USS Federal (ID-3657)

USS Federal (ID 3657) was a freighter acquired by the U.S. Navy during World War I. She was completed at the end of the war and supplied Allied troops in Europe with food and horses, and, on return trips to the United States, brought troops back home. After three round transatlantic trips in supporting the troops, she was returned to the U.S. Shipping Board, which eventually sold her in 1937. She then became the British freighter Federlock which was captured in 1941 by the Japanese, who renamed the ship the Hakusan Maru. The ship sailed carrying Japanese cargo until sunk by an American submarine in 1945.

USS Federal (ID # 3657) probably photographed at the time of her completion and delivery to the Navy in mid-November 1918.
United States
Name: USS Federal
Namesake: Former name retained
Builder: Federal Shipbuilding Company, Kearny, New Jersey
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: 1918
Completed: 11 November 1918
Acquired: 15 November 1918
Commissioned: 16 November 1918 as USS Federal (ID 3657)
Decommissioned: 17 June 1919
Maiden voyage: U.S. East Coast to France, 30 November 1918 to 27 January 1919
Struck: c. 17 June 1919
Fate: returned to the United States Shipping Board
Notes: Federal later became the British freighter Federlock and then the Japanese cargo ship Hakusan Maru, which was sunk in 1945 by the U.S. submarine USS Crevalle.
General characteristics
Type: Design 1037 ship
Tonnage: 6868 gross tons
Displacement: 13,130 tons
Length: 411' 6"
Beam: 55’
Draft: 27’
Speed: 11 knots
Complement: not known
Armament: not known

Constructed in Kearny, New Jersey

Federal, a 6868 gross ton (13,130 tons displacement) freighter, was built at Kearny, New Jersey, as part of the World War I shipbuilding effort. Completed on 11 November 1918, the day the Armistice ended the fighting, the new ship was turned over to the Navy and commissioned as USS Federal (ID # 3657) on 15 November. She was commissioned the following day, Lieutenant Commander A. W. Pratt, USNRF, in command.

World War I service

Carrying food and horses to the Allied troops

Operated by the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, and fitted out to carry horses, she made her maiden round-trip voyage between late November 1918 and late January 1919, carrying cargo, including horses, to France and from there back to the United States.

In March 1919 Federal sailed again with cargo for France and on her return voyage in April brought home over 500 U.S. Army medical personnel. On her third voyage, in May and June 1919, she transported hay and oats to Antwerp, Belgium, for the Northern Food Administration and brought a cargo of steel billets back to New York City.

Post-war decommissioning

USS Federal was decommissioned on 17 June 1919 and returned to the U.S. Shipping Board.

Subsequent ship history

Federal remained in the hands of the U.S. Shipping Board until 1937, then became the British freighter Federlock. In December 1941, while on time charter to a Japanese ship operator, she was seized by that nation, becoming Hakusan Maru. The Hakusan Maru took survivors from the shipwreck of the Asaka Maru from Taiwan to Moji on Kyushu, arriving on 28 August 1944.

She was reportedly lost to a torpedo from the American submarine USS Crevalle on 11 June 1945.


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