WWI Ship Name Index   Return to WWI Auxiliaries.

UNITED STATES NAVY
TEMPORARY AUXILIARY SHIPS
WORLD WAR I

Photo # NH 85345:  USS Yale in Cuban waters during the Spanish-America War, 1898

Online Library of Selected Images:
-- U.S. NAVY SHIPS --

USS Yale (1898).
Later USS Harrisburg (ID # 1663), 1918-1919

USS Yale, a 10,499 gross ton auxiliary cruiser, was built in 1889 at Glasgow, Scotland, as the British-flag passenger liner City of Paris. Transferred to U.S. registry in 1893 and renamed Paris, she was chartered by the Navy in April 1898, converted for Spanish-American War use and renamed Yale. Placed in commission in early May, she was initially employed off Puerto Rico, capturing a Spanish freighter and seeing action with an enemy warship and shore batteries. Later in May Yale operated off Haiti, Santiago de Cuba and Jamaica. In June and July the ship cruised between the U.S. and the Caribbean, and in August transported troops home from Cuba. USS Yale was decommissioned in September 1898. Returned to her owners, she resumed commercial service as SS Paris.

During World War I, the liner, which had been renamed Philadelphia in 1901, was used as a troop transport on behalf of the U.S. Army. The Navy took her over in 1918, placing her in commission as USS Harrisburg (ID # 1663) in late May. For the remainder of the conflict she continued to take troops to Europe, making four voyages to England and France before the November 1918 Armistice brought an end to the fighting. She then reversed the flow, making six more trips to transport servicemen home from the former war zone. USS Harrisburg was decommissioned in September 1919 and again took up civil employment as Philadelphia. She was scrapped at Genoa, Italy, in 1923.

This page features all available views concerning USS Yale (1898) and USS Harrisburg (ID # 1663), and provides links to pictures of this ship as a commercial passenger liner.

For images of this ship during her long commercial career, see:

  • City of Paris (British Passenger Liner, 1889). Renamed Paris in 1893 and Philadelphia in 1901.


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

    Photo #: NH 85345

    USS Yale
    (1898)

    In Cuban waters during the Spanish-American War.
    This ship also served during 1918-1919 as USS Harrisburg (ID# 1663).

    Courtesy of Alfred Cellier, 1977.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 101KB; 740 x 520 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 43030

    USS Yale
    (1898)

    Photographed while serving as an auxiliary cruiser during the Spanish-American War.
    This ship also served during 1918-1919 as USS Harrisburg (ID# 1663).

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 88KB; 740 x 615 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 68199

    West Indies Naval Campaign Medal, 1898

    (also known as the "Sampson Medal")

    Awarded to a crewmember of USS Yale for service during the attack on San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 10 May 1898.
    This medal, authorized on 3 March 1901, features a bust of Rear Admiral William T. Sampson on its obverse. The reverse, with a Navy officer, Sailor and Marine, has a block identifying the action for which the medal was awarded. The bar on the ribbon identifies the recipient's ship. The ribbon is red, blue and red in three vertical stripes of equal width.
    The medal's obverse was designed by Charles E. Barber; the reverse by George T. Morgan.

    Photograph provided by the Chief of Naval Personnel.

    Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

    Online Image: 60KB; 740 x 605 pixels

     


    The following images concern USS Harrisburg (ID # 1663), during 1918-1919:

    Photo #: 19-N-1479

    USS Harrisburg
    (ID # 1663)

    Photographed by the New York Navy Yard on 17 June 1918, probably soon after application of her pattern camouflage.

    Source: U.S. National Archives, RG-19-N box 56.

     
    Photo #: NH 41734-A

    USS Harrisburg
    (ID # 1663) -- probable identification

    In Brest harbor, France, 1918, with a steam lighter alongside. Photographed from the waterfront at U.S. Naval Air Station, Brest.
    Absence of a mainmast amidships and a camouflage pattern differing from that on her sister, USS Plattsburg (ID # 1645), strongly indicates that this ship is Harrisburg.
    This image is cropped from Photo # NH 41734.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 75KB; 740 x 565 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 103919

    USS Harrisburg
    (ID # 1663)

    Moored in port with a barge alongside, circa 1918.
    Note her pattern camouflage.
    The original image was printed on postal card ("AZO") stock. See Photo # NH 103919-A for a view of the reverse of the original print, with the handwritten inscription: "The Ship that brought Me home - Liverpool England" and (in another hand and ink type) "July 1919".

    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2006.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 51KB; 740 x 470 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 85643

    USS Harrisburg
    (ID # 1663)

    Halftone reproduction of a photograph taken in New York Harbor while the ship was engaged in transporting U.S. servicemen home from France, circa 1919.
    The tug Columbia is in the right foreground.

    Courtesy of Alfred Cellier, 1977.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 102KB; 740 x 495 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 103919-A

    USS Harrisburg
    (ID # 1663)

    Reverse of a postal card format photographic print of the ship taken circa 1918, bearing the handwritten inscription "The Ship that brought Me home - Liverpool England" and (in another hand and ink type) "July 1919".
    See Photo # NH 103919 for a view of the front of the original print, showing the ship.

    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2006.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 75KB; 470 x 765 pixels

     
    Photo #: NH 82951

    "The Original U.S. Troop Transports"


    Chart compiled 16 August 1919, showing the number of trans-Atlantic "turn arounds" and their average duration for thirty seven U.S. Navy troop transports employed during and immediately after World War I.

    Collection of the USS Pocahontas Reunion Association, 1974.

    U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

    Online Image: 157KB; 690 x 655 pixels

    Click here to rotate chart 90 degrees clockwise

     

    For images of this ship during her long commercial career, see:

  • City of Paris (British Passenger Liner, 1889). Renamed Paris in 1893 and Philadelphia in 1901.


    Return to WWI Auxiliaries.

    Page made 13 October 1998
    Link added 17 April 2007