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Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive

Major Wheeler (ID 3637)



Call sign:
Love - Nan - George - Sail

Freighter:

  • Built in 1917 by the Hanlon Drydock and Shipbuilding Co., Oakland, CA
  • Launched 4 July 1918
  • Acquired by the Navy 30 September 1918
  • Commissioned USS Major Wheeler (ID 3637), 8 October 1918
  • Decommissioned 19 May 1919 and returned to the United States Shipping Board (USSB)
  • Sold in 1922 to the Baltimore Steam Ship Co.
  • Sold to A.H. Bull and Co. Inc. of New York
  • Torpedoed and sunk 6 February 1942 off the coast of Cape Hatteras, NC, en route from Fajardo, Puerto Rico, to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by the German submarine U-107, with the loss of her entire thirty-five man crew.

    Specifications:

  • Displacement 7,020 t.
  • Length 305'
  • Beam 46'
  • Draft 21' 3"
  • Speed 10.5 kts.
  • Complement 70
    1942 - 35
  • Armament: Two 4" mounts
    None in WW II
  • Propulsion: One 2,000ihp steam engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Major Wheeler 143k 25 September 1918
    At the yard of her builder, Hanlon Dry Dock and Ship Building Co., Oakland, California. Her dazzle camouflage has been outlined on her hull and painting has begun on the bow
    National Archives photo from Shipscribe.com
    Robert Hurst
    Major Wheeler 95k On trials on 29 September 1918 after completing contruction by the Hanlon D.D. and S.B. Co., Oakland, California
    National Archives photo from Shipscribe.com
    Major Wheeler 79k Pierside before or after her trial trip on 29 September 1918, probably at the yard of her builder, Hanlon Dry Dock and Ship Building Co., Oakland, California
    National Archives photo from Shipscribe.com
    Major Wheeler 119k Probably photographed near Oakland, California, shortly before her delivery and commissioning. The tug Reliance of San Francisco is alongside
    U.S. Navy photo NH 65047
    Naval History and Heritage Command
    Major Wheeler 91k Probably photographed on builder's trials near Oakland, California, shortly before her delivery and commissioning
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 65048
    Robert Hurst
    Major Wheeler 93k Probably photographed on builder's trials near Oakland, California, shortly before her delivery and commissioning
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 106269 from Shipscribe.com

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships: Major Wheeler was launched by Hanlon Drydock & Shipbuilding Co., Oakland, Calif., 4 July 1918; acquired by the Navy from USSB 30 September 1918; and commissioned 8 October 1918.

    The new freighter departed San Pedro, Calif., 3 November 1918 for Callao, Peru, where she exchanged a general cargo for nitrates needed for manufacturing munitions. Steaming via Arica, Chile, and Cape Horn she arrived Charleston, S.C., 26 December. She departed New York 15 February 1919 and arrived, via Trinidad, at Santos, Brazil, 16 March. After calls along the Brazilian coast she returned to New York 9 May. Major Wheeler decommissioned there 19 May 1919 and returned to USSB. In 1922 she was sold to Baltimore SS Co.


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