Foreign Passenger and Cargo Ships Taken Over by U.S Maritime Commission during World War II
On June 6, 1941 there were 84 voluntarily inactive large ships of foreign registry in American ports. The Ship Requisition Act signed on that day allowed the Coast Guard to seize these vessels for the war effort. In addition, the British Ministry of War Transport transferred some vessels to the jurisdiction of the War Shipping Administration. Brazil transferred several vessels marked with a + which it seized in its own ports.
27 of the Italian ships and 1 German ship, seized for violation of the Espionage Act of 1917, were sabotaged by their crews. The cost of repair for 16 of these damaged ships ranged from $60,000 to $550,000.
Representatives of the friendly governments under which some these vessels were previously registered such as the Dutch Ministry of Shipping cooperated with the War Department. In many cases, crew members of other nationalities were kept on the vessels since they were familiar with the equipment, and there was a shortage of American seamen.
Appeal to Danish Seamen to Remain Aboard their Requisitioned Vessels
Laid-up vessels of foreign registry in U.S. ports which may be subject to the Ship Requisition Act:
Number Gross tons Denmark 40 142,641 Germany 3 14,096 Italy 28 168,744 Estonia 2 3,837 France 10 139,117 Finland 17 55,213 Lithuania 1 1,255 Rumania 1 3,495 Holland 1 3,492 Sweden 1 20,067 Greece 1 3,034 Total 105 554,991
Additional ships were seized at other times and others turned over to the Allies after the signing of the Armistice with Italy in 1943. Total 113 ships listed below, many of which were renamed after famous race horses, winners of the Kentucky Derby.
* indicates the ship was sunk or damaged during World War II
Ship Former flag Operator during war New flag New name African Reefer Denmark Marine Operating Co. U.S. Roamer/U.S. Navy AF-19 Alssund Denmark Waterman Steamship Panama Bold Venture* Anna Maersk Denmark Panama Lookout* Australian Reefer Denmark U. S. Army USS Pontiac* Broholm Denmark Marine Operating Co. Panama Hindoo* Brosund Denmark United States Lines Panama Crusader* Carolyn Maersk[Caroline] Denmark Standard Oil Co. Of N.J. Panama Ben Brush* Colombia Denmark United States Lines/Isthmian Lines Panama Sir Huon* E. M. Dalgas Denmark Waterman Steamship Panama War Admiral Emma Maersk Denmark Pennsylvania Shipping Company Panama Salvator Frode Denmark South Atlantic Steamship Line Panama Omaha* Georgia Denmark Grace Lines Panama Aristides Gertrud Denmark Grace Lines Gertrude Maersk Denmark American President Lines Cavalcade Greta Maersk Denmark American President Lines Panama Cricamola/Pennant Herta Maersk Denmark Marine Transport Co. Panama Montrose* Hulda Maersk Denmark American President Lines Panama Chant* Jonna Denmark U. S. Army Panama Pillory* Jutta Denmark Marine Transport Co. Panama Kingman Laura Maersk Denmark American President Lines/Grace Lines Panama Day Star Lexa Maersk Denmark Grace Lines Panama Buchanan* Lundby Denmark United States Lines Panama Pink Star* Marchen Maersk Denmark American President Lines Panama Caldera/Perida Maria Denmark U. S. Navy Panama Uranus/USN AF-14 Marna Denmark Marine Transport Co. Panama Azra* Niel Maersk Denmark Isthmian SS Co. Panama Johnstown* Nora Denmark Marine Transport Co. Panama Halma* Norden Denmark United States Lines Panama Firethorn* Nordhval Denmark Union Steamship Of New Zealand Panama Donerail* Nordpol Denmark Union Steamship Of New Zealand Panama Manuel Norvest Denmark Union Steamship Of New Zealand Panama Alan-A-Dale* Olympia Denmark Panama Snark* P. N. Damm Denmark Grace Lines Honduras Spokane/Carits II Paula Denmark Marine Transport Co. Panama Montana* Ragnhild Denmark Grace Lines Panama Leonatus Rita Maersk Denmark Marine Transport Co. Panama Lawrin/Pegasus Sessa Denmark Marine Transport Co. Panama Longtaker* Sicilien Denmark U. S. Army * Tanja Denmark Marine Transport Co. Panama Alcedo* Tunis Denmark U. S. Navy Panama Aquila
Ship Former flag Operator during war New flag New name Maret Estonia Lykes Brothers Steamship Co. Panama Sysonby
Ship Former flag Operator during war New flag New name Aagot Finland Panama Potomac Advance Finland Panama, Gr. Britain Trojan, Trojan III Anja Finland American-West African Line Finland Scapa Flow* Atlas II Finland Panama Pompoon* Aurora Finland Finland Rosemount Delaware Finland Panama Puchero* Fidra Finland Alcoa Steamship Co. Panama Tambour* Kurikka Finland Moore-McCormack Panama Chenango* Kuurtanes Finland Panama, Gr. Britain Arc Light Marisa Thorden Finland Alcoa Steamship Co. Panama Bushranger* Mathilda Thorden Finland Panama, Gr. Britain Amazon, Thunderer Pandia Finland Alcoa Steamship Co. Panama Desert Light* Saimaa Finland Germany, Panama Yemasee Wipunen Finland Wessel, Duval & Co. Panama Granville*
Ship Former flag Operator during war New flag New name Athos II France War Shipping Administration France Colombie France French Line Inc./U.S. Army Hospital Ship France Colombie/USAT Aleda E. Lutz Marechal Joffre France (Vichy) U. S. Navy U.S. USS Rocheambeau
Ship Former flag Operator during war New flag New name Arauca Germany South Atlantic Steamship Line;
U.S. Saturn AF 40 Blenheim Germany Waterman Steamship U.S. Blenheim Tacoma$ Germany/Uruguay Matson Navigation Company U.S. Windhuk+ Germany/Brazil U. S. Navy U.S. USS Lejeune
Ship Former flag Operator during war New flag New name Bloemfontein Holland War Shipping Administration Boschfontein Holland War Shipping Administration Brastagi Holland War Shipping Administration Japara Holland War Shipping Administration Japara* Klipfontein Holland War Shipping Administration Kota Agoeng Holland War Shipping Administration Kota Baroe Holland War Shipping Administration Kota Inten Holland War Shipping Administration Noordam Holland War Shipping Administration Poelau Laut Holland War Shipping Administration Sloterdijk Holland British Ministry of War Tranport/WSA Sommelsdijk Holland War Shipping Administration Tabinta Holland War Shipping Administration Tjisadane Holland War Shipping Administration Weltevreden Holland War Shipping Administration
Ship Former flag Operator during war New flag New name Ada O Italy Lykes BrothersSteamship Co. Panama Hermis* Alabama Italy Panama/U.S. Osmond/Quiros Alberta Italy Panama Ballot* Anteo Italy Panama Bostonian* Antonietta Italy Panama Olambala* Arsa Italy Waterman Steamship Panama Friar Rock* Aussa Italy Waterman Steamship Panama Africander* Bacicin Padre Italy Panama/U.S./U.S./U.S. Swivel/St. Mary/Clyde/Swivel Belvedere Italy Panama Audacious* Clara Italy Waterman Steamship Panama Stone Street* Colorado Italy Panama/U.S. Typhoon/Villalobos Confidenza Italy Panama Troubadour Conte Biancamano Italy U. S. Navy U.S. USS Hermitage Dentice Italy U.S. Faireno/Arayat Dino Italy United States Lines Panama Meridian* Euro Italy United States Lines Panama Bateau* Giuan Italy Waterman Steamship Panama Gallant Fox Guidonia Italy South Atlantic Steamship Line Panama Plaudit* Ida Z. O. Italy United States Lines Panama Macbeth* Ircania Italy South Atlantic Steamship Line Panama Raceland* Jole Fassio Italy U.S. Navy Panama/U. S. Navy Alcibiades/Andrew Doria IX 32 Laconia Italy Waterman Steamship Panama Elwood Leme Italy British Ministry Of War Tranport Lowlander Mar Glauco Italy Grace Lines Panama Makatam Monfiore Italy Panama White Clover Mongioia Italy United States Lines Panama Exterminator* Pietro Campanella Italy United States Lines/International Freighting Co. Panama Equipoise* Rapallo Italy Columbia/Panama Victorian/Polonaise/Manileno San Guiseppe Italy South Atlantic Steamship Line Panama Aneroid* San Leonardo Italy United States Lines Panama Reigh Count* Santarosa Italy Waterman Steamship Panama Ramapo* Saturnia Italy War Shipping Administration/U. S. Navy U.S. Navy Saturnia/USS Frances Y. Slanger Trottiera Italy Panama/U.S. Navy Orissa/USS Malvern Villarperosa Italy A. L. Burbank & Co. Panama Colin* Vittorin Italy Vulcania Italy War Shipping Administration U.S. Vulcania Conte Grande+ Italy/Brazil U. S. Navy U.S. USS Monticello Liana+ Italy/Brazil War Shipping Administration U.S. Baialoide*
Ship Former flag Operator during war New flag New name Roseville Norway Sudden & Christenson Norway
Ship Former flag Operator during war New flag New name Mangalia Rumania U. S. Navy U.S. USS Pleiades/Scepter
Ship Former flag Operator during war New flag New name Kungsholm Sweden United States Lines U.S. John Ericsson Torrens Sweden War Shipping Administration Holland
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt: A Message to the Congress Asking Power to Requisition Idle Foreign Ships in American Waters. April 10, 1941
Acquisition of Domestic or Foreign Merchant Vessels, Public Law 101, [H.R. 4466] June 6, 1941
Troopships of World War II, Roland W. Charles, Washington, DC: The Army Transportation Association, 1947
The World's Merchant Fleets 1939: The Particulars and Wartime Fates of 6,000 Ships, Roger Jordan, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1999
United States Maritime Commission, Press Releases 926, 940, 945, 951, 952, 959, 963, 969, 977, 983, 984, 988, 998, 1011, 1030, dated June 6, 1941 to September 29, 1941
Rohwer, Jurgen. Axis Submarine Successes of World War Two. (Revised and expanded) Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1999
$Personal correspondence, J. Pierre 4/16/02
Sunderland shipbuilders http://www.searlecanada.org/sunderland/sunderland028.html
05/14/03 Revised 03/21/11
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