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UNITED STATES NAVY
TEMPORARY AUXILIARY SHIPS
WORLD WAR I

Photo # NH 105725:  USS Black Arrow in port, 1919

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

USS Black Arrow (ID # 3913, later ID # 1534), 1919-1919.
Previously the German freighter Rhaetia (1904) and then the American freighter Black Hawk and Black Arrow

USS Black Arrow, a 11,900-ton (displacement) transport, was built in 1904 at Vegesack, Germany, as the 6599 gross ton Hamburg-America line freighter Rhaetia. She was seized by the United States Government in April 1917, when the U.S. entered World War I. Renamed Black Hawk and later Black Arrow, she spent the rest of the war carrying cargo for the U.S. Army, making at least five trips to France. In January 1919 the ship was transferred to the Navy, which placed her in commission as USS Black Arrow and put her to work bringing American service personnel home from the former war zone. After the completion of three round-trip voyages for this purpose, she was decommissioned in August 1919 and returned to the U.S. Shipping Board.

As a side note, significant to those interested in tracking the numbers assigned to ships by the U.S. Navy, this ship (then named Black Hawk) was inspected for possible Navy service by the Fifth Naval District about mid-1917 and given the registry ID # 1534. However, the record of this action was apparently misplaced, and the ship (by now named Black Arrow) was given the new ID # 3913 at about the time she entered Naval service. On 3 April 1922, nearly three years after she had been returned to the Shipping Board, the error was corrected and her number changed back to 1534. This reflects the Navy's contemporary effort to maintain a registry of civilian ships for possible acquisition in the event of another national emergency.

This page features, and provides links to, all available views concerning USS Black Arrow (ID # 3913) and the civilian ship Black Arrow, which was previously named Rhaetia and Black Hawk.

For more images related to this ship, see:

  • USS Black Arrow (ID # 3913, later ID # 1534) -- On Board and Close Up Views.


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

    Photo #: NH 102940

    USS Black Arrow
    (ID # 3913)

    In a U.S. East Coast port, 1919.
    The original photograph, taken by the National Photo Service, Inc., is printed on postal card ("AZO") stock.

    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2005.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 66KB; 740 x 480 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 105725

    USS Black Arrow
    (ID # 3913)

    In port, 1919
    The original image is printed on post card ("AZO") stock.

    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2008.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 68KB; 740 x 475 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 102873

    USS Black Arrow
    (ID # 3913)

    In port, 1919.

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

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 78KB; 740 x 495 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 106660

    USS Black Arrow
    (ID # 3913)

    Halftone reproduction of a photograph of the ship in port, 1919.
    This view was published circa 1919 by A.M. Simon, 324 E. 23rd Street, New York City, as one of ten images in a "Souvenir Folder" concerning USS Black Arrow.

    Donation of Charles R. Haberlein Jr., 2009.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 118KB; 900 x 590 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 104780

    USS Black Arrow
    (ID # 3913)

    In port, possibly at Gibraltar, 1919.
    This photograph was originally the property of Warren W. Joy, who made two trips as a member of Black Arrow's crew, one from New York to Bordeaux and the other to Marseilles.

    Courtesy of Stanley R. Joy, 2007.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 48KB; 740 x 440 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 99385

    S.S. Black Arrow
    (American Freighter, 1904)

    In port, possibly when inspected by the Third Naval District on 20 March 1919.
    Built in 1904 as the Hamburg-America Line steamer Rhaetia, this ship was seized by the United States in April 1917. Renamed Black Hawk, and later Black Arrow, she served on U.S. Army account for the rest of World War I. Transferred to the Navy, she was placed in commission on 27 January 1919 as USS Black Arrow. The ship was decommissioned and returned to the U.S. Shipping Board on 9 August 1919. While in Navy service she apparently had registry ID # 3913, reflecting the March 1919 inspection. This was changed to ID # 1534 on 3 April 1922, indicating that she had been inspected in about mid-1917 and assigned the lower number, but that this had been overlooked when she was taken over by the Navy.

    U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

    Online Image: 78KB; 560 x 765 pixels

     


    For more images related to this ship, see:

  • USS Black Arrow (ID # 3913, later ID # 1534) -- 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 16 June 2004
    New images added and page divided 19 December 2009