Please report any broken links or trouble you might come across to the Webmaster. Please take a moment to let us know so that we can correct any problems and make your visit as enjoyable and as informative as possible.

NavSource Online:
Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive

USAT Buford
ex-USS Buford (ID 3818)

Navy call sign:
George - Watch - Boy - Nan

ex-USAT Buford

Buford served both the U. S. Army and Navy.


  • Built in 1890 as Mississippi by Harland and Wolff, Ltd., Belfast, Ireland
  • Acquired by the Army in 1898 and renamed USAT Buford
  • Transferred to the Navy 14 January 1919 at New York
  • Commissioned USS Buford (ID 3818), 15 January 1919
  • The ship was used by the Department of Justice and Department of Labor to carry alleged undesirable Russian aliens back to Russia. For this deployment, the ship was nicknamed ‘Soviet Ark’ by the press
  • Decommissioned 2 September 1919 and returned to the Army Transport Service
  • Sold in 1923
  • Scrapped in 1929 in Japan.


  • Displacement 8,583 t.
  • Length 371'
  • Beam 44' 2"
  • Draft 26'
  • Speed 10 kts.
  • Complement 202
  • Armament: Two 3" mounts
  • Propulsion: Two double-ended boilers, one 375ihp Harland and Wolff triple expansion engine with 3 cylinders of 25 1/2", 42", and 70" diameter respectively; stroke 51", one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    USAT Buford
    Buford 120k USAT Buford probably photographed prior to World War I.
    National Archives photo from 111-SC-89836 from the Army Signal Corps Collection
    Naval Historical Center
    Buford 82k c. 1912
    Library of Congress photo LC-USZ62-40635
    Mike Green
    Buford 98k USAT Buford at Manzanillo, Mexico, to embark American refugees, October 1912.
    Courtesy of Miss L. Wolford, Historical Section, U.S. Navy, 1926.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 54477
    Naval Historical Center
    Buford 132k USAT Buford at Colon, Panama, with 30th U.S. Infantry on board, 1915.
    Donation of Charles R. Haberlein Jr., 2008
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 105534
    Robert Hurst
    Buford 152k Post card dated 1939 showing USAT Buford at Q.M. Dock, Manila, Philippines © Richard Leonhardt
    USS Buford (ID 3818)
    Buford 129k USS Buford in port 1919, while employed bringing American service personnel home from Europe.
    Donation of Dr Mark Kulikowski, 2006
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 103454
    Robert Hurst
    Buford 116k Underway in a U.S. East Coast harbour, with her decks crowded with troops, 1919.
    Courtesy Charles R. Haberlein Jr., 2008
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 106387

    View the Buford (ID 3818)
    DANFS history entry located on the Haze Gray & Underway website
    Back To The Main Photo Index Back to the Civilian Identification Numbered Ships (ID) Photo Index

    Comments, Suggestions, E-mail Webmaster

    This page created and maintained by Joseph M. Radigan
    All pages copyright NavSource Naval History