The 3900 gross ton cargo ship Szell Kalman, named after a recent Hungarian Prime Minister, was completed in March 1902 by Wigham Richardson & Co., Newcastle (Neptune Works), England, for the Royal Hungarian Sea Navigation Co. "Adria" Ltd. of Fiume in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The U.S. Shipping Board took her over in 1918. She was acquired by the Navy on 23 October 1918 as USS Lydia and was commissioned on 26 October 1918 at Baltimore, Md.
Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, Lydia departed Baltimore on 7 November 1918 for Norfolk where she joined a convoy on 15 November for Europe. Loaded with aviation steel and general supplies, she arrived at Nantes, France, in the first week in December and departed for Baltimore on 14 December. She reached Baltimore on 4 January 1919, loaded a cargo of food for the U.S. Food Administration, and departed for the Mediterranean on 7 February. She arrived at Constantinople, Turkey, on 16 March, exchanged her cargo for water ballast, and departed two weeks later for the United States. Steaming via Gibraltar, she arrived at Norfolk on 9 May, decommissioned on 15 May, and was returned to the U.S. Shipping Board the same day.
Lydia remained under U.S. registry until 1924, when she was sold to "Adria" Societa Anonima di Navigazione Marittima of Fiume, Italy, and was renamed Manzoni. She was sunk by aircraft at Tobruk on 5 July 1940.
This page features all available views of the cargo ship Szell Kalman, which served as USS Lydia in 1918-19.
Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.
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S.S. Szell Kalman (Austro-Hungarian cargo ship, 1902)
Moored in the eastern waterfront (Riva Orientale) of the harbor at Fiume (Rijeka) before World War I.
Source: www.hajocsavar.hu/hirek-aktualitasok/ ?sw_12_item=1895.
Page made 16 August 2015