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Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive

USAT Etolin
ex-USS Matsonia (ID 1589)



Navy call sign:
George - Quack - Love - Boy



Civilian call sign (1919):
Love - Dog - George - Vice

Matsonia served both the U. S. Navy and Army.


Transport:

  • Built in 1913 by the Newport News Ship Building Co., Newport News, VA
  • Acquired by the Navy, 22 January 1918
  • Commissioned USS Matsonia (ID 1589), 1 March 1918
  • Decommissioned, 12 September 1919 and returned to her owners
  • Laid up in 1932 at Antioch, CA
  • Sold in 1937 to the Alaska Packers of San Francisco, CA and renamed Etolin
  • Chartered by the Army as a troopship in August 1940 and commissioned USAT Etolin
  • Transferred to the War Shipping Administration in April 1946 and laid up in the James River, Virginia, reserve fleet
  • Scrapped in 1957 at Baltimore MD.

    Specifications:

  • Displacement 16,500 t.
  • Length 501' 4"
  • Beam 58' 1"
  • Draft 29'
  • Speed 17 kts.
  • Complement 72 (civiliam 1919)
  • Armament: Four 6" mounts, two 1-pounders, and two machine guns
  • Propulsion: Two 4,250ihp steam engines, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    SS Matsonia
    Matsonia 77k In port, prior to her World War I Naval service.
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 99592
    Robert Hurst
    Matsonia 132k Halftone reproduction of a photograph of the S.S. Matsonia taken prior to the ship's U.S. Navy service.
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2006
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 103995
    USS Matsonia (ID 1589)
    Matsonia 123k Undated post card Tommy Trampp
    Matsonia 59k Underway at sea in 1918, while transporting 4800 American Soldiers from the U.S. to France for World War I service.
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007.
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 104808
    Robert Hurst
    Matsonia 204k 25 February 1919
    Officers and crew of Matsonia
    Photo by Lindsey, 188 9th Avenue, New York City
    Jim Geldert
    Matsonia 84k Panoramic photograph of the ship in 1919. Photographed from on board another U.S. Navy troop transport. Stack marking on the tug at right indicates that the view was taken as Matsonia was leaving St. Nazaire, France.
    Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. Collection of Lieutenant Charles Dutreaux.
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 99397
    Robert Hurst
    Matsonia 84k Steams in a U.S. harbor, accompanied by tugs, circa 1919.
    Probably photographed by E.P. Griffith, Newport News, Virginia.
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 102019
    Matsonia 99k In port during 1919, while employed transporting U.S. troops home from Europe.
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2005.
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 103281
    Matsonia 103k Arriving in New York Harbor at the end of a voyage from Europe, 1919 with troops crowding her deck. The Statue of Liberty is in the left distance.
    Photographed by E. Muller Jr., New York.
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007.
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 104800
    Matsonia 145k At Newport News, Virginia, circa early 1919
    Donation of Charles R. Haberlein Jr., 2008
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 105969
    Matsonia 271k View showing troops marching along a New York Harbor waterfront, immediately after their arrival home from France. Matsonia is in the background
    Photograph printed on a stereograph card published by the Keystone View Company, circa 1919
    Donation of Charles R. Haberlein Jr., 2008
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 106250
    Matsonia 106k In port in 1919, while employed bringing troops home from Europe. Location is probably Newport News, Virginia
    Donation of Captain Stephen S. Roberts, USNR (Retired), 2008
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 105952
    Matsonia 131k At Newport News, Virginia, on 16 July 1919, with the freshly landed American Expeditionary Force troops in the foreground
    Donation of Charles R. Haberlein Jr., 2008
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 106244-A
    SS Matsonia
    Matsonia 104k Photographed on 14 April 1926. Burns (DM 11) is in the left background still wearing her destroyer hull number.
    Courtesy of the San Francisco Maritime Museum, San Francisco, California, 1972.
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 76070
    Robert Hurst
    Matsonia 25k Allen-Knight Maritime Museum photo from "U.S. Army Ships and Watercraft of World War II" by David H. Grover Tommy Trampp
    USAT Etolin
    Matsonia 117k Halftone reproduction of a photograph taken while the ship was in port during World War II.
    Copied from the book "Troopships of World War II", by Roland W. Charles.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 99615
    Naval Historical Center
    Matsonia 137k Allen-Knight Maritime Museum photo from "U.S. Army Ships and Watercraft of World War II" by David H. Grover Robert Hurst

    Commanding Officers
    01CAPT John M. Luby, USN - Awarded the Navy Cross (1918)1 March 1918
    02CDR John P. Jackson, USN - Awarded the Navy Cross (1918)1918 - 12 September 1919
    Courtesy Joe Radigan

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships: Matsonia (ID 1589), built by the Newport News Ship Building Co., Newport News, Va., in 1913, served the Matson Navigation Co. until taken over by the U.S. Shipping Board and turned over to the Navy at New York, 22 January 1918, for use as a troop transport. She was commissioned 1 March 1918, Capt. John M. Luby in command.

    Beginning 14 March, when she sailed for France with troops and Army cargo, Matsonia completed six round trips to Europe prior to the Armistice. During that time she transferred to Europe 13,329 passengers, and carried back only 10. After the Armistice she continued her transatlantic crossings to return over 23,000 troops in 8 voyages, ending such crossings at New York, 20 August 1919. She decommissioned 12 September 1919 and was returned to her former owner on the 11th.

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