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UNITED STATES NAVY
TEMPORARY AUXILIARY SHIPS
WORLD WAR I

Photo #  NH 69588:  USS Lake Champlain in camouflage, circa 1918-19.  She was originally the SS War Chant


Online Library of Selected Images:
-- CIVILIAN SHIPS --

War Chant (Cargo Ship, 1917).
Later renamed Lake Champlain. Served as USS Lake Champlain (ID # 1791) in 1918-19

War Chant, a 2118 gross ton steam cargo ship, was built at West Superior, Wisconsin, in 1917. Renamed Lake Champlain soon after completion, she was taken over by the U.S. Navy and placed in commission as USS Lake Champlain (ID # 1791) in January 1918. After initial service transporting coal along the U.S. east coast, she carried ammunition and other cargo across the Atlantic to Europe, making four round-trip voyages between March 1918 and January 1919. A trip to Cuba with mines and coal followed in February and March 1919. USS Lake Champlain was decommissioned and returned to the U.S. Shipping Board in March 1919.

The ship was sold to Belgian interests in 1920 and renamed Nipponier. Other names carried during her long subsequent civilian career included Fruithandel and Meisei Maru. She was reportedly sunk in June 1945, while operating as a Japanese merchant ship.

This page features all available views related to the cargo ship War Chant, which served as USS Lake Champlain in 1918-19.


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

Photo #: NH 101995

War Chant
(U.S. cargo ship, 1917)

Photographed at about the time she was completed. She was soon renamed Lake Champlain, as indicated by the pencil alteration on her hull. Acquired by the Navy on 19 January 1918, she was commissioned on 24 January as USS Lake Champlain (ID# 1791). The ship was returned to the U.S. Shipping Board on 20 March 1919. Later sold abroad, she was renamed Nipponier in 1922.

The original print is in National Archives' Record Group 19-LCM.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 77KB; 740 x 590 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 65107

SS War Chant
(American cargo ship, 1917)

Photographed in 1917, possibly at the yard of her builder, the American Shipbuilding Co., Superior, Wisconsin. Renamed Lake Champlain soon after completion, she was taken over by the Navy in early 1918 and commissioned as USS Lake Champlain (ID# 1791).

Copied in 1968 from the original photograph on the "SP" data card held by the Ship's Histories Branch, Naval History Division.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 46KB; 740 x 320 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 69588

USS Lake Champlain (ID# 1791)


Photographed circa 1918-19, while wearing camouflage paint.

Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1969

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 71KB; 740 x 610 pixels

 


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Page made 14 October 2001