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UNITED STATES NAVY
TEMPORARY AUXILIARY SHIPS
WORLD WAR I

S.S. W.L. Steed in 1918


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

S.S. W.L. Steed (American Tanker, 1918).
Served as USS W.L. Steed (ID # 3449) in 1918-1919

S.S. W.L. Steed, a 6450 gross ton (13,000-tons displacement) oil tanker, was built at Quincy, Massachusetts, as part of the World War I shipbuilding effort. Transferred to the Navy upon completion, she was placed in commission on 18 September 1918 as USS W.L. Steed (ID # 3449) and assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service. Problems with her steering gear aborted her first attempt to carry oil across the Atlantic to England, and she was still in American waters when the 11 November Armistice brought the war's combat phase to an end. Following repairs, W.L. Steed completed one voyage to France and had a second prematurely ended by damage. She was decommissioned in late March 1919 and returned to the U.S. Shipping Board.

In 1922 W.L. Steed entered commercial service with the Pan-American Petroleum and Transportation Company. The Standard Oil Company became her owner in 1937 and operated her for the rest of her career. On 2 February 1942, while off the U.S. East Coast with a cargo of Columbian crude oil, W.L. Steed was torpedoed, shelled and sunk by the German submarine U-103. Her crew of thirty-eight all abandoned ship in her lifeboats, but exposure to winter weather took the lives of all but four.

This page features all available views concerning the tanker W.L. Steed, which was USS W.L. Steed (ID # 3449) in 1918-1919.


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

Photo #: NH 41864

S.S. W.L. Steed
(American Tanker, 1918)

Launching, at the Fore River Shipbuilding Company shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts, 1918.
Note her pattern camouflage, and tugs standing by in the background.
This ship served as USS W.L. Steed (ID # 3449) between September 1918 and March 1919.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 97KB; 740 x 585 pixels

 
Photo #: None

S.S. W.L. Steed
(American Tanker, 1918)

Photographed on 10 September 1918, probably on builder's trials.

Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-32-S.

 
Photo #: None

S.S. W.L. Steed
(American Tanker, 1918)

Photographed on 10 September 1918, probably on builder's trials.

Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-32-S.

 
Photo #: NH 89436

S.S. W.L. Steed
(American Tanker, 1918)

Photographed in 1918, while painted in pattern camouflage.
This ship was USS W.L. Steed (ID # 3449) between September 1918 and March 1919. On 2 February 1942, while in commercial service, she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-103.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 42KB; 740 x 255 pixels

 


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Page made 29 October 2005