USS Hatteras (ID-2142)

The second USS Hatteras (1917) was a Cunard Line freighter acquired by the U.S. Navy during World War I and was used to transport men and war materials to France. Post-war she was returned to the U.S. Shipping Board as redundant to needs.

Probably photographed in 1917 while still in the hands of her builders, Bethlehem Shipbuilding, Sparrows Point, Maryland.
History
United States
Name: USS Hatteras
Namesake: An inlet on the coast of North Carolina.
Owner: Cunard Line
Builder: Bethlehem Shipping Corp. of Sparrows Point, Maryland
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: 1917
Commissioned: 23 October 1917 at Baltimore, Maryland
Decommissioned: 8 April 1919 at New York City
Homeport: Baltimore, Maryland
Identification: ID # 2142
Fate: returned to the United States Shipping Board 8 April 1919
Status: retained until she was abandoned in 1938
General characteristics
Type: freighter
Displacement: 10,505 tons
Length: 377'
Beam: 52'
Draft: 23' 10"
Propulsion: steam engine
Speed: 10 k nots
Complement: not known
Armament: not known

Built in Baltimore for the Cunard Line

The second U.S. Navy ship to be named Hatteras was built in 1917 for the Cunard Line by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp. of Sparrows Point, Maryland. Acquired by the U.S. Navy for the war effort, she commissioned 23 October 1917, Lt. Comdr. W. K. Martin in command.

World War I service

Difficulty in crossing the Atlantic

After loading cargo, mainly iron, in Maryland, Hatteras joined a convoy at Norfolk, Virginia, and sailed for France on 26 January 1918. On 4 February the convoy ran into a severe North Atlantic Ocean storm, and Hatteras' steering gear broke down completely. The disabled ship headed back to Boston, Massachusetts, using a jury-rigged steering system arriving 11 days later.

On 6 March she sailed again for France via Halifax, Nova Scotia, but 11 days later ran into another severe storm, and, once again, broken steering gear forced her to turn back to Boston.

Successful crossings

On 9 April Hatteras sailed for France for the third time, this time through relatively calm seas, and arrived in Nantes on the 30th. Cargo successfully discharged, she returned to Baltimore on 23 May.

Thereafter she made four more Atlantic crossings, one to Nantes and three to Bordeaux, finally returning to New York City 19 March 1919.

Post-war disposal

Hatteras decommissioned there on 8 April 1919 and the same day was returned to the United States Shipping Board (USSB), which retained her until she was abandoned at Shanghai in 1938. Taken into private ownership and renamed Hatterlock, she was subsequently seized by Japan in 1941 and operated by Miyachi Kisen KK of Kobe as Renzan Maru. It was under this name that she was torpedoed and sunk on January 1, 1943 by USS Porpoise (SS-172) off Yap.

See also

References

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

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