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UNITED STATES NAVY
TEMPORARY AUXILIARY SHIPS
WORLD WAR I

Photo # NH 90626:  USS Aeolus in 1918

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

USS Aeolus (ID # 3005), 1917-1919.
Formerly SS Grosser Kurfürst (German Passenger Steamship, 1899)

Grosser Kurfürst, a 13,102 gross ton passenger steamer, was built at Danzig, Germany, in 1899. She was interned at New York in August 1914, as the beginning of World War I made the high seas unsafe for German merchant ships. When the United States entered the conflict in April 1917, Grosser Kurfürst was seized, though not before her German crew had wrecked some of her machinery and fittings. The ship was turned over to the U.S. Navy and began repairs and conversion to a troop transport at the New York Navy Yard. While this work was in process, she was commissioned as USS Grosser Kurfürst (ID # 3005) in early August 1917.

Renamed Aeolus a month later, she began carrying U.S. troops across the Atlantic in late November 1917. On the night of 25 April 1918, during her third trans-Atlantic voyage, she collided with the transport Huron and had to return to New York for repairs. She resumed active work during the summer and made several more trips to France before the Armistice of 11 November 1918 brought the fighting to an end. From then until early September 1919, Aeolus brought some 27,000 service personnel back to the United States from the former war zone, making seven round-trip voyages during that time.

Aeolus was decommissioned later in September 1919 and transferred to the U.S. Shipping Board. In 1920, following an extensive rehabilitation, she began commercial passenger service to South America as S.S. Aeolus. She shifted to the Pacific in 1922 and was renamed City of Los Angeles. After many years of steaming between the west coast and Hawaii, the now-elderly ship was sold for scrapping in 1937.

This page features, and provides links to, all available views concerning USS Aeolus (ID # 3005) and the German passenger steamship Grosser Kurfürst.

For more images related to this ship, see:

  • USS Aeolus (ID # 3005) -- Part II.


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

    Photo #: NH 42153

    SS Grosser Kurfürst

    (German Passenger Steamship, 1899)

    Interned in the New York City area, circa 1917. Seized by the United States Government in April 1917, she served as USS Aeolus (ID # 3005) during 1917-1919.
    Grosser Kurfürst is the larger ship, in the center of the view.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 81KB; 740 x 560 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 918

    USS Aeolus (ID # 3005)


    In dry dock at the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, on 1 June 1918, while completing repair of damage received in a collision with USS Huron on 25 April 1918.
    Note unpainted plating at her bow and the ship's "dazzle" camouflage scheme.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 105KB; 740 x 565 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 919

    USS Aeolus (ID # 3005)


    In dry dock at the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, on 1 June 1918, while completing repair of damage received in a collision with USS Huron on 25 April 1918.
    Note unpainted plating at her bow and the ship's "dazzle" camouflage scheme.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 103KB; 740 x 585 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 102868

    USS Aeolus
    (ID # 3005)

    In dry dock at the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, on 1 June 1918, while completing repair of damage received in a collision with USS Huron on 25 April 1918.
    Note her stern decoration, and "dazzle" camouflage.

    Courtesy of Boatswain's Mate First Class Robert G. Tippins, USN (Retired), 2005.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 62KB; 625 x 715 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 90626

    USS Aeolus (ID # 3005)


    Photographed circa mid- or late 1918, after her "dazzle" camouflage had weathered considerably.

    Courtesy of Raymond O. Draves, 1980.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 102KB; 740 x 525 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 105425

    USS Aeolus
    (ID # 3005)

    In port circa late 1918, while painted in pattern camouflage.
    Printed on postcard ("AZO") stock.

    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 88KB; 740 x 570 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 102867

    USS Aeolus
    (ID # 3005)

    Underway in 1919.

    Courtesy of Boatswain's Mate First Class Robert G. Tippins, USN (Retired), 2005.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 67KB; 740 x 475 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 106389

    USS Aeolus
    (ID # 3005)

    Photographed in 1919
    The original image is printed on post card ("AZO") stock.

    Donation of Charles R. Haberlein Jr., 2008.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 62KB; 740 x 475 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 105946

    USS Aeolus
    (ID # 3005)

    In port, while bringing troops home from Europe in 1919. The ship's armament had been removed by the time this photograph was taken.

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

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 77KB; 740 x 475 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 106016-A

    USS Aeolus
    (ID # 3005)

    At Newport News, Virginia, 31 May 1919, after disembarking troops of the 350th Infantry.
    Cropped from NH 106016, a panoramic photograph by Clements, 619 F. St. NW, Washington, D.C., entitled "350th Infantry Arriving Newport News, Va. Decoration Day 1919".

    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2008.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 133KB; 900 x 570 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 106346

    USS Aeolus
    (ID # 3005)

    At St. Nazaire, France in 1919.

    Photograph from the collection of Robert H. Helm, donated by Mr. & Mrs. Robert Helm, 2008.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 67KB; 740 x 450 pixels

     
    Photo #: 19-N-9270

    S.S. Aeolus (American passenger ship, 1899)


    Photographed in 1920 after being rebuilt by the U.S. Shipping Board for commercial service. She is wearing Shipping Board stack markings.
    This ship became S.S. City of Los Angeles in 1922.

    Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-N box 56.

     


    For more images related to this ship, see:

  • USS Aeolus (ID # 3005) -- Part II.


    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 1 June 2002
    New images added and page divided 16 February 2009