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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USAT George Washington
ex
USS Catlin (AP-19) (1941)
USS George Washington (ID#3018) (1917 - 1919)


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of awards is from left to right
World War I Victory Medal


  • Built as the German passenger liner SS George Washington at Vulcan Works, Stettin, Germany
  • Launched, 10 November 1908
  • Operated by the North Germany Lloyd Line until World War I
  • Taken over by the United States Shipping Board (USSB), 6 April 1917
  • Converted for Naval service as a Transport at New York Navy Yard
  • Commissioned USS George Washington, 6 September 1917, CAPT. Edwin T. Pollock in command
  • Decommissioned, 28 November 1919
  • Struck from the Naval Register, date unknown
  • Returned to the USSB, 28 January 1920
  • Reconditioned for commercial service and chartered to US Mail Steamship Company in 1921, company name changed to United States Lines, 1921
  • Returned to USSB in 1931, for lay up in reserve at Patuxent River, MD.
  • Reacquired by the Navy from the Maritime Commission, 28 January 1941
  • Commissioned USS Catlin (AP-19), 13 March 1941
  • Decommissioned, 26 September 1941
  • Transferred to Great Britain under the Lend-Lease Act
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission, 17 April 1942
  • Operated under General Agency Agreement by Waterman Steamship Co., Mobile, AL.
  • Returned to the Maritime Commission, 5 September 1942
  • Converted to oil-burning engines at Todd Shipbuilding, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Chartered by the US Army, 17 April 1943 and commissioned USAT George Washington
  • Decommissioned, 21 April 1947, and returned to the Maritime Commission
  • Laid up in reserve at Baltimore, MD.
  • Final Disposition, damaged by fire, 16 January 1951, sold for scrapping, 13 February 1951, to Boston Metals Corp., Baltimore, MD.
    Specifications:
    Displacement 33,000 t.(lt) 25,570 t.(fl)
    Length 722' 5"
    Beam 78'
    Draft 36'
    Speed 19 kts.
    Complement 749
    Armament
    four single 5"/38 dual purpose gun mounts
    four single 3"/50 dual purpose gun mounts
    eight .50 caliber machine guns
    Propulsion
    two four-cylinder quadruple expansion reciprocating engines
    coal fired later converted to oil fired boilers
    twin propellers/dd>



    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Source
    Merchant Service
    Catlin 235k Quoted from the book "Passenger Liners of the World Since 1893" (1979) by Nicholas T. Cairis. Tommy Trampp
    Catlin 61k SS George Washington, underway, date and location unknown.
    Photo from "Passenger Liners of the World Since 1893" (1979) by Nicholas T. Cairis.
    Tommy Trampp
    Catlin 66k SS George Washington, underway, date and location unknown. Submitted by Elaine C. Witty, Charpentier, photo from the collection of Gerald M. Charpentier
    Catlin 294k Post card image of SS George Washington, underway, date and location unknown. Tommy Trampp
    Catlin 46k Post Card image of SS George Washington, underway in the livery of the United States Lines, circa 1921-31, location unknown. Tommy Trampp
    Catlin 386k SS George Washington departing Boston, 31 August 1927, with members of the American Legion aboard. Courtesy Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.
    Catlin 121k Post card image of SS George Washington underway. Tommy Trampp
    Catlin 204k SS George Washington underway, date and location unknown.
    From "Passenger Liners of the World Since 1893" (1970) by Nicholas T. Cairis
    Tommy Trampp
    USS George Washington (ID#3018)
    Catlin 89k SS George Washington (ex-German Passenger Liner, 1908) at New York Navy Yard in the Summer of 1917, while fitting out for U.S. Navy service. She was placed in commission as USS George Washington (ID # 3018) in September. The ship partially visible at right (seen bow-on) is SS Kaiser Wilhelm II, which soon became USS Agamemnon (ID # 3004). .
    US Navy photo # NH 53777 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Catlin 78k USS George Washington (ID#3018) her transformation complete, awaits her first load of Europe-bound American troops. She sports a profusion of lifeboats and life rafts, and her forward port 5" gun is trained outward. The liner was fitted with four such weapons, two each side, with two forward and two aft.
    US Navy photo and text from "Great Liners at War" by Stephen Harding.
    Robert Hurst
    Catlin 82k USS George Washington (ID#3018) being coaled while tied up at Hoboken - coal is drawn up from the barges alongside through the tall mechanical loaders, dumped into the ship through her open coaling ports, then shoveled into her bunkers by crewmen.
    US Navy photo and text from "Great Liners at War" by Stephen Harding.
    Robert Hurst
    Catlin 86k An upper deck scene of USS George Washington (ID#3018) taken during coaling (note the top of the mechanical loader visible at lower right) well illustrates the cramped conditions aboard a First World War troopship, even without troops aboard. In addition to the usual jungle of ventilators, exposed piping and deck-loaded cargo, George Washington is carrying scores of full-sized lifeboats.
    US Navy photo and text from "Great Liners at War" by Stephen Harding.
    Robert Hurst
    Catlin 51k USS George Washington (ID#3018) underway at sea, in late 1917 or during the first half of 1918. Note that the ship has not yet been fitted with wind deflectors on her fore and after mast crows nests.
    US Navy photo # NH 103168 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, D.C. Collection of Admiral Albert Gleaves, USN.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Catlin 97k USS George Washington (ID#3018) underway at sea, 10 May 1918. Photographed from USS Whipple (Destroyer # 15), which was then operating off western France.
    US Navy photo # NH 53885 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Catlin 99k USS George Washington (ID#3018)'s after starboard side, taken while she was underway at sea, 10 May 1918. Photographed from USS Whipple (Destroyer # 15), Which was then serving off western France. Note lifeboats suspended from George Washington' davits, ready position for quick launching, a necessary precaution while operating in the war zone.
    US Navy photo # NH 53887 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Catlin 83k USS George Washington (ID#3018), USS America (ID-3006) and USS De Kalb (ID-3010) crossing the Atlantic, 18 May 1918. Photo taken from the destroyer USS Whipple (Destroyer # 15).Imperial War Museums Photo No. Q 48188, part of the American First World War Official Exchange Collection. Robert Hurst
    Catlin 54k USS George Washington (ID#3018) underway in the North Atlantic. Photo taken from unknown American vessel.
    Imperial War Museums Photo No. Q 65823, part of the American First World War Official Exchange Collection.
    Robert Hurst
    Catlin 72k USS George Washington (ID#3018) in port at New York, 14 June 1918, showing her pattern camouflage. Photographed by the New York Navy Yard.
    US Navy photo # NH 53879 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Catlin 72k USS George Washington (ID#3018) in port at New York, 14 June 1918, showing her pattern camouflage and the decoration on her bow bulwark. Photographed by the New York Navy Yard.
    US Navy photo # NH 53880 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Catlin 111k USS George Washington (ID#3018) unloading cargo at Brest, France, in 1918. She is painted in "dazzle" camouflage.
    US Navy photo # NH 43281 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Catlin 92k USS George Washington (ID#3018) probably in New York Harbor, circa December 1918. Photo by E. Muller, Jr.
    US Navy photo # NH 53884 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Catlin 91k USS George Washington (ID#3018) underway in New York Harbor, circa December 1918 or early 1919. Photo by E. Muller Jr., New York.
    US Navy photo # NH 103188 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Catlin 48k USS George Washington (ID#3018) underway at sea, in late 1918 or in 1919.
    US Navy photo # NH 103167 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, D.C. Collection of Admiral Albert Gleaves, USN.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Catlin 82k USS George Washington (ID#3018) showing the ship dressed with flags, circa late 1918 or in 1919. The photo was published in 1919 by the National Specialties Company of New York City as one of ten images in a "Souvenir Folder" of views concerning USS George Washington. .
    US Navy photo # NH 104818 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center. Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007.
    Robert Hurst
    Catlin 57k USS George Washington (ID#3018) in harbor, during late 1918 or in 1919.
    US Navy photo # NH 90913 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center. Courtesy of Mrs. Arthur C. Nagle, 1980
    US Naval Historical Center
    Catlin 71k USS George Washington (ID#3018) underway at sea, circa late 1918 or early 1919. Though the original photo caption states that this photograph was taken from USS Whipple (Destroyer # 15), 10 May 1918, it was actually taken many months later, after George Washington's crows nests had been fitted with wind deflectors.
    US Navy photo # NH 53886 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Catlin 96k USS George Washington (ID#3018) underway at sea, probably off Long Island, New York. The original print was made by Naval Air Station Rockaway Beach, New York, and is dated 8 January 1919.
    US Navy photo # NH 103178 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center. Collection of Harry Polunsky. Donated by his grandson, Stephen Polunsky, 1974.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Catlin 63k USS George Washington (ID#3018) in harbor, dressed with flags, circa 1919.
    US Navy photo # NH 86625 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center. Courtesy of Donald M. McPherson, 1978.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Catlin 39k USS George Washington (ID#3018), date and location unknown. The 100th Infantry Division web site.
    Catlin 68k USS George Washington (ID#3018) steaming out of New York Bay on 5 March 1919, en route to France with President Woodrow Wilson on board. Photographed from an accompanying destroyer, whose crew is manning the rail as the transport passes by.
    US Navy photo # 53888 from the collections of the US Naval Historical Center
    Robert Hurst
    Catlin 79k USS George Washington (ID#3018) underway carrying the Presidential party to France, in 1919. Photo taken from one of the escorting destroyers, showing the aircraft escort of Curtiss MF flying boats and Presidential Flag flying at her main mast.
    US Navy photo from "A History Of The transport Service: Adventures And Experiences Of United States Transports And Cruisers In The World War", by VADM Albert Gleaves, USN, Published by George H Doran Co, New York.
    Robert Hurst
    Catlin 98k USS Woolsey (Destroyer # 77), at left, and USS George Washington (ID#3018) dressed with flags at Brest France, 29 June 1919. President Woodrow Wilson is on board George Washington, preparing to return to the United States.
    US Navy photo # NH 93978 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center, Courtesy Jack Howland, 1982.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Catlin 75k USS George Washington (ID#3018) underway off Brest, France, with President Woodrow Wilson on board, 13 December 1918. Photo by Zimmer.
    US Navy photo # NH 53704 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center.
    Robert Hurst
    Catlin 143k USS George Washington (ID#3018) fifty miles out at sea on the morning of her arrival at Brest, France, with President Woodrow Wilson on board, 13 December 1918
    US Navy photo # NH 53707 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center.
    Robert Hurst
    Catlin 93k USS George Washington (ID#3018) steaming twenty-five miles at sea, while transporting President and Mrs Woodrow Wilson to the Versailles Peace Conference, 5 March 1919. The ship is flying the Presidential flag from atop her second mast.
    US Navy photo # NH 43045 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center.
    Robert Hurst
    Catlin 40k USS George Washington (ID#3018) entering the harbor of Brest, France 5 March 1919.
    US Navy and Marine Corps Museum/Naval Aviation Museum, photo # 1984.041.001.064
    Mike Green
    Catlin 163k USS George Washington (ID#3018) Officers and Crew pose with President Woodrow Wilson, during his return voyage from France, June 1919. Seated in the center of the photograph are (from left to right, just to left of the line running from the mast to the deck) are: Rear Admiral Cary Grayson, USN (MC), the President's physician; Captain Edward McCauley, ship's Commanding Officer; and President Woodrow Wilson.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 53713, a US Army Signal Corps Photo now in the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command,
    Robert Hurst
    Catlin 97k USS George Washington (ID#3018) showing the presidential party on the February 1919 return passage from Brest to New York. Here President and Mrs. Wilson pose for a group photo with some of the ambulatory patients and two stretcher cases.
    US Navy photo and text from "Great Liners at War" by Stephen Harding.
    Robert Hurst
    Catlin 346k USS George Washington (ID#3018) stopped in 1919 at Boston while returning President Wilson to the United States following his attendance at the Versailles Peace Conference. Courtesy Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection
    Catlin 192k USS George Washington (ID#3018) entering New York Harbor bringing President Wilson home from the Versailles Peace Conference, 8 July 1919.
    US Navy photo from DANFS
    Joe Radigan MACM USN Ret.
    Catlin 235k Stereoscopic view of USS George Washington (ID#3018) entering New York Harbor bringing President Wilson home from the Versailles Peace Conference, 8 July 1919. Tommy Trampp
    Catlin 90k USS George Washington (ID#3018) steaming at sea in a World War I Atlantic convoy, circa June-November 1918, while she was painted in pattern camouflage.
    US Navy photo # NH 100627 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center. Courtesy of Jack Howland, 1986.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Catlin 107k Ex-USS George Washington (ID#3018) at Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, MA., in May 1920. This image is made up of three individual photographs, joined to form a panoramic view of the entire ship. Two U.S. Navy destroyers are partially visible in the left foreground.
    US Navy photo # NH 103180 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center. Collection of Christopher H.W. Lloyd. Donated by Virginia Agostini, 1990.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Catlin 68k Ex-USS George Washington (ID#3018) at Boston Navy Yard, Charlestown, MA., in 1920.
    US Navy photo # NH 103187 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center. Collection of Christopher H.W. Lloyd. Donated by Virginia Agostini, 1990.
    US Naval Historical Center
    Catlin 334k Ex-USS George Washington (ID#3018) in drydock at Boston Navy Yard while having her hull repainted, 4 October 1925. Courtesy Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection
    Catlin 234k Ex-USS George Washington (ID#3018) drydocked at South Boston Navy Yard while laid in the USSB Reserve Fleet, circa 1930s. Courtesy Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection
    Agamemnon 149k Right to Left, four ex-German liners laid up in the Patuxent River off Solomons Island, MD, circa 1939.
    USAT George Washington ex-USS George Washington (ID#3018)
    USAT America, ex-USS America (ID#3006), ex-USS Amerika
    USAT Mount Vernon, ex-USS Mount Vernon (ID#4508) and
    USAT Monticello.
    US Navy photo.
    Joe Radigan
    USS Catlin (AP-19)
    Catlin 117k
    Namesake

    Brigadier General Albertus W. Catlin was born in Gowanda, New York, December 1, 1868. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1890 and from the Army War College in May 1917. He was commissioned Second Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps, July 1, 1892, and was promoted through the grades to Brigadier General, retired, on December 10, 1919. He commanded the Marine Corps guard, USS Maine, when it was destroyed in Havana Harbor, 1898 (which started the Spanish-American War); commanded Marines aboard the USS St Louis during the war which followed; commanded the first Marines to land on Cuba, 1906. Served there until 1909. Commanded Marines in the fleet which landed at Vera Cruz, Mexico, April 21-22, 1914; commanded the 6th Marines, 4th Brigade, 2nd Division, American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in France in World War I, 1917-18; wounded in action at Belleau Wood, June 6, 1918; assigned as commander of 1st Brigade of Marines, Haiti, November 1918. Awarded the Medal of Honor for "distinguished conduct" at Vera Cruz, April 22, 1914; also received the Croix de Guerre with Palm and the Legion of Honor (France) for service at Chateau Thierry, June 1918. He died in Washington, D.C. on May 31, 1933 and was buried in Section 7 of Arlington National Cemetery. His wife, Martha Ellen Catlin (1880-1937) is buried with him.
    Text: arlingtoncemetery.net
    Photo: USMC History Division
    Bill Gonyo
    Catlin 99k USS Catlin (AP-19) at Philadelphia Navy Yard, 17 March 1941, just after being delivered from the Maritime Commission Reserve Fleet at no cost to the Navy for use as a Navy transport. She had been commissioned USS Catlin (AP-19) a few days previously (13 March 1941) but was found unsuitable for Navy use and was decommissioned, 26 September 1941. After reconstruction with one smokestack she served as the USAT George Washington.
    US Navy photo # NH 105644 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center, donated by CAPT. Stephen S. Roberts, USNR Ret., 2008.
    Robert Hurst
    USAT George Washington
    Catlin 60k Halftone reproduction of a photo of USAT George Washington taken circa 1943-1945. Copied from the book "Troopships of World War II", by Roland W. Charles.
    US Navy photo # NH 85263 from the collections of the US Navy Historical Center.
    US Naval Historical Center

    USS George Washington / Catlin (AP-19)
    DANFS history entry located at the US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    MARAD Vessel History Database
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    Last Updated 5 November 2014