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UNITED STATES NAVY
TEMPORARY AUXILIARY SHIPS
WORLD WAR I

Photo # NH 99588:  Steamer Ophir in 1918.  She was USS Ophir in 1918-1920

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

USS Ophir (ID # 2800), 1918-1920

USS Ophir, a 8905-ton (displacement) cargo ship, was built in 1904 at Flushing, The Netherlands, as the 4726 gross ton Dutch flag passenger-cargo ship of the same name. She was seized by the U.S. Government at Pearl Harbor in March 1918, turned over to the Navy and commissioned later in that month. Ophir left Hawaii in early April and steamed to the East Coast, then crossed the Atlantic to France, where she arrived in early June. After returning to the U.S. she made two more round-trip voyages to France and began a third in late October.

While en route to Marseilles, Ophir caught fire and, during the next three days was devastated by flames and explosions, finally sinking at Gibraltar on 11 November, the day the Armistice ended World War I's fighting. Following salvage and basic repairs, she was placed in temporary commission in mid-November 1919. In mid-January 1920, soon after arriving at an East Coast port, USS Ophir was decommissioned and transferred to the War Department.

This page features all available views concerning USS Ophir (ID # 2800).


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

Photo #: None

S.S. Ophir
(Dutch Passenger-Cargo Ship, 1904)

Photographed in Dutch commercial service.

Source: www.wivonet.nl/pagtwee20.htm (in 2007)

 
Photo #: None

S.S. Ophir
(Dutch Passenger-Cargo Ship, 1904)

Photographed in Dutch commercial service.

Source: www.zwama.de/shiplover/ophir.htm

 
Photo #: NH 99588

S.S. Ophir
(Dutch Passenger-Cargo Ship, 1904)

In port, circa March 1918, painted in World War I neutrality markings featuring Dutch flag colors running nearly the ship's full length.
This ship was taken over by the U.S. Navy on 21 March 1918 and was placed in commission as USS Ophir (ID # 2800) on 25 March 1918. She was transferred to the War Department on 16 January 1920.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 73KB; 690 x 630 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 60684

USS Ophir
(ID # 2800)

In port in April 1918, still painted in World War I Dutch neutrality markings.
This Dutch passenger-cargo steamer was taken over by the U.S. Navy on 21 March 1918 and placed in commission on 25 March 1918.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 83KB; 495 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 41704

USS Ophir
(ID # 2800)

Crewmen standing by a six-inch gun, mounted aft on the ship, circa 1918.
Photographed by E.J. Kelty.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 51KB; 740 x 510 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 91190

USS Ophir
(ID # 2800)

Burning at Gibraltar in November 1918.
Ophir caught fire and burned for three days before sinking at Gibraltar on Armistice Day, 11 November 1918.
The original photo caption reads "Mustard Gas Escaping".

Collection of George K. Beach.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 88KB; 475 x 765 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 99597

USS Ophir
(ID # 2800)

View of the ship's port bow, taken while she was afire at Gibraltar in November 1918.
Ophir caught fire and burned for three days before sinking on 11 November 1918.
The original photo caption reads "One Who Will Never Return". In fact, Ophir was salvaged in 1919 and returned to the United States in January 1920.
Note that she was painted in pattern camouflage at the time of the fire.

Collection of George K. Beach.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 86KB; 740 x 470 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 41737

USS Ophir
(ID # 2800)

Ship's survivors at Gibraltar, 13 November 1918.
Ophir has sunk there on Armistice Day, 11 November 1918, after being devastated by fire. She was later salvaged.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 99KB; 740 x 435 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 154

USS Ophir
(ID # 2800)

In a U.S. East Coast harbor, on 12 January 1920, showing fire damage.
Ophir, a former Dutch passenger-cargo steamer, took fire and burned three days before sinking at Gibraltar on Armistice Day, 11 November 1918. She was raised by the U.S. Government and returned to the United States on 9 January 1920.
Photographed by A.E. Wells, Washington, D.C.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 107KB; 740 x 605 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 43072

USS Ophir
(ID # 2800)

Officers and crew who brought the ship back to the U.S., arriving on 9 January 1920. She had burned and sunk at Gibraltar in November 1918 and was salvaged in 1919.
Photographed by A.E. Wells, Washington, D.C., on 12 January 1920.
Note fire damage and distortion of Ophir's structure.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 127KB; 740 x 600 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 43073

USS Ophir
(ID # 2800)

View of the ship's burned-out after superstructure, the result of fire and explosions on board while she was off Gibraltar in November 1918. She sank on Armistice Day, 11 November 1918, was salvaged during the following year, and returned to the United States on 9 January 1920.
Photographed by A.E. Wells, Washington, D.C., on 12 January 1920.
Note the capstan in the foreground.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 95KB; 740 x 600 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 43074

USS Ophir
(ID # 2800)

View from atop the ship's after superstructure, looking forward, showing the results of fire and explosions on board while she was off Gibraltar in November 1918. Ophir sank on Armistice Day, 11 November 1918, was salvaged during the following year, and returned to the United States on 9 January 1920.
Photographed by A.E. Wells, Washington, D.C., on 12 January 1920.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 97KB; 740 x 595 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 43075

USS Ophir
(ID # 2800)

Officers pose with a life raft atop the ship's burned-out midships superstructure. Ophir sank off Gibraltar on 11 November 1918, after being gutted by fire and explosions. She was salvaged during the following year and returned to the United States on 9 January 1920.
Photographed by A.E. Wells, Washington, D.C., on 12 January 1920.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 96KB; 740 x 580 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 43076

USS Ophir
(ID # 2800)

View of interior damage resulting from fire and explosions on board in November 1918. Much of what is seen here was caused by explosions in her cargo of artillery shells. Note the five-inch shell partially penetrating the deck in the right center, many jagged holes in the deck and capstan lashed to the bulkhead.
Ophir sank off Gibraltar on 11 November 1918. She was salvaged during the following year and returned to the United States on 9 January 1920.
Photographed by A.E. Wells, Washington, D.C., on 12 January 1920.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 110KB; 740 x 590 pixels

 


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Page made 29 September 2004
New image added 31 January 2006