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Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive

Ohioan (ID 3280)

Navy call sign:
George - Fox - King - Cast

Civilian call sign (1919):
Love - Dog - Mike - King


  • Built in 1914 by the Maryland Steel Co., Sparrows Point, MD
  • Launched 18 April 1914
  • Completed in June 1914
  • Acquired by the Navy 5 August 1918
  • Commissioned 7 August 1918
  • Decommissioned 6 October 1919 and returned to her owner
  • Wrecked 7 October 1936 off Land's End, Point Lobos, CA and declared a total loss.


  • Displacement 14,500 t.
  • Length 428' 7"
  • Beam 53' 8"
  • Draft 29' 6"
  • Speed 12 kts.
  • Complement 70
  • Armament: One 5"40 and one 3"/50 mount
  • Propulsion: Three single ended and one auxiliary boiler, one 3,880ihp verticle quadruple expansion steam engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    SS Ohioan
    Ohioan 77k Photographed prior to her World War I era Naval service
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 65129
    Robert Hurst
    USS Ohioan (ID 3280)
    Ohioan 112k In port in 1919, while serving as a troop transport
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2005
    U.S. Navy photo NH 103055
    Naval Historical Center
    Ohioan 119k Crowded with homeward bound troops, 1919. The reverse side is inscribed: " and here is the old tub' herself pullimg into the dock at Philly, loaded with troops."
    Donation of Charles R. Haberlein, 2008
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 106382
    Robert Hurst
    SS Ohioan
    Ohioan 286k 6 October 1936
    Aground on Seal Rock outside the Golden Gate
    Darryl Baker
    Ohioan 48k c. 1936/1937 George Harper
    Ohioan 48k
    Ohioan 41k
    Ohioan 48k
    Ohioan 68k Shipwrecks off Parallel Point in 1937. The Ohioan is in the left foreground and the Frank H. Buck, ex-USS Frank H. Buck (ID 1613) is in the right background Joe Radigan

    Photos from the collection of Otto Palme, Crewmember USS Ohioan (ID 3280)

    Contributed by his grandson Joe Myers

    (If you know the identity of any of these crew members, please send an email with their names)

    Click on thumbnail for full size photo

    1. Commanding Officer
    LCDR F. W. Switcher, USNRF

    2. Executive Officer
    LT Archie Wilcox, USNRF

    3. Some of the crew
    c. 1919

    4. Otto Palme, back row, second from the left
    c. 1919

    5. St. Nazaire Harbor
    c. 1919

    6. Two unidentified troop transports at the Army Transport Service Pier No. 4
    Hoboken, NJ
    c. 1919

    7. St. Nazaire Harbor
    c. 1919

    8. Taking mail aboard
    c. 1919

    9. Carrier Pigeon Company. This would have included the famous Cher Ami (Dear Friend) who delivered a message that helped save the "Lost Battalion" when the 77th Division was surrounded in the Argonne Forest during the Muese-Argonne Offensive on October 8, 1918. Cher Ami delivered the message, continuing her flight even after being wounded by German soldiers. She lost a leg and sight in one eye, but survived to make it back to the U.S. on the Ohioan. She died in Fort Monmouth, NJ, June 13, 1919 at the age of 9, and her body was preserved and is at the Smithsonian Institute

    10. Troops heading home
    c. 1919

    11. Troops heading home
    c. 1919

    12. Troops heading home
    c. 1919

    13. Looking forward
    St. Nazaire, France
    c. 1919

    14. St. Nazaire, France
    c. 1919

    15. Underway with troops returning home
    c. 1919

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships History: Ohioan (ID 3280), built in 1914 by the Maryland Steel Co., Sparrows Point, Md., was acquired by the Navy 5 August 1918 on loan charter from the American-Hawaiian S.S. Co., New York City, and commissioned 7 August 1918.

    Assigned to Navy Overseas Transportation Service, on the Army account, Ohioan was refitted, loaded with general cargo and dispatched to St. Nazaire, France, arriving 29 August. She spent the next month there and at Brest, and on 1 October sailed for New York where horse stalls were added; and on 1 November she sailed for La Pallice with equestrian and general cargo. Returning to the United States 5 December, Ohioan was transferred to the Cruiser and Transport Force and in 6 round trips returned over 8,000 troops to New York. Detached 16 September 1919, she decommissioned and was returned to her owner, the American-Hawaiian S.S. Co., 6 October 1919.

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