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UNITED STATES NAVY
TEMPORARY AUXILIARY SHIPS
WORLD WAR I

Photo #  NH 105224:  S.S. Mercurius, later USS Mercurius (ID # 2516) circa March 1918

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-- CIVILIAN SHIPS --

S.S. Mercurius (Dutch Freighter, 1909)
Served as USS Mercurius (ID # 2516) in 1918-1919

Mercurius, a 2863 gross ton (6300 tons displacement) cargo ship, was built at Port Glasgow, Scotland, in 1909 for the Royal Netherlands Steamship Co. She was seized at New York by the United States Government on 20 March 1918 under the right of angary, which allowed a belligerent power to use the property of a neutral nation if necessary, subject to full indemnification. The Navy took the ship over from the U. S. Shipping Board on 19 April 1918 and commissioned her on 30 April as USS Mercurius (ID # 2516). She departed Norfolk in late May with a cargo consisting primarily of mines and associated materiel, delivering it to Lamlash, Scotland, in June and took a similar load to Corpach, Scotland, in September. In early October Mercurius sailed from Glasgow for Norfolk but had to put in to Buncrana, Ireland, because of a leak in her forward hold. After repairs at Belfast she returned to Norfolk in mid-November. Arriving at Cristobal, Canal Zone, with general cargo in mid-December, she then sailed for New York with a cargo of scrap iron. Her next shipment consisted of foodstuffs and supplies consigned to the Syrian and Armenian Relief Expedition to Turkey, which was delivered to Constantinople in mid-February. She arrived back at New York at the beginning of April with a cargo loaded at Smyrna, Turkey, then moved to Baltimore to load another cargo of foodstuffs, consigned to the Food Administration at Rotterdam. After arriving at that port, Mercurius was decommissioned on 25 June 1919 and returned to her Dutch owners. While in commercial service she was wrecked in the Straits of Gibraltar on 7 January 1925.

This page features all available views concerning the Dutch freighter Mercurius, which was USS Mercurius (ID # 2516) in 1918-1919.


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

Photo #: NH 105224

S.S. Mercurius
(Dutch Freighter, 1909)

In port wearing Dutch neutrality markings, possibly when inspected by the Third Naval District on 29 March 1918. She was in commission as USS Mercurius (ID # 2516) from 30 April 1918 to 25 June 1919. This British-built ship had two of the distinctive Dutch tall double masts, one of which is visible here.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 65KB; 665 x 675 pixels

 
Photo #: None

S.S. Mercurius
(Dutch Freighter, 1909)

Photographed in Dutch commercial service.

Source: www.kroonvaarders.nl/alfabet/mschepen/mercurius1.htm.

 


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Page made 14 August 2007