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Identification Numbered Ships Photo Archive

USS Mexican (ID 1655)

Navy call sign (1917):
George - Quack - Mike - Rush

Navy call sign (1919):
Nan - Able - Mike - George

ex-USAT Mexican

Civilian call sign (1919):
King - Watch - Boy - Cast

Acquired Freighter:
  • Built by Union Iron Works, San Francisco, CA (YN 84)
  • Launched, 29 December 1906
  • Completed for American-Hawaiian SS Co., New York, NY, as freighter Mexican (ON 203971), April 1907
  • Acquired by the War Department on bareboat charter, 10 December 1917
  • Transferred to Navy, 23 December 1917
  • Commissioned USS Mexican (ID-1655) the same day
  • Operated on Army account by NOTS (Naval Oversea Transportation Service) as animal transport, December 1917 - December 1918
  • Transferred to Cruiser and Transport Force for use as troop transport, 13 December 1918
  • Decommissioned and returned to owners, 04 August 1919
  • Acquired by WSA (War Shipping Administration), 1944
  • Converted to animal transport at New Orleans, August-October 1944
  • Operated in Pacific, 1944 - 1945
  • Operated for UNRRA (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration) as livestock transport transporting animals to war-torn countries, 1945-1947
  • Final disposition, broken up by Georgia Marine & Salvage Co., Brunswick, GA, 3rd quarter 1948

  • Displacement: 8579 gross registered tons, 19,550 tons displacement
  • Length: 488' 3" overall
  • Beam: 57' 2"
  • Draft: 32' 3"
  • Speed: 13 knots
  • Complement: 108
  • Armament: One 6"/50 mount and one 6-pounder
  • Propulsion:
    Four single ended and one auxiliary boiler
    two vertical triple expansion steam engines (24.5"-42"-65" x 45")
    two shafts, 4000ihp

    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    SS Mexican
    200k Undated post card Tommy Trampp
    385k In port, possibly when she was inspected by the 12th Naval District on 10 June 1917
    Naval History & Heritage Command photo NH 65104
    Naval History and Heritage Command
    USS Mexican (ID 1655)
    72k Shane Olson
    433k Photographed circa late 1918, possibly while undergoing conversion from an animal transport to a troopship. She appears to in the process of having her World War I "dazzle" camouflage replaced by an overall gray color scheme. The reverse of photo bears the following penciled inscription: "Left St. Nazair (sic) France Apr. 3 1918 in U.S. Ship Mexican."
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 103457, donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2006
    Robert Hurst
    162k Panoramic photograph of the ship at St. Nazaire, France, in 1919, while serving as a troop transport. USS Roanoke (ID 1695), a former minelayer also employed as a troop transport, is at right.
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 99394, courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. Collection of Lieutenant Charles Dutreaux
    Naval History and Heritage Command
    208k Probably at St. Nazaire, France, with two children in the foreground, and homeward-bound troops on the ship's decks, circa 11 June 1919
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 105718
    Robert Hurst
    95k RPPC of Mexican at St. Nazaire to load the 3rd Pioneer Infantry for transport stateside, July 1919. Dave Wright
    87k RPPC of Mexican at St. Nazaire, 11 July 1919. Dave Wright
    464k Troops boarding the ship for passage home, 1919. Probably taken at St. Nazaire, France
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 105873, donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2008
    Robert Hurst
    305k Homeward-bound troops boarding the ship in a French port (probably St. Nazaire), 1919
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 107057, donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2010
    Robert Hurst
    94k Arriving at New York with homeward-bound troops on board, 1919
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 105771, donation of Charles R Haberlein Jr., 2008
    Robert Hurst
    SS Mexican
    82k c. 1924
    Photo from
    Robert Hurst
    340k Saratoga (CV-3) in drydock at Hunters Point, San Francisco, California, circa the early 1930s. Mexican is in the right distance
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 94849, courtesy of PHC John Highfill, USN (Retired)
    172k Mexican was used as a mule transport for much of World War II.
    U.S. Army Military History Institute photo from "U.S. Army Ships and Watercraft of World War II" by David H. Grover
    494k The mule transport Mexican during World War II, date and location unknown.
    Army Signal Corps photo
    Dave Wright

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR Crosby Astor Keene, USNRF 1 1918 - 1919
    1. All Navy records indicate his name was Crosby Astor Keene, but census and merchant marine records give his name as Astor Crosby Keene.

    Courtesy Joe Radigan and Wolfgang Hechler

    View the Mexican (ID 1655)
    DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command website
    Back to the Main Photo Index Back to the Identification Numbered Ships (ID) Photo Index Back to the U.S. Army Transport Photo Index

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    This page was created by Joseph M. Radigan and is maintained by David L. Wright
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History
    Last Updated 25 February 2024