Ten minelayers were employed by the U.S. Navy during the laying of the North Sea Mine Barrage. Four of them were converted from freight steamers that had been built in 1899-1901 by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company for the Southern Pacific Steamship Company. Their designs were essentially identical, and similar to those of older ships that had entered the Navy in 1898. All four were later converted to transports and used as such to return troops from Europe to the U.S. during 1919. Two more were converted from coastal passenger steamers built for the Old Dominion Line in 1899. They were not used as transports after the war. Of the remaining four, two were old cruisers converted to minelayers before the war and two were converted ships that were retained in the postwar Navy as CM 3-4.
This page features a table (with links to individual ships) of World War I era U.S. converted minelayers that had originally been built for the Southern Pacific Steamship Company and the Old Dominion Line, plus one photograph of each ship in each group.
Click the small photographs to prompt a larger view of the same image with a descriptive header.
FOUR SHIPS, all with flush main decks, long and low superstructures, two masts and single smokestack:
TWO SHIPS with flush main decks, long low superstructures, a single mast, and a single tall smokestack:
The Navy's other four World War I minelayers are listed below:
Two Ships, completed as cruisers in 1890 and converted
to minelayers some years before World War I:
Two Ships, built as coastal passenger steamers in 1907
and converted to minelayers in 1917-1918: