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USS Artemis (ID 2187)



Navy call sign:
George - Jig - Dog - Nan

ex-USAT Artemis



Civilian call sign (1919):
Love - Have - Mike - George

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


Transport:

  • Built in 1902 as Iowa by Harland and Wolff, Ltd., Belfast, Ireland for the White Diamond Steamship Co., Ltd.
  • Acquired by the German Hamburg-America Line in 1912 and renamed Bohemia
  • Acquired by the Army in April 1917 and renamed USAT Artemis
  • Transferred to the Navy 23 February 1919
  • Commissioned USS Artemis (ID 2187), 8 April 1919 at Hoboken, NJ
  • Decommissioned and struck from the Navy list 18 October 1919 at Brooklyn, NY and returned to the United States Shipping Board
  • Acquired by the British Ministry of War Transport in 1941, the ship was renamed Empire Bittern
  • She remained under the British flag until expended as a blockship 23 June 1944 off the Normandy beaches at Arromanches, France.

    Specifications:

  • Displacement 17,837 t.
  • Length 500' 5"
  • Beam 58' 3"
  • Draft 27'
  • Speed 12 kts.
  • Complement 329
  • Armament: As USAT Artemis; one 5" and one 3" mount. As USS Artemis; none
  • Propulsion: Two 2,692ihp steam engines, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    SS Bohemia
    Artemis 255k Undated post card Tommy Trampp
    USAT Artemis
    Artemis 95k Halftone reproduction of a photograph showing the ship underway, circa 1917-1919.
    Courtesy of Boatswain's Mate First Class Robert G. Tippins, USN (Retired), 2005.
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 102872
    Robert Hurst
    Artemis 157k In port during or immediately after World War I. The barge Pennsylvania Railroad No. 241 is alongside Artemis' forward hold, with two other barges further aft.
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 99270
    USS Artemis (ID 2187)
    Artemis 339k 20 December 1918
    St. Nazaire, Loire Inferieure, France
    The Princess Matoika, entering the locks, is passing between the transport Finland [ID 4543] and the freighter, Artemis [ID 2187]
    U.S. Army Signal Corps photo
    Tommy Trampp
    Artemis 64k Underway in harbor, 1919.
    Photo received from the Caraway Company, Rutherford, New Jersey, 10 August 1936.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 57657-A
    Naval Historical Center
    Artemis 112k Artemis crowded with homeward-bound troops, 1919.
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2008.
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 105717
    Robert Hurst
    Artemis 210k Artemis at Newport News, Virginia, after arriving from Europe with troops of the U.S. Army's 54th Pioneer Infantry Regiment on 26 June 1919. Men of that regiment are in the foreground and on the pier beside the ship.
    Photographed by Holladay, Newport News, Virginia
    Donation of Charles R. Haberlein Jr., 2008.
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 105773-A
    Artemis 101k Arriving in U.S. waters, while transporting troops home from Europe, 3 August 1919.
    Panoramic photograph by Clements, 619 F. St. N.W., Washington, D.C.
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2006.
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 104154
    Artemis 135k Arriving at Newport News, Virginia on 3 August 1919, bringing home from Europe troops of the American Expeditionary Force and the Army of Occupation
    Panoramic photograph by Moore
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2011
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 107359
    Artemis 101k In port, probably at Newport News, Virginia, 1919.
    Donation of Charles R. Haberlein Jr., 2008.
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 106383
    Artemis 146k c. 1919
    Newport News, VA

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships History: The second Artemis was originally built as the steel-hulled, twin-screw passenger steamship Iowa. Completed in 1902 at Belfast, Ireland, by Harland and Wolff, Ltd., Iowa was owned by the White Diamond Steamship Co., Ltd., and operated by George Warren and Co., of Liverpool, England, until acquired by the German Hamburg-America Line and renamed Bohemia in 1912.

    The outbreak of hostilities in Europe in the summer of 1914 stranded many German and Austrian ships-Bohemia among them-in American ports. Seized by American customs officials after the United States entered World War I in April 1917, Bohemia was renamed Artemis, armed with a main battery of one 5-inch and one 3-inch gun, and placed in service as an Army transport. She served as USAT Artemis during World War I. Her battery was removed at Norfolk on 30 November 1918, and she completed her last voyage as an Army transport at New York on 23 February 1919.

    Turned over to the Navy at Fletcher's Drydock in Hoboken, N. J., Artemis-given the identification number (Id. No.) 2187- commissioned there on 8 April 1919, Comdr. John P. Jackson in command. Assigned to the Cruiser and Transport Force, Artemis sailed for France on 25 April 1919, and reached St. Nazaire on 8 May. Sailing for Newport News-one of the four primary ports of debarkation for the Cruiser and Transport Force on the 11th, she arrived at her destination on 24 May; that same day to Norfolk, she commenced her second transatlantic voyage cycle on 1 June.

    Besides her embarked returning doughboys, Artemis brought back a cargo of trucks to Newport News on her second voyage, arriving there on 26 June. Shifting to Norfolk the same day, the ship began her third round-trip voyage on 2 July, departing Norfolk for France. Arriving at St. Nazaire on 15 July, Artemis moved to Brest soon thereafter, and began the return trip from that port on 21 July. Arriving at Norfolk on 3 August, via Newport News, the ship underwent voyage repair at Norfolk from 6 to 9 August. She sailed thence for an on the latter day on her last voyage as a naval vessel, reaching St. Nazaire on 21 August. Sailing for the United States on 12 September, Artemis arrived at New York on the morning of 23 September, mooring at pier 3, Army Base, Brooklyn. Shifting to steamship pier 2 Army Base, on 8 October, Artemis was decommissioned on 18 October 1919. During her career as a Navy transport, she had brought home 11,760 troops. Her name was struck from the Navy list on 18 October 1919, and the ship was transferred to the United States Shipping Board (USSB) for disposition.

    The USSB's fourth annual report, for the fiscal year ending 30 June 1920, lists Artemis as being transferred to the France and Canada Steamship Corp. to be operated by that company, but this may never have come to pass, since contemporary merchant vessel registers refer only to her USSB ownership. Likewise, lists of ships operated by the France and Canada Steamship Co. do not contain Artemis. Laid up by 1923, Artemis remained inactive through the 1930's and into World War II, in the hands of the USSB and its successor, the United States Maritime Commission. Acquired by the British Ministry of War Transport in 1941, the ship was renamed Empire Bittern. She remained under the British flag until expended as a blockship off the Normandy beaches in June 1944.


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