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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Wilmette (IX-29)
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Wilmette (IX-29) (1941 - 1945)
USS Wilmette (1918 - 1941)


International Radio Call Sign:
November - Alpha - Victor - Delta
NAVD
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons


Precedence of awards is from top to bottom, left to right
Top Row - World War I Victory Medal (with Atlantic Fleet clasp)
Bottom Row - American Defense Medal (with Fleet clasp) - American Campaign Medal - World War II Victory Medal


  • Built as SS Eastland in 1903 at Jinks Shipbuilding Co. Port Huron, MI.
  • Acquired by the Navy, 21 November 1917, from the Central Trust Co. of Illinois
  • Converted for Naval service as a Gunboat
  • Commissioned USS Wilmette, 20 September 1918, CAPT. William B. Wells in command
  • Placed In Ordinary, 9 July 1919 at Chicago, IL.
  • Recommissioned, 29 June 1920
  • Decommissioned, and placed in service, 15 February, 1940
  • Designated Miscellaneous Auxiliary (IX-29), 17 February 1941
  • Recommissioned, 9 April 1945
  • Decommissioned, 28 November 1945
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 19 December 1945
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping 31 October 1946 to Hyman Michaels Co.
    Specifications:
    Displacement 2,600 t.(est)
    Length 265'
    Beam 38' 2"
    Draft 19' 6"
    Speed 16.5 kts.
    Complement 209
    Armament
    one single 5"/38 cal dual purpose gun mount
    one single 4"50 cal gun mount
    four single 3"/50 cal dual purpose gun mounts
    Ship's Service Generators
    one recip-drive 60Kw 120V D.C.
    one recip-drive 35Kw 120V D.C.
    Propulsion
    two triple expansion-steam turbines
    twin propellers, 3,000shp

    Click On Image
    For Full Size Image
    Size Image Description Contributed
    By
    Merchant Service
    Wilmette 80k The Chicago - South Haven Steamship Line steamer SS Eastland getting underway, circa 1905-07, location unknown. Photo source Eastland Disaster Historical Society. Robert Hurst
    Wilmette 20k Post card image of SS Eastland in the livery of the Eastland Navigation Co., Cleveland, OH. and SS Christopher Columbus underway from Chicago, in 1909. Robert Hurst
    Wilmette 123k SS Eastland circa 1915 in the markings of her new owner, the St. Joseph-Chicago Steamship Co.
    Photo courtesy Shipscribe.com
    Mike Green
    Wilmette 146k SS Eastland being raised with the assistance of SS Favorite (later IX-45) in the Chicago River in August 1915.
    Photo courtesy Shipscribe.com
    Mike Green
    USS Wilmette (IX-29)
    Wilmette 19k USS Wilmette moored pierside showing camouflage pattern N 77 design A. A World War One pattern. Aryeh Wetherhorn
    Wilmette 170k USS Wilmette moored south of the lock gate of the Chicago River in Chicago, IL. Navy Pier is visible in the background, circa winter 1918.
    US National Archives photo # 19-N-10494, a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US National Archives.
    Ken Laesser
    Wilmette 28k USS Wilmette moored at the Navy Pier in Chicago, IL., date unknown. Gunter Krebs
    Wilmette 101k USS Wilmette underway off Chicago, IL. circa early 1920s.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo # 19-N-14232 a US Navy Bureau of Ships photo now in the collections of the US Naval History and Heritage Command. Courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Mike Green
    Wilmette 145k USS Wilmette underway on the Great Lakes circa 1930s.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo # 76513. Courtesy Shipscribe.com.
    Mike Green
    Wilmette 147k USS Wilmette moored at Chicago, IL., circa 1932. Robert Peterson
    Wilmette 202k USS Wilmette moored at Navy Pier Chicago, IL., date unknown. Everett Sykes

    USS Wilmette (IX-29)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)

    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT. Wells, William Benefiel20 September 1918 - ?
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

    Crew Contact And Reunion Information
    U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation - Navy Log

    Additional Resources and Web Sites of Interest
    Eastland Disaster Historical Society
    Maritime Quest - SS Eastland / USS Wilmette IX-29
    Back To The Navsource Photo Archives Main Page Back To The Service Ship Type Index Back To The Miscellaneous Auxiliary (IX) Ship Photo Index
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 19 May 2017