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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

DeKalb (ID 3010)



Navy call sign:
George - Rush - Quack - Jig

Transport:

  • Built in 1901 as Prinz Eitel Friedrich by Vulcan Co., Stettin, Germany
  • Acquired by the Navy in April 1917
  • Renamed DeKalb 12 May 1917 and commissioned USS DeKalb (ID 3010) the same day
  • Decommissioned 22 September 1919
  • Transferred to the United States Shipping Board 23 September 1919
  • Sold in 1920 to the United American Lines and renamed Mount Clay
  • Laid up in 1925
  • Sold in 1928 to the Pacific Steamship Co. of San Francisco, CA
  • Scrapped in 1934.

    Specifications:

  • Displacement 14,180 t.
  • Length 506' 6"
  • Beam 55' 6"
  • Draft 26'
  • Speed 16 kts.
  • Complement 534
  • Armament: Eight 5" mounts and six 3" mounts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    SS Prinz Eitel Friedrich
    DeKalb 89k c. 1915
    Port bow and port quarter views
    Library of Congress photos LC-DIG-hec-05587 and LC-DIG-hec-05594 from the Harris and Ewing collection
    Tom Kerman
    DeKalb 105k
    DeKalb 116k c. 1915
    Port quarter view of SS Prinz Eitel Friedrich
    Library of Congress photo LC-B2-3407-4
    Mike Green
    DeKalb 110k Eitel Friedrich, being assisted to a dry dock, circa 1915
    Library of Congress photo LC-H261- 4995
    DeKalb 105k c. 1915
    Library of Congress photo LC-H261- 5007
    DeKalb 252k c. 1917
    Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, VA
    Kronprinz Wilhelm moored outboard of Prinz Eitel Friedrich interned at Portsmouth Navy Yard prior to moving to Philadelphia
    Photo from the Norfolk, Va Public Library website
    Mike Mohl
    Von Steuben 110k Kronprinz Wilhelm and Prinz Eitel Friedrich (left) interned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, on 26 March 1917, shortly before they were seized by the United States. They are still flying the German flag, and German guns are visible on Prinz Eitel Friedrich's stern. During 1917-19, these ships respectively served as USS Von Steuben (ID 3017) and USS
    DeKalb (ID 3010)

    U.S. Navy photo NH 42416
    Naval Historical Center
    Von Steuben 104k Prinz Eitel Friedrich and Kronprinz Wilhelm (left) interned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, on 26 March 1917, shortly before they were seized by the United States. Photographed from on board USS Salem
    U.S. Navy photo NH 42417
    Von Steuben 96k Prinz Eitel Friedrich and Kronprinz Wilhelm (left) interned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, prior to the U.S. entry into World War I. They are still flying German flags. Note U.S. Navy target raft at right
    Courtesy of Paul H. Silverstone, 1983
    U.S. Navy photo NH 94986
    DeKalb 91k Kronprinz Wilhelm interned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, on 26 March 1917, shortly before she was seized by the United States. Visible on her opposite side are the masts and funnels of the interned liner Prinz Eitel Friedrich.
    Photographed by Replogle.
    U.S. Navy Photo NH 42420
    Von Steuben 118k Prinz Eitel Friedrich interned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, on 28 March 1917. Behind her is the liner Kronprinz Wilhelm.
    U.S. Navy Photo NH 54659
    DeKalb 122k Prinz Eitel Friedrich. Sailors pose with empty beer barrels removed from the ship's hold, 20 April 1917, soon after she was seized by the United States.
    U.S. Navy Photo NH 54657
    DeKalb 135k Prinz Eitel Friedrich. Sailors on the pier at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, with items removed from the ship's hold, 20 April 1917, soon after she was seized by the United States. Empty wine bottles are specifically identified, in left center.
    U.S. Navy Photo NH 54658
    USS DeKalb (ID 3010)
    DeKalb 67k Moored at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, on 11 June 1917, the day before she sailed to transport U.S. troops to the European war zone.
    U.S. Navy Photo NH 54654
    Naval Historical Center
    DeKalb 106k Taking U.S. Marines on board for transportation to Europe, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, 6:00 A.M., 12 June 1917
    U.S. Navy Photo NH 54652
    DeKalb 86k Leaving the pier at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, 6:09 A.M., 12 June 1917, en route to the European war zone with U.S. troops on board
    U.S. Navy Photo NH 54653
    DeKalb 113k Tied up at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, after returning from France, 1917. Note sign on the lamp post in the foreground, marking the intersection of 2nd Street West and Preble Avenue
    U.S. Navy Photo NH 54655
    DeKalb 133k Tied up at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, 18 February 1918. Note her camouflage scheme, ice in the Delaware River, and battleships in the left background
    U.S. Navy Photo NH 54662
    DeKalb 99k Underway, circa 1918, probably in New York Harbor. Note the pattern camouflage she wore during the latter part of World War I
    Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, D.C., 1969.
    U.S. Navy Photo NH 68750
    DeKalb 37k In port, circa 1917-1919, with U.S. battleships in the background
    U.S. Navy Photo NH 100562
    DeKalb 89k In port, with a small tug alongside, 1919.
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 105165
    Robert Hurst
    DeKalb 73k 5 January 1919
    Brest, France
    U.S. Army Signal Corps photo 54197 from the Imperial War Museum (Photo IWM(Q 58257), American First World War Official Exchange Collection
    Mike Green
    SS DeKalb
    DeKalb 96k In the Hudson River near Sputtan Duyvill Creek, on 16 December 1919, after she had been damaged by fire. The fire broke out while the ship was lying ready to be converted to an oil burner for the South American trade. Her skeleton crew of 35 men was removed safely and the vessel beached
    U.S. Navy Photo NH 54663
    Naval Historical Center
    SS Mount Clay
    DeKalb 289k Undated post card Tommy Trampp

    Commanding Officers
    01CDR Walter Rockwell Gherardi, USN - USNA Class of 1895
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1918) - Retired as Rear Admiral
    12 May 1917
    02CAPT Luther Martin Overstreet, USN - USNA Class of 1895
    Awarded the Navy Cross (1918) - Retired as Rear Admiral
    1918
    Courtesy Joe Radigan and Bill Gonyo

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships History:

    DeKalb

    General Baron DeKalb was born in Huittendorf, Bavaria, Germany in 1721. In 1768 he visited the American colonies on a secret mission for the French government, and on the outbreak of the Revolution volunteered his services to the Americans. Given the rank of Major General by Congress, 15 September 1777, he served at Camden, S.C., with General Gates, and gave distinguished aid to the American cause before being mortally wounded while fighting at the head of his troops 16 August 1780. He died 3 days later.

    DeKalb (No. 3010), a transport, was launched 18 June 1901 by Vulcan Co., Stettin, Germany, as Prinz Eitel Friedrich. She put in to Norfolk 11 March 1915 for repairs, and failing to leave in the time prescribed by international law was interned in April and moved to Philadelphia. When the United States entered World War I, she was seized by Customs officials and transferred to the Navy. Reconditioned and refitted as a troop transport, she was renamed DeKalb, and commissioned 12 May 1917, Commander W. R. Gherardi in command.

    DeKalb was assigned to the Cruiser and Transport Force, Atlantic Fleet, and on 14 June 1917 sailed in the convoy carrying the first troops of the American Expeditionary Forces to France. In the next 18 months DeKalb made 11 such voyages, carrying 11,334 soldiers safely. With the end of the war, she continued her transport duty returning 20,332 troops from Europe in eight voyages. On 6 September 1919 she was turned over to the Commandant, 3d Naval district. She was decommissioned 22 September 1919 and returned to the Shipping Board for disposal the following day.


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