The 4261 gross ton cargo ship Heathcraig was completed in June 1900 at Stockton, England, by Craig, Taylor, and Co. for the Heath Line of London. She was renamed Hampton by new English owners in 1907 and became the Norwegian Haugarland in 1913. She was originally a well-deck vessel with forecastle, bridge and poop, and had a spar and main deck. Sold to American owners after the outbreak of the war, she was placed under U.S. registry in 1915 under the name Winnebago. The freighter was inspected by the Navy on 4 February 1918, taken over on a bare ship basis from the American Transatlantic Co. of New York City on 9 February at Hoboken, N.J., and commissioned at New York City on 6 March 1918.
Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS), Winnebago was fitted and armed as a cargo carrier but made only one round-trip voyage for NOTS. She departed New York City on 23 March, arrived at Norfolk two days later, and loaded a cargo of dynamite for the Army. The freighter sailed for France on 31 March arrived at Paulliac, via Brest, on 25 April. After discharging her cargo there she sailed for the United States on 13 May and arrived at New York City on the 30th.
While it had originally been intended to transfer the vessel to the Shipping Board, a change of orders resulted in her being returned to her previous owners. Thus, on 11 June 1918, Winnebago was turned over to the American Transatlantic Co. of New York for a resumption of merchant service, and her name was struck from the Navy list.
In 1923 Winnebago was sold to Albert Jensen of Copenhagen and was renamed Fie Jensen. In 1925 she was renamed Ontario and was reconfigured to operate in the cattle trade between Canada and Great Britain. She was due to arrive in Canada on her first experimental voyage as a cattle carrier in January 1926 but the venture evidently failed and in April 1927 she was scrapped at Rotterdam.
This page features all available views concerning the American freighter Winnebago (formerly named Heathcraig, Hampton and Haugarland), which was USS Winnebago (ID # 2353) in 1918.
Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.
Photo #: NH 105238
S.S. Winnebago (American Freighter, 1900)
In port, possibly when inspected by the Third Naval District on 4 February 1918. This British-built ship had previously sailed under the Norwegian and British flags. She was in commission as USS Winnebago (ID # 2353) from 6 March to 11 June 1918.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Online Image: 66KB; 605 x 675 pixels
Page made 10 October 2007