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Identification Numbered Vessel Photo Archive

Kroonland (ID 1541)

Navy call sign:
George - Boy - Jig - Rush

Civilian call sign (1919):
King - Rush - Sail - Cast

Kroonland served both the U. S. Army and Navy


  • Built in 1902 by William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, PA
  • Acquired by the Army 18 February 1918
  • Transferred to the Navy and commissioned 25 April 1918
  • Decommissioned 1 October 1919 and returned to her owners, the International Merchantile Marine Co. of New York
  • Sold for scrap 29 January 1927 and broken up in March 1927 at Genoa, Italy.


  • Displacement 22,200 t.
  • Length 580'
  • Beam 60'
  • Draft 31' 1"
  • Speed 14 kts.
  • Complement 414
  • Armament: Four 4"/50 mounts, two 1-pounders and two machine guns
  • Propulsion: Nine single ended and one auxiliary boiler, two 5,100hp vertical triple expansion steam engines, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    SS Kroonland
    Kroonland 72k Undated post cards Tommy Trampp
    Kroonland 73k
    Kroonland 267k Postcard dated 7 July 1902
    Kroonland 59k c. 1903
    Oil on canvas painting of the passenger steamer SS Kroonland by Antonio Jacobsen (1850-1921)
    Robert Hurst
    Kroonland 94k Photographed prior to World War I.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 100556
    Naval Historical Center
    Kroonland 45k 2 February 1915
    Under tow in the Culebra Cut while transiting the Panama Canal. Kroonland was the largest passenger ship to that time to transit the canal
    Photo by Underwood & Underwood from "The Book of History: A History of All Nations from the Earliest Times to the Present, Volume XV: The United States, Flinders Petrie, W. M.; Holland Thompson; et al., New York: The Grolier Society, 1915 OCLC 652342
    Robert Hurst
    Kroonland 94k Five passenger steamers tied up at the Chelsea Piers, circa early 1917, before the United States entered World War I. Kroonland is at right, with her name painted on her side. Tug Victor J. Newton is in the center of the image, with her stern toward the camera.
    Courtesy of the International Mercantile Marine Company.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 52091
    Naval Historical Center
    USS Kroonland (ID 1541)
    Kroonland 213k . Tommy Trampp
    Kroonland 94k View of the ship's after portion, starboard side, in November 1917. She is painted in Mackay system low-visibility camouflage and has a gun mounted atop her after deckhouse.
    Courtesy of the International Mercantile Marine Company.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 52092
    Naval Historical Center
    Kroonland 85k In a harbor, 1918, while painted in "dazzle" camouflage.
    Courtesy of James A. Turner Jr., from the collection of Samuel A. Turner Jr., who served in USS Wakiva (SP-160) during World War I.
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 105584
    Robert Hurst
    Kroonland 94k At the New York Navy Yard, 24 July 1918.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 52093
    Naval Historical Center
    Kroonland 96k Troops come aboard the ship for transportation home, at St. Nazaire, France, 11 March 1919
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 51007
    Robert Hurst
    Kroonland 59k Four-inch gun mounted on the ship's starboard quarter, with the National Ensign flying from the flagstaff beyond, 21 March 1919
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 41701
    Kroonland 104k 23 March 1919
    Crewmen aboard Kroonland firing at a floating mine with a Lewis machine gun and a 1-pounder gun
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 51016
    Kroonland 71k Looking aft, while she was steaming in heavy seas during a trans-Atlantic passage, circa March 1919
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 51077
    Kroonland 113k In port in 1919, while employed bringing U.S. service personnel home from Europe
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2005
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 103136
    Kroonland 104k Photographed in 1919
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2005
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 103137
    Kroonland 117k Arriving in a U.S. port (probably New York) in 1919, with her decks crowded with troops returning from Europe.
    Photographed by E. Muller Jr., New York City. The reverse of the original print features a credit to the Army Transport Photograph Co., 204 Franklin St., New York
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 104599
    Kroonland 174k YMCA Ocean Transport Service postcard from Private Frank M. Grove (1887-1926), #3751746, Army MG Co 111 Inf, to his mother in Janesville Wisconsin. Vessel listed
    was Kroonland.

    "Dear Mother, We arrived April 29th. We are at Camp Dix at present. Will be Mustered out at Camp Sherman. Will probaly [sic] be Home inside of the Middle of May. We are to Parade in Pittsburg [sic] on our way West."

    I believe this was a soldier on the USS Kroonland troop transport from France on April 18, 1919 and arrived in New York City on April 29, 1919

    Jerry Elarton
    Photos added 16 July 2020
    Kroonland 209
    Kroonland 79k In port prior to the removal of her guns, circa early 1919
    Donation of Charles R. Haberlein, Jr., 2008
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 105842
    Robert Hurst
    Kroonland 50k Removing one of the ship's deck guns in 1919. Note the Battle Efficiency "E" and the ship's name painted on the gun's shield
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 105418
    SS Kroonland
    Kroonland 290k 25 October 1923
    The Panama Pacific Line steamer SS Kroonland passes through the Pedro Miguel Lock of the Panama Canal. This was Kroonland's her first voyage on this route, and first canal transit, since 1915. American modernist poet Wallace Stevens and American baseball shortstop Ray French [The Brooklyn Robins] were both on Kroonland during this voyage
    Photo by James Gordon Steese (21 January 188211 January 1958)
    Robert Hurst

    Commanding Officers
    01CDR Manley Hale Simons, USN - USNA Class of 1901
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1920) - Retired as Rear Admiral
    22 April 1918 - 27 August 1918
    02CDR Ralph Mancil Griswold, USN - USNA Class of 1902
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1920)
    27 August 1918 - 1919
    03LCDR Charles Newman, USNRF1 October 1919
    Courtesy Bill Gonyo, Ron Reeves and Joe Radigan

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships: Kroonland was built in 1902 by William Cramp & Sons, Philadelphia, Pa., for the International Merchantile Marine Co. and operated as a passenger liner principally between New York and Antwerp. On 2 February 1915 en route to San Francisco, she was one of the first passenger liners to transit the Panama Canal. In 1916 she transferred to the American Line and ran between New York and Liverpool.

    Shortly before the United States entered World War I, the Navy placed guns on the ship, and an armed naval guard embarked 25 March 1917 to protect her from German submarines. On the morning of 20 May 1917, while the liner steamed through a heavy fog toward Liverpool, a torpedo struck her without exploding. Two minutes later her lookouts spotted a submarine bearing down on Kroonland so close aboard that the liner's guns could not be depressed enough to open fire on the raider. Although the U-boat, apparently also taken by surprise, reversed her screws and tried to turn to avoid a collision, she lightly struck the liner's hull and scrapped along her side before diving out of sight. Meanwhile two more torpedoes came with some 20 feet of hitting Kroonland's stern. That afternoon the liner sighted another submarine surfaced some 1,000 yards off her port quarter. Kroonland immediately began shelling the U-boat, forcing her to dive for safety.

    The Army took over the ship, at New York 18 February 1918, loaded her with military equipment, and sent her to St. Nazaire, France. After returning New York 9 April, Kroonland was converted to a troop transport by William J. Kennedy Co. The Navy acquired and commissioned her 22 April, Commander Manley H. Simons in command. As a naval transport, she made five round-trip voyages to France before the Armistice.

    On 10 July, as she steamed homeward from her second voyage for the Navy, a lookout spotted a periscope rising from the water about 200 yards away. Kroonland opened fire and the fourth shot from her No. 4 gun "burst with a tremendous cloud of dirty blue smoke" exactly on the periscope. The submarine zig-zagged "erratically back and forth until she was directly in the disturbed water of our wake." The transport continued firing until the submarine disappeared, leaving an oil slick which could be seen for at least 15 minutes.

    After the war Kroonland shuttled across the Atlantic returning American veterans. She decommissioned and was returned to her owner 1 October 1919. On 14 April 1920 she resumed commercial runs between the United States and Europe. In 1923 she transferred to Panama Pacific Line to sail between New York and San Francisco. She was scrapped in 1927.

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