SS Absaroka

USS Absaroka was a steamer in the service of the United States Navy, named after the Absaroka Range of mountains in Montana and Wyoming.

USS Absaroka (ID-2518) probably photographed upon completion of construction, circa 1917
Name: USS Absaroka
Namesake: Absaroka Range
Builder: Skinner & Eddy, Seattle, Washington
Launched: 1917
Commissioned: 17 September 1918
Decommissioned: 4 March 1919
Fate: Returned to United States Shipping Board
General characteristics
Displacement: 12,397 long tons (12,596 t)
Length: 423 ft 9 in (129.16 m)
Beam: 54 ft (16 m)
Draft: 24 ft 6 in (7.47 m)
Speed: 11 knots (13 mph; 20 km/h)
Complement: 70
  • 1 × 6 in (150 mm) gun
  • 1 × 3 in (76 mm) gun

Absaroka was built in 1917 for the United States Shipping Board by Skinner & Eddy Company, Seattle, Washington, taken over by the Navy on a bare boat basis on 17 September 1918, and commissioned that same day, Lt. Comdr. O. W. Hughes in command.

Absaroka was assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service following her commissioning. Between October 1918 and February 1919, the ship made two transatlantic voyages carrying Army cargo to ports in France, England, and the Netherlands. During her second trip, Absaroka rescued the captain and crew of the disabled British steamer War Marvel and landed them safely at Falmouth, England.

The ship arrived in New York City on 12 February 1919 and was immediately drydocked for overhaul. Absaroka was decommissioned on 4 March 1919 and returned to the United States Shipping Board.

She was owned at the beginning of World War II by McCormick Steamship Company being used as a lumber carrier. She was torpedoed and damaged by the Japanese submarine I-19 off Point Fermin, California, and beached off Fort MacArthur on December 24, 1941. This was one of the opening incidents of what is called the Battle of Los Angeles. SS Emidio and SS Montebello were attacked and sank off the West Coast of the United States[1]


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