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Cargo ship Wiegand, which was USS Artigas in 1918-19

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Artigas (Uruguayan cargo ship, 1911).
Originally the German S.S. Wiegand.
Served as USS Artigas (No ID #) in 1918-19

The 4849 gross ton freighter Wiegand was completed in July 1911 at Bremen, Germany, by Bremer Vulkan Vegesack for the Roland Linie Aktiengesellschaft of Bremen, Germany. In 1917 the Uruguayan government seized the ship and renamed her Artigas.

As the United States expanded its merchant fleet during World War I to meet the additional demands placed upon it, it entered into negotiations with several foreign governments to acquire shipping. Accordingly, the United States Shipping Board chartered Artigas from the Uruguayan government at Montevideo, Uruguay, during the summer of 1918 and subsequently turned the ship over to the Navy for use in the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS).

Artigas was commissioned on 18 June 1918 at Montevideo and remained in that port until 1 August, most of that time spent with her engines (damaged by the German crew to prevent the ship's possible use by the Allied and Associated Powers) under repairs. Sailing for Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 1 August, she reached her destination the next day, and over the ensuing months underwent further repairs to her machinery which lasted into the autumn of 1918.

After steaming back to Montevideo with 45 tons of steel plate and unloading that cargo on 11 October, Artigas filled her holds with wool and hides early the following month. The armistice, which ended hostilities, found the cargo vessel still at Montevideo.

Underway for Brazilian waters on 20 November, Artigas touched at Rio de Janeiro (25-26 November) and Bahia (30 November) before steaming independently to Barbadoes, British West Indies, to disembark passengers on 9 December. She sailed thence for the Virgin Islands and stopped at St. Thomas on 11 December, before getting underway the next day to complete the last leg of her voyage to the United States. The cargo ship made port at New York City on the afternoon of 19 December.

This proved to be the only voyage of Artigas under the NOTS aegis, for the Navy decommissioned her at New York on 4 January 1919 and turned her over to representatives of the United States Shipping Board that day.

Artigas was operated by the Uruguayan government until 1927. She became the Greek Elias G. Culucundis in 1927, the Greek Argentina in 1933, and then passed to Italian owners in 1935 as Valsole and in 1936 as Tina Primo. She was also briefly listed as the British Tenterden in 1929-30. On 18 March 1940 Tina Primo ran on a minefield laid by German destroyers near the Straits of Dover while enroute from Rotterdam to Genoa and broke up.

This page features all available views of the cargo ship Artigas, which served as USS Artigas in 1918-19.

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

Photo #: None

S.S. Wiegand
(German cargo ship, 1911)

This ship was seized by Uruguay in 1917 and acquired by the Navy and commissioned on 18 June 1918 as USS Artigas (No ID #). She was returned to the U.S. Shipping Board on 4 January 1919.

Source: www.wrecksite.eu.

Photo #: None

S.S. Tina Primo
(Italian cargo ship, 1911)

Originally the German S.S. Wiegand and later USS Artigas, this ship is shown broken into several sections after running on a minefield on 18 March 1940 near the Straits of Dover while enroute from Rotterdam to Genoa.

Source: www.wrecksite.eu.


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Page made 16 August 2015