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UNITED STATES NAVY
TEMPORARY AUXILIARY SHIPS
WORLD WAR I

Photo # NH 43045:  USS George Washington with President Wilson on board, March 1919

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

USS George Washington (ID # 3018), 1917-1919.
Originally S.S. George Washington (German Passenger Liner, 1908).
Later USS Catlin (AP-19), 1941, and USAT George Washington (Army Transport, 1919-1921 and 1943-1947)

USS George Washington, a 37,000 ton (displacement) troop transport, was built at Stettin, Germany, in 1908 as the 25,570 gross ton passenger liner George Washington. With a capacity of nearly 2700 passengers (nearly half in the steerage class mainly used by emigrants seeking new homes in America), she was employed commercially in trans-Atlantic service under the German flag. The outbreak of World War I at the beginning of August 1914 found her at her terminal at Hoboken, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from New York City. There she remained, inactive, until the United States entered the conflict in early April 1917.

Seized by the U.S. Government at that time, the big liner was converted for Naval service at the New York Navy Yard, and placed in commission as George Washington in September 1917, while still in the shipyard. Later assigned the registry ID # 3018, she began carrying troops to Europe early in December. During the next two years, eleven months of war and thirteen following the 11 November 1918 Armistice, she transported some 48,000 people from the U.S. to Europe and returned 34,000 to America. George Washington also played an important role in post-war diplomatic efforts, twice taking President Woodrow Wilson to France for the prolonged negotiations that led to the Treaty of Versailles. In the fall of 1919, she brought the Belgian King and Queen to the United States for a visit commemorating their Nation's role in the "Great War".

USS George Washington was decommissioned in late November 1919 and turned over to the War Department. Following service as the Army Transport George Washington, in 1921 she returned to commercial employment as the American flag liner of the same name. Inactive for ten years beginning in 1931, she was briefly USS Catlin (AP-19) in 1941 and was operated as the British and U.S. civilian-manned transport George Washington in 1941-1942. The ship was then given new oil-fired boilers to improve her performance and, from April 1943, was again the Army Transport George Washington. Laid up in 1947, she was sold for scrapping in February 1951.

This page features views concerning USS George Washington (ID # 3018), selected from the images presented on the pages listed immediately below.

For all available images related to this ship, see:

  • USS George Washington (ID # 3018) -- Views taken between Mid-1917 and November 1918;
  • USS George Washington (ID # 3018) -- Views taken in late 1918 and in 1919;
  • USS George Washington (ID # 3018) -- Views taken during President Wilson's European Voyages;
  • USS George Washington (ID # 3018) -- On Board and Close Up Views;
  • USS George Washington (ID # 3018) -- On Board and Close Up Views (Part II);
  • USS George Washington (ID # 3018) -- On Board and Close Up Views (Part III);
  • USS George Washington (ID # 3018) -- Miscellaneous Images; and
  • USAT George Washington (Transport, 1919-1921 and 1943-1947) and USS Catlin (AP-19), 1941-1941.


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

    Photo #: NH 53885

    USS George Washington
    (ID # 3018)

    Underway at sea on 10 May 1918. Photographed from USS Whipple (Destroyer # 15), which was then operating off western France.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 93KB; 740 x 560 pixels

     
    Photo #: 19-N-1485

    USS George Washington
    (ID # 3018)

    Photographed by the New York Navy Yard on 14 June 1918 in "dazzle" camouflage.

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

     
    Photo #: NH 43281

    USS George Washington
    (ID # 3018)

    Unloading cargo at Brest, France, in 1918. She is painted in "dazzle" camouflage.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 105KB; 740 x 575 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 53884

    USS George Washington
    (ID # 3018)

    Photographed circa December 1918, probably in New York Harbor, by E. Muller, Jr.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 89KB; 740 x 605 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 53707

    USS George Washington
    (ID # 3018)

    Underway fifty miles out at sea on the morning of her arrival at Brest, France, with President Woodrow Wilson on board, 13 December 1918.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 114KB; 740 x 530 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 86625

    USS George Washington
    (ID # 3018)

    In harbor, dressed with flags, circa 1919.

    Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1978.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 60KB; 740 x 445 pixels

     
    Photo #: None

    USS George Washington
    (ID # 3018)

    At anchor in the roadstead at Brest, France, between December 1918 and June 1919 while acting as transport for President Wilson.
    One of the destroyers in the nest at the far left is USS Wickes (No. 75), which escorted the transport to France in December 1918 and back to the U.S. in June 1919.

    Source: Shipscribe.

     
    Photo #: NH 53888

    USS George Washington
    (ID # 3018)

    Steaming out of New York Bay on 5 March 1919, en route to France with President Woodrow Wilson on board.
    Photographed from an accompanying destroyer, whose crew is manning the rail as the transport passes by.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 67KB; 740 x 540 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 43045

    USS George Washington
    (ID # 3018)

    Steaming twenty-five miles at sea, while transporting President and Mrs. Woodrow Wilson to France to take part in the Versailles Peace Conference, 5 March 1919.
    The ship is flying the Presidential flag from atop her second mast.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 73KB; 740 x 520 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 10

    USS George Washington
    (ID # 3018)

    Arrives in New York Harbor with President Woodrow Wilson and his party on board, as they return to the U.S. from the World War I peace conference in France, 8 July 1919.
    Transport in the foreground, with U.S. Ensign flying and Sailors on deck watching George Washington arrive, is USS Leviathan (ID # 1326).

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 105KB; 740 x 590 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 53712

    USS George Washington
    (ID # 3018)

    "Ten minutes before sailing time of the George Washington, the White Star liner Lapland from Liverpool, carrying 2000 American soldiers (mostly Aero Service units which had been training in England) came up the North River. The photo shows some of the crew of the George Washington cheering the home coming soldiers." (quoted from the original World War I era caption). This photo may have been taken in February 1919. Location is apparently New York City.
    Note the banner hung over the ship's reading "U.S. Naval Transport George Washington", and her stern decoration.

    U.S. Army Signal Corps Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

    Online Image: 99KB; 740 x 595 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 100633

    USS George Washington
    (ID # 3018)

    Ship's band, circa 1918-1919.
    Note the different types of ventilators on deck.

    Courtesy of Jack Howland, 1986.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 116KB; 740 x 535 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 53713

    USS George Washington
    (ID # 3018)

    Ship's Officers and Crew pose with President Woodrow Wilson, during his return voyage from France, June 1919.
    Seated in the center of the photograph are (from left to right, just to left of the line running from the mast to the deck) are:
    Rear Admiral Cary Grayson, USN (MC), the President's physcian;
    Captain Edward McCauley, ship's Commanding Officer; and
    President Woodrow Wilson.

    U.S. Army Signal Corps Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

    Online Image: 160KB; 740 x 610 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 18

    President Woodrow Wilson
    (center)

    Waves his top hat from the deck of USS George Washington (ID # 3018), as she steamed up New York Harbor upon the President's return to the U.S. from the World War I peace conference in France, 8 July 1919.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 88KB; 740 x 630 pixels

     


    For all available images related to this ship, see:

  • USS George Washington (ID # 3018) -- Views taken between Mid-1917 and November 1918;
  • USS George Washington (ID # 3018) -- Views taken in late 1918 and in 1919;
  • USS George Washington (ID # 3018) -- Views taken during President Wilson's European Voyages;
  • USS George Washington (ID # 3018) -- On Board and Close Up Views;
  • USS George Washington (ID # 3018) -- On Board and Close Up Views (Part II);
  • USS George Washington (ID # 3018) -- On Board and Close Up Views (Part III);
  • USS George Washington (ID # 3018) -- Miscellaneous Images; and
  • USAT George Washington (Transport, 1919-1921 and 1943-1947) and USS Catlin (AP-19), 1941-1941.


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    Page made 18 December 2005
    Link modified 8 May 2008