Lake Arthur, a 2020 gross ton (2880 tons displacement) freighter, was completed at Wyandotte, Michigan, in March 1918. She had been ordered by the British under the name War Palm (also reported as War Plum) but was requisitioned by the U.S. Shipping Board in August 1917 and given a name in the "Lake" series. The ship was initially manned and operated by the Shipping Board for the Army, and in the summer of 1918 she transported a load of Army general cargo from the United States to France. Once this shipment was discharged she was turned over to the Navy, placed in commission as USS Lake Arthur (ID # 2915) in September 1918 at Brest, France, and assigned to the Army coal trade to carry coal from Cardiff, Wales, and Belfast, Northern Ireland to French ports. She remained in this assignment until February 1919, when she departed Cardiff for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with a partial cargo of Army stores and munitions. USS Lake Arthur was decommissioned in April 1919 and returned to the Shipping Board. In postwar commercial service she was renamed Virginia Limited in 1921, Valentine in 1930, and Sesostris in 1932. She passed from Egyptian to German ownership in 1935. In November 1945 Allied forces occupying Germany scuttled S.S. Sesostris in the Skagerrak with a cargo of over 2600 tons of German chemical munitions.
This page features all available views concerning the American freighter Lake Arthur, USS Lake Arthur (ID # 2915), and S.S. War Palm, Virginia Limited, Valentine, and Sesostris.
Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.
Photo #: NH 104072
S.S. Lake Arthur (American Freighter, 1918),
S.S. Lake Weston (American Freighter, 1918), and
S.S. Lake Stirling (American Freighter, 1918)
-- listed from left to right --
Fitting out at the Detroit Shipbuilding Company shipyard, Wyandotte, Michigan, circa Spring 1918.
Originally named War Palm, and later named Virginia Limited, Lake Arthur served as USS Lake Arthur (ID # 2915) in 1918-1919.
Lake Weston (originally named War Swift) served as USS Lake Weston (ID # 2926) in 1918.
Lake Stirling (originally named War Thrush) had no World War I era U.S. Navy service.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Online Image: 56KB; 740 x 365 pixels
Page made 25 May 2008