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Identification Numbered Vessel Photo Archive

Tjisondari (ID 2783)


  • Built in 1915 by Koninklijke Maatschappij de Schelde, Flushing, Holland
  • Acquired by the Navy 22 March 1918
  • Commissioned 3 April 1918
  • Decommissioned 23 August 1919 at Manila, Philippines and returned to her owner
  • Scrapped in 1939.


  • Displacement 17,350 t.
  • Length 510' 6"
  • Beam 58' 4"
  • Draft 26' 10"
  • Speed 12 kts.
  • Complement 70
  • Armament: One 6"/50 and one 3"/50 mount
  • Propulsion: Six single ended boilers, one 5,000hp vertical triple expansion steam engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Tjisondari 65k
    Tjisondari 82k Photo F45340 from the Royal Nedlloyd Group at the Maritime Museum Rotterdam, The Netherlands Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 27 September 2020
    Tjisondari 100k These photos may have been taken when she was inspected by the Twelfth Naval District on 6 May 1918
    Naval Historical Center photos NH 69305 and NH 105285
    Robert Hurst
    Tjisondari 112k
    Tjisondari 125k Tjisondari at Copenhagen, Denmark in March 1919
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2010
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 107327
    Mike Green

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR Arthur B. Sowden, USNRF1918
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships: Tjisondari-a freighter built in 1915 at Flushing, Holland, by Koninklijke Maatschappij de Schelde and owned and operated under the Dutch flag by the Java China-Japan Line-was seized by American customs officials in the Philippine Islands at Manila after the United States entered World War I. The ship was taken over by the Navy from the United States Shipping Board on 22 March 1918 and commissioned on 3 April.

    Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, the ship sailed five days later for the west coast of the United States and reached San Francisco on 5 May. There, she was refitted for naval service, loaded with Army supplies, and got underway on the 29th for the east coast. After steaming south to Panama, she transited the canal, proceeded north along the Atlantic coast, and arrived at New York on 20 June. Following minor repairs and bunkering with coal, Tjisondari sailed in convoy on Independence Day for France. The Allied ships reached Brest on the 19th- and, the next day, she began discharging her cargo at St. Nazaire. She headed homeward in convoy on 15 August and returned to New York on the 26th.

    After taking on another cargo of Army supplies, the vessel got underway again in convoy for Europe on 6 September. Her convoy made port at St. Nazaire on the 25th and proceeded thence to Brest where she unloaded. Sailing for the United States on 17 October, she entered New York harbor on the 28th. While there, stalls were built in the ship enabling her to carry 721 horses. The ship then took on cargo, filled her stalls with horses, and sailed once more for France on 27 November. The ship entered Quiberon Bay on 9 December discharged her cargo, and headed home. However, after she passed between Cape May and Cape Henlopen, the ship ran aground and damaged her hull while ascending the Delaware River. Hence, when she finally reached Philadelphia on 6 January 1919, the vessel badly needed
    yard work.

    Repairs and reloading delayed the ship at Philadelphia until she got underway on 19 February, bound for Denmark laden with flour. She discharged her cargo at Copenhagen and headed homeward on
    29 March.

    Tjisondari made port at New York on 10 April and following voyage repairs, headed for Hampton Roads on the 23d. She took on board a cargo of oil at Norfolk and carried it-via the Panama Canal, San Francisco and Hong Kong-to the Philippines. She reached Manila on 23 May. Three months later, on 23 August the ship was decommissioned and returned to her owner.

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