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Civilian Identification Numbered Ships Photo Archive

Nantahala (ID 3519)

Civilian call sign (1919):
Love - Nan - Sail - Dog


  • Built in 1918 as Wautahala by the Western Pipe and Steel Co., San Francisco, CA
  • Launched 4 July 1918
  • Renamed Nantahala prior to completion
  • Acquired by the Navy 16 November 1918 and commissioned USS Nantahala (ID 3519) the same day
  • Decommissioned 17 April 1919 at New York
  • Returned to the United States Shipping Board (USSB) 30 April 1919
  • Scrapped in 1929 at Baltimore, MD.


  • Displacement 12,250 t.
  • Length 427'
  • Beam 54'
  • Draft 24'
  • Speed 10.75 kts.
  • Complement 70
  • Propulsion: Four Heine boilers, one 2,600shp Curtis geared steam turbine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Nantahala 46k Photographed off San Francisco, California, when first completed, circa summer 1918. She is wearing "dazzle" camouflage and has the tug Sea Fox, of San Francisco, alongside
    U.S. Navy photo NH 65106
    Naval Historical Center
    Nantahala 89k At anchor during her trials 30 October 1918 after construction by the Western Pipe and Steel Co., San Francisco, California. Note the wartime rig with a single topmast stepped on one of the kingposts near the stack
    National Archives photo from
    Robert Hurst
    Nantahala 81k 30 October 1918
    Photo probably by her builder, the Western Pipe and Steel Co., South San Francisco, California
    National Archives photo from Shipscribe
    Nantahala 113k

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR Berthel Carlsen, USNRF16 November 1918 - 17 April 1919
    Courtesy Joe Radigan

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships History: The first Nantahala, a single screw cargo ship, was launched under USSB contract by Western Pipe & Steel Co., San Francisco, Calif. 4 July 1918; taken over by the Navy 16 November 1918; and commissioned the same day, Lt. Comdr. Berthel Carlsen, USNRF, in command.

    Assigned to [Navy Overseas Transport Service] NOTS, Nantahala loaded a cargo of flour and sailed 5 December for the East Coast where she arrived at New York 31 December. Assigned to duty as a food relief ship, she sailed for the Mediterranean 9 January 1919 and reached Fiume, in mid-February with her lifesaving cargo of flour and foodstuffs. She operated in the Adriatic and the Central Mediterranean during the next month, thence sailed via Gibraltar for the United States arriving at New York 10 April. Nantahala decommissioned at New York 17 April 1919 and was returned to the USSB on the 30th.

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