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UNITED STATES NAVY
TEMPORARY AUXILIARY SHIPS
WORLD WAR I

Photo # NH 104946:  USS Tiger arriving in New York Harbor after a voyage from Europe, 1919

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

USS Tiger (ID # 1640), 1918-1919.
Originally the Civilian Freighter Tiger (1917)

USS Tiger, a 6273 gross ton cargo ship and troop transport, was built at San Francisco, California, in 1917 as the civilian freighter Tiger. After more than a year of operating under War Department charter, she was taken over by the Navy and placed in commission in December 1918. Tiger made one round-trip voyage to France with a cargo of food and Army supplies in January-March 1919. She was then converted to a transport and spent the next several months taking part in the great effort to bring U.S. military veterans home from the European war zone. USS Tiger was decommissioned in August 1919 and returned to her owner, the Standard Transportation Company of Delaware.

Resuming her commercial career, at some point during the inter-war years Tiger was converted to an oil tanker for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company of New York City. During the night of 31 March - 1 April 1942, while nearing Norfolk, Virginia, with a cargo of fuel oil shipped at Aruba, Netherlands West Indies, the ship slowed to pick up a pilot. She was seen by the German submarine U-754, which fired three torpedoes, all of which missed, then launched a fourth. The latter struck Tiger's starboard side just behind her engine room. Her machinery spaces and after cargo spaces rapidly flooded and the ship's crew and passengers (less one man killed in the explosion) abandoned ship. Despite salvage attempts, S.S. Tiger sank a day later in relatively shallow water, leaving only her upper extremities visible above the surface, and was given up as a total loss.

This page features all available views concerning USS Tiger (ID # 1640) and the civilian freighter Tiger.


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

Photo #: NH 65039-A

S.S. Tiger
(American Freighter, 1917)

Photographed prior to her World War I era Navy service.
This ship was acquired by the Navy and commissioned on 23 December 1918 as USS Tiger (ID # 1640). She was returned to her owner on 23 August 1919.

The original print is in National Archives' Record Group 19-LCM.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 64KB; 740 x 590 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 104946

USS Tiger
(ID # 1640)

Arriving in New York Harbor at the end of a voyage from Europe, 1919.
Note the crowd of homeward-bound troops on her deck.
Photographed by E. Muller Jr., New York.

Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 114KB; 1200 x 730 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 467

USS Tiger
(ID # 1640)

Homeward bound with 2772 Soldiers on board, at St. Nazaire, France, 1919.
Note that she retains the "S" smokestack marking of her owner, the Standard Transportation Company.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 67KB; 740 x 430 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 41880

USS Tiger
(ID # 1640)

Leaving St. Nazaire, France, bound for the U.S. with 2772 Soldiers on board, 1919.
Photographed by E.J. Kelty.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 82KB; 740 x 435 pixels

 
Photo #: 80-G-177203

S.S. Tiger
(American Tanker, 1917)

Under tow near Cape Henry, Virginia, circa 1-2 April 1942.
Tiger, originally built as a freighter, was torpedoed by the German submarine U-754 just after midnight on 1 April 1942, after she had reduced speed to pick up a pilot before entering Chesapeake Bay. She sank in shallow water during salvage efforts on 2 April 1942.
This ship served as USS Tiger (ID # 1640) in 1918-1919.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 93KB; 740 x 590 pixels

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

 
Photo #: 80-G-177202

S.S. Tiger
(American Tanker, 1917)

Under tow near Cape Henry, Virginia, circa 1-2 April 1942.
Tiger, originally built as a freighter, was torpedoed by the German submarine U-754 just after midnight on 1 April 1942, after she had reduced speed to pick up a pilot before entering Chesapeake Bay. She sank in shallow water during salvage efforts on 2 April 1942.
This ship served as USS Tiger (ID # 1640) in 1918-1919.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 92KB; 740 x 600 pixels

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

 
Photo #: 80-G-177196

S.S. Tiger
(American Tanker, 1917)

Sinking in shallow water near Cape Henry, Virginia, circa 2 April 1942.
Tiger, originally built as a freighter, was torpedoed by the German submarine U-754 just after midnight on 1 April 1942, after she had reduced speed to pick up a pilot before entering Chesapeake Bay. She sank a few days later, while under tow.
This ship served as USS Tiger (ID # 1640) in 1918-1919.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 94KB; 740 x 580 pixels

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

 


The following souvenir certificate may have come from a person who was transported from Europe to the United States on USS Tiger:

Photo #: NH 104947-KN

Souvenir "In remembrance of my service in the army of occupation in Germany 1918-1919"


Certificate published in Germany in 1919, with space for the addition of a photograph and name of the owner.
This document accompanied a photograph (NH 104946) of the troopship Tiger (ID # 1640), indicating that the certificate's original owner may have returned to the United States on that ship.

Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 124KB; 560 x 765 pixels

 


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Page made 14 October 2003
New images added 11 September 2007