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Identification Numbered Vessel Photo Archive

South Pole (ID 3665)

Civilian call sign (1919):
Love - Nan - Watch - Fox

Refrigerated Freighter:

  • Built in 1918 by the Baltimore Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Co., Baltimore, MD
  • Launched 17 June 1918
  • Acquired by the Navy 30 November 1918
  • Commissioned 5 December 1918
  • Decommissioned 12 May 1919 and returned to United States Shipping Board
  • Fate unknown.


  • Displacement 8,835 t.
  • Length 353' 3"
  • Beam 49'
  • Draft 23' 1½"
  • Depth of hold 28' 6"
  • Speed 11.25 kts.
  • Complement 76
  • Propulsion: Three single ended boilers, one 1,800shp Westinghouse compound steam turbine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    South Pole 133k Delivering frozen meat at the Hook of Holland circa 1920. At this time the ship was being operated commercially for the Shipping Board by the Cosmopolitan Shipping Co. of New York
    Photo from Old Ship Picture Galleries via
    Robert Hurst

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR Jacob Cribb, USNRF5 December 1918 - 12 May 1919
    Courtesy Joe Radigan

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships: South Pole-a refrigerator ship built in Baltimore by the Baltimore Dry Dock and Ship Building Co.- was launched for the United States Shipping Board (USSB) on 17 June 1918, was acquired by the Navy at Baltimore on 30 November 1918, and was commissioned for service in the Naval Overseas Transportation Service on 6 December 1918.

    South Pole sailed for New York on 7 December loaded a cargo of general supplies for the Army, and sailed on the 15th in convoy for France. The ship arrived at Verdon on 2 January 1919. After unloading her cargo, she took on Army equipment, sailed on the 20th for home, and arrived at New York on 8 February.

    On 10 March, she got underway again with another load of Army supplies and reached St. Nazaire on the 25th. After returning to New York on 30 April, she unloaded Army ordnance supplies. The ship was decommissioned on 12 May and returned to the USSB.

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