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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Prairie (AD-5)
USS Prairie (Destroyer Tender) (1917 - 1920)
USS Prairie (Transport) (1906 - 1917)
USS Prairie (Auxiliary Cruiser) (1898 - 1906)

Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - Navy Expeditionary Service Medal
Second Row -Spanish Campaign Medal - Cuban Pacification Medal - Mexican Service Medal
Third Row - Haiti Campaign Medal - Dominican Campaign Medal - World War I Victory Medal (with Mobile Base Clasp)

  • Built 1890 as SS El Sol for Morgan Lines by William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Acquired by the Southern Pacific Co., renamed SS Prairie
  • Purchased by the US Navy, 6 April 1898
  • Commissioned as Auxiliary Cruiser USS Prairie, 8 April 1898, CDR. Charles J. Train, in command
  • Decommissioned, 15 March 1899 at Philadelphia, PA.
  • Placed in Reserve in Commission, 23 March 1899
  • Decommissioned, 18 February 1901, at New York
  • Recommissioned, 9 November 1901, at Boston, MA.
  • Decommissioned, 14 June 1905, at Boston, MA.
  • Recommissioned, 26 September 1906, as a Transport
  • Converted to a Destroyer Tender in 1917
  • Designated (AD-5), 17 July 1920
  • Decommissioned and struck from the Naval Register, 22 November, 1922, at San Diego, CA.
  • Final disposition, sold for scrapping, 22 June 1933 to Louis Rothernberg, Oakland, CA.
    Displacement 6,620 t.
    Length 404' 9"
    Beam 48' 3"
    Draft 20' 9"
    Speed 15 kts.
    Compliment unknown
    eight 6" guns (auxiliary cruiser)
    ten 3" guns (transport)
    Propulsion steam
    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    Merchant Service
    Prairie 122k SS El Solwas the first of the three large, fast, iron-hulled, four-masted coastal freighters completed for the Morgan Line in 1890-1892. These were followed in 1893 by two similar steel-hulled, two-masted ships. In 1898 the five ships, in order of construction, became the U.S. Navy auxiliary cruisers Prairie, Yosemite, Yankee, Dixie, and Buffalo
    US National Archives, RG-19-N box 32, Photo No. 19-N-14263 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives, courtesy
    Mike Green
    USS Prairie
    Prairie 71k USS Prairie in April 1898 at New York Navy Yard, soon after commissioning during conversion to an Auxiliary Cruiser
    US Navy photo # NH 44056 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Prairie 143k USS Prairie 13 April 1900. Her main battery has been rearranged and reduced to eight 6" guns. All eight guns are in the hull, none being left on deck.
    US National Archives, RG-19-N box 20. Photo # 19-N-14185, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    Prairie 108k USS Prairie after alterations as a training ship, probably in 1902-1903. Her pole masts have been shortened and fitted with tops, topmasts, and heavy yardarms. Her main battery of eight 6" guns has been relocated to new positions in the hull. Near-sister USS Yankee had a similar main battery arrangement and rig at this time but she had 5" instead of 6" guns.
    US National Archives, RG-19-N box 20. Photo # 19-N-13235, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    Prairie 142k USS Prairie after recommissioning as a transport in September 1906 and before the fleet converted from white to gray paint in 1909. Her armament is now ten 3" guns, all on deck. Her training ship yardarms are gone but the topmasts remain, and long-wire radio antennas are barely visible suspended between them. At this time Prairie and near-sisters USS Dixie and USS Yankee (lost in 1908) were quite similar in appearance and are best distinguished by minor features like the location and size of their hawsepipes.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # NH 105430, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    Prairie 138k Port broadside view of the Transport USS Prairie anchored during the 1909 Hudson-Fulton celebration.
    Library of Congress photo # LC-D4-22610
    Mike Green
    Prairie 48k USS Prairie at anchor, date and location unknown. Photo from "Jane's Fighting Ships 1914." Robert Hurst
    Prairie 95k USS Prairie at anchor, date and location unknown.
    Library of Congress, LC-D4-20890
    Mike Green
    Prairie 123k USS Prairie during the Vera Cruz operation circa 1914.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # NH 106692, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    Prairie 135k USS Prairie enroute during 1918 from Hamilton, Bermuda, to Ponta Delgada, Azores, in convoy. Prairie convoyed a group of subchasers from New London to Gibraltar via Bermuda and the Azores between 26 September and 9 November 1918.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # NH 1866, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    Prairie 178k USS Prairie in the Panama Canal during the transit of the Pacific Fleet through the canal on 24 and 25 July 1919. Note the ship's many wartime modifications, particularly to the bridge structure.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command. Photo # NH 105807, courtesy
    Robert Hurst
    Buffalo 156k "Red Lead Row" at the Destroyer Base, San Diego, CA. at the end of 1922. USS Prairie (AD-5) is moored inboard of USS Buffalo (AD-8) This is an enlargement of part of Photo # NH 42539, which also shows at least 65 destroyers in this reserve fleet.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 43539-A, courtesy
    Robert Hurst

    USS Prairie (AD-5)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01CDR. Train, Charles Jackson, USN (USNA 1865) :RADM8 April 1898 - 1 October 1898
    02LT. Coffman, Dewitt, Clinton Coffman, USN (USNA 1876)1 October 1898 - 1 March 1899
    03LT. Bell, John Arthur USN, (USNA 1879)1 March 1899 - 15 March 1899
     Decommissioned15 March 1899 - 23 March 1899
     In Reserve in Commission23 March 1899 - 18 February 1901
    04CDR. Mac Kenzie, Morris Robinson Slidell, USN (USNA 1866)23 March 1899 - ?
     Decommissioned18 February 1901 - 9 November 1901
    05CDR. Pillsbury, John Elliott, USN (USNA 1867)9 November 1901 - 21 October 1902
    06CDR. Kennedy, Duncan, USN (USNA 1868)21 October 1902 - 3 November 1903
    07LCDR. Caperton, William Banks, USN (USNA 1875)3 November 1903 - 12 June 1904
    08LCDR. Clark, George Ramsey, USN (USNA 1878)12 June 1904 - 18 June 1906
    10CDR. Dunn, Herbert Omar, USN (USNA 1877) :RADM18 June 1906 - 8 September 1906
    11CDR. Ackerman, Albert Ammerman, USN (USNA 1880)8 September 1906 - 28 January 1909
    12CDR. Kellogg, Frank Woodruff, USN (USNA 1879)28 January 1909 - 22 February 1909
    13CDR. Witherspoon, Edwin Taylor, USN (USNA 1886)22 February 1909 - 18 May 1910
    14LT. Milne, MacGillvray, USN (USNA 1903)17 June 1913 - 31 July 1913
    15CDR. Stickney. Herman Osman, USN (USNA 1888) :RADM31 July 1913 - 10 July 1914
    16CDR. Crosley, Walter Selwyn, USN (USNA 1893) :RADM10 July 1914 - 1 December 1915
    17CAPT. Beach Sr., Edward Latimer, USN (USNA 1888) (Temporary)1 December 1916 - 16 December 1916
    18CDR. Crosley, Walter Selwyn, USN (USNA 1893) :RADM16 December 1916 - 12 February 1917
    19CDR. Crenshaw, Arthur, USN (USNA 1896)12 February 1917 - 4 March 1919
    20CDR. Ghent, Daniel Throckmorton, USN (USNA 1903)4 March 1919 - 1 November 1919
    21CDR. Jenson, Henry Norman, USN (USNA 1897)1 November 1919 - 20 July 1921
    22CDR. Draemel, Milo Frederick, USN (USNA 1906) :RADM20 July 1921 - 1 June 1922
    23CAPT.Oberlin, Edgar Garfield, USN (USNA 1905)1 June 1922 - 22 November 1922
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves. Photos courtesy Bill Gonyo

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 1 January 2016