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UNITED STATES NAVY
TEMPORARY AUXILIARY SHIPS
WORLD WAR I

Photo # NH 57885:  USS Wilhelmina at the New York Navy Yard, 1 May 1918

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

USS Wilhelmina (ID # 2168), 1918-1919.
Previously S.S. Wilhelmina (American Passenger-Cargo Ship, 1909)

S.S. Wilhelmina, a 6954 gross ton (13,250 tons displacement) passenger cargo ship, was built in 1909 at Newport News, Virginia. For the next eight years she operated between the West Coast and Honolulu, Hawaii. Beginning in December 1917 the ship steamed to Chile to pick up a cargo of nitrates, which she carried to Norfolk, Virginia. She was turned over to the Navy in late January 1918 and placed in commission as USS Wilhelmina (ID # 2168). Following a trip to France with general cargo during February and March, the New York Navy Yard converted her to a troop transport. Between May and November 1918 she made six more voyages to France, taking more than 11,000 American service personnel to the European war zone. During this time Wilhelmina had several actual or suspected encounters with German U-boats, the most notable of them on 1 July, when USS Covington was fatally torpedoed.

Following the end of the fighting in November 1918, Wilhelmina commenced bringing war veterans home. In seven trips, she transported over 11,500 passengers by early August 1919. Decommissioned later in that month and returned to her owners, the Matson Navigation Company of San Francisco, California, she operated under that firm's flag for the next two decades. In 1940 Wilhelmina was sold to the British and began service in her second great war. While steaming in a north Atlantic convoy on 2 December 1940, she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-94.

This page features, and provides links to, all the views that are available concerning USS Wilhelmina (ID # 2168) and the civilian passenger-cargo ship Wilhelmina.

For more images related to this ship, see:

  • USS Wilhelmina (ID # 2168) -- On Board and Close Up Views.


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

    Photo #: NH 89799

    S.S. Wilhelmina
    (American Passenger-Cargo Ship, 1909)

    In port, circa 1917, while operating commercially for the Matson Navigation Company.
    This ship was USS Wilhelmina (ID # 2168) in 1918-1919.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 63KB; 740 x 590 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 57885

    USS Wilhelmina
    (ID # 2168)

    At the New York Navy Yard on 1 May 1918, after being painted with "dazzle" camouflage.
    Note the coaling facility behind the ship.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 65KB; 740 x 520 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 43548

    USS Wilhelmina
    (ID # 2168)

    Underway in New York Harbor, 1 May 1918, after being painted in "dazzle" camouflage.
    Photographed by the New York Navy Yard.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 75KB; 740 x 535 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 43549

    USS Wilhelmina
    (ID # 2168)

    Alongside a pier at New York, 1 May 1918, after being painted in "dazzle" camouflage.
    Photographed by the New York Navy Yard.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 71KB; 740 x 610 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 43550

    USS Wilhelmina
    (ID # 2168)

    Underway in New York Harbor on 1 May 1918, after being painted in "dazzle" camouflage.
    Photographed by the New York Navy Yard.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 50KB; 740 x 525 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 43551

    USS Wilhelmina
    (ID # 2168)

    In harbor, being assisted by tugs, circa 1918 or early 1919.
    Note her "dazzle" camouflage.

    Donation of Luther J. Greenly.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 70KB; 740 x 450 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 107038

    USS Wilhelmina
    (ID # 2168)

    In a U.S. East Coast port, 1919.

    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2010.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 123KB; 900 x 650 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 103411

    USS Wilhelmina
    (ID # 2168)

    At the Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, Massachusetts, 13 May 1919.
    Panoramic photograph by Crosby, "Naval Photographer", 11 Portland Street, Boston.

    Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, D.C.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 74KB; 900 x 555 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 105022

    USS Wilhelmina
    (ID # 2168)

    Underway at sea, circa May-June 1919.
    Photographed from on board USS Patricia.
    Note that this photograph is a double-exposure, with an image of a Sailor also visible.

    Photograph from the album of Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Edward D. Porges. Donated by his daughter, Gail Porges Guggenheim, 2007.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 60KB; 740 x 435 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 103974-KN (color)

    USS Wilhelmina (ID # 2168)

    Covers of two "Souvenir Folders", published circa 1918-1919, that feature ten halftone reproductions of photographs of and on board the ship.
    These individual photographs have Photo #s NH 103975, NH 103976, NH 103977, NH 103978, NH 103979, NH 103980, NH 103981, NH 103982, NH 103983 and NH 103984.
    One of the covers is printed on tan colored paper, and the other is on light green paper. Their contents are identical, except that the location of the images with Photo #s NH 103978 and NH 103979 is reversed in the tan folder.

    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2006.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 80KB; 740 x 625 pixels

     


    The following view of USS Wilhelmina shows the ship in a pattern camouflage scheme that may not be authentic:

    Photo #: NH 103975

    USS Wilhelmina
    (ID # 2168)

    Halftone reproduction of an artwork (or heavily retouched photograph) showing the ship in World War I camouflage. There is no evidence that she ever wore this camouflage pattern.
    This image was published in 1918-1919 as one of ten photographs in a "Souvenir Folder" of views of and on board Wilhelmina.

    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2006.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 79KB; 740 x 530 pixels

     


    For more images related to this ship, see:

  • USS Wilhelmina (ID # 2168) -- On Board and Close Up Views.


    NOTES:

  • To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.

  • Some images linked from this page may bear obsolete credit lines citing the organization name: "Naval Historical Center". Effective 1 December 2008 the name should be cited as: "Naval History and Heritage Command".


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    Page made 30 January 2006
    New image added 27 December 2010