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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Cyclops (II) (Fuel Ship #4)


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Mexican Service Medal - World War I Victory Medal (with Transport clasp)
Proteus Class Collier:
  • Laid down, date unknown, at William Cramp and Sons at Philadelphia, PA.
  • Launched, 7 May 1910
  • Placed in service as Navy Auxiliary Service Collier Cyclops, 7 November 1910, George W. Worley, Master, Navy Auxiliary Service, in charge
  • Commissioned USS Cyclops, 1 May 1917, LCDR. George W. Worley, USNRF, in command
  • Disappeared with all hands in early March 1918
  • Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
    Specifications:
    Displacement 19,360 t.
    Length 522'
    Beam 63'
    Draft 27' 8"
    Speed 16 kts.
    Complement 236
    Armament four 4" guns
    Propulsion
    vertical triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine
    two coal fired boilers
    single propeller

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    Cyclops 115k USS Cyclops was one of four Proteus-class colliers built for the United States Navy several years before World War I. Named for the Cyclops, a primordial race of giants from Greek mythology, she was the second U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name. The loss of the ship and 306 crew; passengers; and German Prisoners without a trace within the area known as the Bermuda Triangle some time after 4 March 1918 remains the single largest loss of life in U.S. Naval history not directly involving combat. The cause of the ship's loss is unknown although she was sailing loaded with manganese ore. The modern theory is a coal bunker fire ignited the manganese causing a massive explosion resulting in her bottom being blown out or cut in half. This probably occurred in the middle of the night resulting in no survivors from her sinking without lifeboats being launched. This photo is part of the Harris & Ewing Collection in the Library of Congress online catalog. The image was taken sometime between 1909 and 1914. Tommy Trampp
    Cyclops 63k USS Cyclops photographed by the New York Navy Yard, probably while anchored in the Hudson River, NY, 3 October 1911.
    US National Archives photo # 19-N-13451, a US Navy photo from the Bureau of Ships Collection now in the U.S. National Archives.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Cyclops 69k USS Cyclops, anchored in the Hudson River, off New York City, 3 October 1911. Photograph was taken by the New York Navy Yard.
    US Navy photo # NH 55549
    US Naval Historical Center
    Cyclops 121k USS Cyclops, anchored in the Hudson River, off New York City, probably during the 1911 naval review in New York City.
    Library of Congress, LC-B2- 2335-8
    Mike Green
    Cyclops 71k USS Cyclops photographed by Sargent, circa 1913. Copied from the album of Francis Sargent, courtesy of Commander John Condon, 1986.
    US Naval photo # NH 101063
    US Naval Historical Center
    Cyclops 72k USS Cyclops and USS South Carolina (Battleship No. 26) engaged in an experimental coaling while under way at sea in 1914. Rigging between the two ships was used to transfer two 800-pound bags of coal one at a time. The bags were landed on a platform in front of the battleship's forward 12-inch gun turret, and then carried to the bunkers. The donor, who served as a seaman in South Carolina at the time, comments: "it showed that this was possible but a very slow method of refueling. Nothing was heard of the test afterwards."
    US Navy photo # NH 76012 donated by Earle F. Brookins, Jamestown, NY, 1972.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Cyclops 104k Tests of Spencer Miller's coaling-at-sea rig were conducted in 1914 between the USS Cyclops (Fuel Ship # 4) and the battleship USS South Carolina (Battleship No. 26). The battleship was equipped with a sliding padeye attached to a vertical spar mounted on South Carolina's fore deck that was used to raise and lower the highline along with the load.
    US. Navy Photo.
    Robert Hurst
    Cyclops 137k USS Cyclops (Fuel Ship # 4) refueling the battleship USS Delaware (Battleship No. 28). A clamshell bucket is dumping coal on the deck of the battleship while another bucket is in operation further aft. The battleship's entire crew is trying to shovel the heaps of coal on deck into chutes leading to the coal bunkers below. Each bucket carried 4,000 pounds of coal. Cyclops could operate twelve buckets at once, one for each of the ship's cargo coal holds.
    US Navy Photo courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Mike Green
    Cyclops 32k USS Cyclops under way, date and location unknown.
    Photo courtesy Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center
    Colin P. Varga Photography Curator PAHRC
    Cyclops 43k USS Cyclops under way, date and location unknown.
    Photo source "Jane's Fighting Ships 1914"
    Robert Hurst
    Cyclops 255k USS Cyclops under way, date and location unknown.
    US Navy photo from "A History of The Transport Service: Adventures And Experiences Of United States Transports And Cruisers In The World War", by Vice Admiral Albert Gleaves, USN, published by George H. Doran Company, New York.
    Robert Hurst
    BB-31 Utah 89k USS Utah (Battleship No. 31) looking forward from atop # 4 12" gun turret while coaling simultaneously from two colliers at the rate of 841 tons per hour prior to World War I. The ship's band is stationed on top of # 3 turret. The two colliers are USS Cyclops (Fuel Ship No. 4) on the left and either USS Orion (Fuel Ship No. 11) or USS Jason (Fuel Ship No. 12) on the right. Cyclops had Mead-Morrison coal handling gear while the other collier had Lidgerwood gear.
    Text, courtesy John Spivey
    Photo US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 61262
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Cyclops 54k Seaman Earnest Randolph Crammer, U.S. Navy who was lost with USS Cyclops in March 1918. His cap band is from that ship.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 50636
    Robert Hurst
    Cyclops 58k Coxswain Roy Stuart Merriam, U.S. Navy, who was lost with USS Cyclops in March 1918. His cap band is from USS San Diego (Armored Cruiser No. 6).
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 92095
    Robert Hurst

    USS Cyclops (II)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    "The Unanswered Loss of USS Cyclops - March 1918"
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 10 November 2017