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Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive

Democracy (ID 2215)

Freighter: Built in 1917 as Jupiter by the Standard Shipbuilding Corp., Staten Island, NY for Soc les Affreteurs Réunis, Le Harve, France; Completed in November 1917; Renamed Democracy in August 1918; Acquired by the Navy, 23 October 1918; Commissioned USS Democracy (ID 2215), 26 October 1918; Decommissioned, 15 September 1919 at Brooklyn, NY and transferred to the United States Shipping Board (USSB) the same day; Acquired in 1920 by the French American Line, Inc. and returned to the USSB the same year; Acquired in 1925 by the Finkbine-Guild Lumber Co. of Jackson, MS; Acquired in 1929 by the Charles Nelson Shipping Co.; Acquired in 1936 by the Swayne and Hoyt Lines and renamed Point Arena; Acquired in 1940 by Cia Arena of Panama and renamed Arena; Acquired in 1942 by Irish interests and renamed Irish Plane; Wrecked 2 January 1947 near Cork, Ireland

Specifications: Displacement 10,562 t.; Length 392' 6"; Beam 62'; Draft 23' 8"; Speed 10 kts.; Complement 60; Armament one 5" and one 3".

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for full size image
Size Image Description Source
Democracy 70k At anchor, circa 1918.
U.S. Navy photo NH 94485
Naval Historical Center
Democracy 124k At Danzig in 1919.
Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007.
Naval Historical Center photo NH 104447
Naval Historical Center

Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships:


A system of government in which the supreme power is retained by the people and exercised either directly or through a system of representation.

Democracy, a cargo ship, was built in 1917 as Jupiter by Standard Shipbuilding Corp., Staten Island, N.Y. operated in World War I with convoys until requisitioned and acquired by the Navy 23 October 1918; commissioned 26 October 1918, Lieutenant Commander G. Wright, USNRF, in command; and assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service.

Until 7 March 1919 Democracy carried coal from Cardiff to French ports for the Army. On 13 March she was transferred to the Food Administration and carried foodstuffs from Rotterdam and French ports to Danzig. She sailed from St. Nazaire, France 6 June for Revel, Estonia, arriving on the 18th, and unloaded food for transshipment into Russia to relieve the famine there. Returning to Rotterdam 16 July she was commended for her efficiency by Herbert Hoover, Director of the Food Administration.

Democracy cleared Cardiff 1 August 1919 and transferred Army ordnance and equipment from Brest France, to the United States, arriving at Tompkinsville, N.Y., on the 15th. She was decommissioned at Brooklyn 15 September 1919 and delivered to the Shipping Board for disposal the same day.

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