South Pole, a 4116 gross ton refrigerated cargo ship built in Baltimore by the Baltimore Dry Dock and Ship Building Co., was launched for the United States Shipping Board (USSB) on 17 June 1918; acquired by the Navy at Baltimore on 30 November 1918, and commissioned for service in the Naval Overseas Transportation Service on 5 December 1918 upon completion. She was famous for being built in 40 days.
South Pole sailed for New York on 7 December, loaded a cargo of general supplies for the Army, and sailed on the 15th in convoy for France. The ship arrived at Verdon on 2 January 1919. After unloading her cargo, she took on Army equipment, sailed on the 20th for home, and arrived at New York on 8 February.
On 10 March, South Pole got underway again with another load of Army supplies and reached St. Nazaire on the 25th. After returning to New York on 30 April, she unloaded Army ordnance supplies. The ship was decommissioned on 12 May and returned to the U.S. Shipping Board.
Beginning in May 1919 South Pole was operated for the Shipping Board between New York, Rotterdam, and other European ports by the Cosmopolitan Shipping Co. She returned to New York under tow with her engines disabled in March 1921. She was later laid up and was scrapped at Baltimore in October 1935.
This page features all available views of the cargo ship South Pole, which served as USS South Pole in 1918-19.
Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.
Photo #: None
S.S. South Pole (U.S. cargo ship, 1918)
Delivering frozen meat at the Hook of Holland circa 1920.
At this time the ship was being operated commercially for the Shipping Board by the Cosmopolitan Shipping Co. of New York.
Page made 16 August 2015