), with the other of the two beyond her.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 104KB; 740 x 535 pixels

 


One of the ships seen in the following photograph MAY be USS Saranac:

Photo #: NH 89508

U.S. Navy mine layers and British warships in a Scottish harbor, 1918


Photographed from on board either USS Shawmut (ID # 1255) or USS Aroostook (1256), with a British light cruiser at left.
Two U.S. mine layers are at right. That nearest the camera is either USS Quinnebaug (ID # 1687) or USS Saranac (ID # 1702). Immediately ahead of her is either USS Housatonic (ID # 1697), USS Canonicus (ID # 1696), USS Roanoke (ID # 1695) or USS Canandaigua (ID # 1694).

Collection of Lieutenant (Junior Grade) A. Alvin Booth, USNRF.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 89KB; 740 x 455 pixels

 


The ship seen below, S.S. Jefferson (later USS Quinnebaug), was a sister to S.S. Hamilton, which became USS Saranac. This photograph was featured on the World War I data cards for both ships:

Photo #: NH 42456

SS Jefferson
(American Steamship, 1899)

Photographed prior to World War I. Chartered by the Navy on 3 December 1917, this ship was converted to a mine planter and commissioned on 28 March 1918 as USS Quinnebaug (ID # 1687). Following service laying the North Sea Mine Barrage, she was returned to her owner on 19 March 1919.
Her sister ship, SS Hamilton, had an almost identical career as USS Saranac (ID-1702).

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 49KB; 740 x 230 pixels

 


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Page made 8 December 2004