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UNITED STATES NAVY
TEMPORARY AUXILIARY SHIPS
WORLD WAR I

Photo # NH 100583:  USS Blue Ridge with her bow removed for passage out of the Great Lakes, 1918

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

USS Blue Ridge (ID # 2432), 1918-1919.
Originally the Great Lakes Passenger Steamship Virginia (1891). Later renamed Avalon

Virginia, a 1606 gross ton passenger steamship, was built at Cleveland, Ohio, in 1891. For more than two and a half decades she operated on the Great Lakes, primarily between Chicago, Illinois, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The U.S. Navy purchased her in May 1918, renamed her Blue Ridge and placed her in commission in mid-October. With her bow removed to allow her to transit the Welland Canal, the ship left the Lakes and went to the Boston Navy Yard for outfitting as a coastal troop transport. This work was not completed before the need for her had ended, and Blue Ridge remained at Boston until August 1919, when she was renamed Avalon and sold. Retaining the latter name in civilian service, she was taken to the West Coast and employed on passenger service between Los Angeles and Catalina Island, California. Avalon was sold for scrapping in 1964 but sank while under tow off the California coast on 16 September of that year.

This page features all available views concerning USS Blue Ridge (ID # 2432) and the civilian passenger steamship Virginia (later Avalon) .


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

Photo #: NH 100582

Virginia
(American Passenger Steamer, 1891)

Underway on the Great Lakes, early in her career. This heavily retouched photograph was printed on a postal card.
Virginia's upperworks were modified prior to World War I. She served as USS Blue Ridge (ID # 2432) in 1918-1919.

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

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 88KB; 740 x 500 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 100581

Virginia
(American Passenger Steamer, 1891)

Photographed prior to World War I, while operating on the Great Lakes. This image was printed on a postal card.
Virginia was purchased by the Navy in May 1918 and renamed Blue Ridge (ID # 2432) on 1 June. Commissioned on 17 October 1918, she was stricken from the Navy list on 11 July 1919. Renamed Avalon on 18 August 1919 and sold the same day, she was delivered to her buyer on 21 August.

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

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 89KB; 740 x 480 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 41641

S.S. Virginia
(American Passenger Steamer, 1891)

"Winding around" at the Goodrich Dock, Muskegon, Michigan, about 1917.
This ship was USS Blue Ridge (ID # 2432) in 1918-1919.

Courtesy of Edward Middleton. From the collection of Harry Thorp, Jr.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 90KB; 900 x 660 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 105838-KN (color)

S.S. Virginia (American Great Lakes Passenger Liner, 1891)

At Muskegon, Michigan, prior to World War I.
Color-tinted post card published by the E.C. Kropp Co., Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The original card was postmarked at Muskegon on 28 August 1916.
This ship served as USS Blue Ridge (ID # 2432) in 1918-1919.

Donation of Charles R. Haberlein Jr., 2008.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 109KB; 740 x 495 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 100583

USS Blue Ridge (ID # 2432)


Wearing camouflage paint and with her bow removed for passage through the locks between the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River, circa summer 1918.
Originally the Great Lakes passenger steamer Virginia, this ship was purchased by the Navy in May 1918 and renamed Blue Ridge on 1 June. Following her trip to salt water, she was commissioned on 17 October 1918.

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

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 83KB; 740 x 425 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 105948

S.S. Avalon
(American coastal passenger steamer, 1891)

Shown in service between Catalina Island and the California mainland after World War I.
This ship began life as the Great Lakes passenger steamer Virginia and became USS Blue Ridge (ID # 2432) in 1918-1919. Renamed Avalon after the war, she was lengthened and rebuilt for coastal operations.

Donation of Captain Stephen S. Roberts, USNR (Retired), 2008.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 111KB; 740 x 500 pixels

 


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 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 25 September 2003
    New image added 16 February 2009