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The wooded region in northeastern France near the border of Belgium. It consists of the territory between the Aisne and the Meuse Rivers and was the scene of an Allied offensive in World War I during the autumn of 1918 which caused Germany to capitulate. American troops played a leading role in this drive. The first Argonne retained her former name.
The steel-hulled single-screw freighter Argonne—built in 1916 at Kobe, Japan, by the Kawasaki Dockyards—was operated prior to World War I by the Argonne Steamship Co., of New York. While undergoing voyage repairs by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., in January 1918, Argonne received an armed guard. She continued to carry cargo for Allied forces in Europe until 19 October 1918 when she was taken over at Norfolk, Va., by the Navy on a bare-ship basis for the Army account of the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS). She was then manned by the Navy and commissioned on the same day, Lt. Comdr. M. S. Richardson, USNRF, in command.
On 18 November, a week after the armistice stilled the guns on the Western Front, Argonne sailed for France carrying commissary stores, mules and horses, to Bordeaux, and returned to Norfolk from her only NOTS voyage on 17 December 1918. On 30 January 1919, Argonne was decommissioned and turned over to the United States Shipping Board, which subsequently returned her to her original owner. Her name was simultaneously stricken from the Navy list.
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