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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USNA Cassius

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Spanish Campaign Medal

Screw Steamer (Collier):
  • Built in 1883 by Reiherstieg, Hamburg, Germany, as SS Rhaetia
  • Launched, 23 November 1882
  • Purchased by the Navy 24 May 1898
  • Converted at Norfolk Navy Yard
  • Commissioned US Navy Auxiliary Cassius, 6 June 1898, CDR. S. W. Very in command
  • During the Spanish American War Cassius mainly carried coal locally at Norfolk
  • Reassigned to the Caribbean in October 1898 to supply ships in those waters
  • Decommissioned, 29 December 1898, at Norfolk
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 16 September 1899 and sold to the War Department
  • Refitted by the Army as a transport, renamed USAT Sumner
  • Final Disposition, wrecked on Barnegat Shoals, New Jersey, 11 December 1916
    Displacement 2,182 t. 3,458 t. (gross)
    Length 351' 1"
    Beam 43'
    Draft 26'"
    Speed 13 kts.
    Complement 76
    Cargo Capacity unknown
    Armament one 6-pdr
    two coal fired boilers
    one triple expansion vertical compound steam engine
    single propeller
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    Size Image Description Source
    Merchant Service
    Cassius 56k Hamburg American Line emigrant steamer, SS Rhaetia underway prior to acquisition by the US Navy in 1898.
    Source: Eugene W. Smith, "Passenger Ships of the World , Past and Present (1978),", courtesy
    Mike Green
    USAT Sumner
    Cassius 145k Ex- USNA Cassius in commission as the War Department transport USAT Sumner moored pierside at Norfolk, Navy Yard, Portsmouth, VA., in March 1919.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 43671, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Cassius 93k USAT Sumner at anchor between 1900 and 1916. Note the Army Transportation Service flag on the mainmast.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 75580, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Cassius 131k USAT Sumner arriving in port, location unknown, circa 1899 to 1916.
    US Navy photo courtesy
    Mike Green
    Cassius 100k USAT Sumner moored pierside, location unknown, circa 1900 and 1916.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo.
    Mike Green

    USNA Cassius
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Cassius - US Navy Colliers
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 3 January 2014