S.S. El Capitan, a 10,200 ton (displacement) freighter, was built at Newport News, Virginia, in 1917. She was turned over to the Navy in March 1918 and commissioned as USS El Capitan (ID # 1407). The ship served with the Naval Overseas Transportation Service during and shortly after World War I, making four voyages to France and England with military supplies and other cargo. El Capitan was decommissioned at the beginning of February 1919 and returned to her owner, the Southern Pacific Steamship Company.
During World War II El Capitan was owned by the War Shipping Administration and, beginning in June 1941, operated by United States Lines. She was transferred to Panamanian registry at the beginning of October 1941. Disabled by German aircraft on 9 July 1942, while operating with the ill-fated Arctic convoy PQ-17, S.S. El Capitan sank the following day.
This page features all available views concerning the steamship El Capitan, which served as USS El Capitan (ID # 1407) in 1918-1919.
Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.
Photo #: NH 70455
S.S. El Almirante (American Freighter, 1917)
This photo, long identified as El Oriente (1910), is actually El Almirante, the only sister of El Capitan (1917), according to her name board. Both ships were delivered in mid-1917 and were initially of identical appearance. El Almirante (ID # 1341) did not serve in the Navy.
U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.
Online Image: 68KB; 740 x 480 pixels
Photo #: NH 70476
S.S. El Capitan (American Freighter, 1917)
Photographed by E.P. Griffith of Newport News, Virginia, after the application of wartime paint circa late 1917.
This ship was acquired by the Navy on 21 March 1918 and placed in commission as USS El Capitan (ID # 1407). She was decommissioned and returned to her owners on 1 February 1919.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Online Image: 48KB; 740 x 460 pixels
Page made 11 September 2006