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NavSource Online: Army Ship Photo Archive

USAT Thomas


Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

Precedence of Awards is from left to right
Spanish Campaign Medal- Philippines Campaign Medal - World War I Victory Medal


Transport:
  • Laid down, date unknown, as SS Persia, at Harland & Wolff, Belfast, Ireland, for the Hamburg-America Lines
  • Launched in 1894
  • Completed 15 July 1894
  • Purchased in 1897 by American Transport Lines, renamed SS Minnewaska
  • Requisitioned by the U.S. Government for service as transport during the Spanish–American War
  • Purchased on 26 July 1898 for $660,000
  • Renamed USAT Thomas after General George Henry Thomas, commanding general of the XIV Corps and the Army of the Cumberland 1862-1865
  • Assigned to the A.T.S. Pacific Fleet with home port at Fort Mason, CA.
  • During the Spanish–American War, Thomas transported troops to the Philippines
  • Between 10 June and 22 September 1920 Thomas was one of ten Army transports evacuating members of the Czechoslovak Legion from Vladivostok and transporting them to Trieste, Italy
  • In October 1922 Thomas took aboard passengers and crew of the Los Angeles Steamship Company liner SS City of Honolulu, which had caught fire about 670 miles northeast of the Hawaiian Islands, and landed them at San Pedro, CA.
  • From 5 to 30 September 1923 Thomas was one of three Army transports involved in earthquake relief operations at Yokohama, Japan
  • USAT Thomas made several trips to the Orient from New York via the Panama Canal, but mainly she served on the westbound Manila, Honolulu, Guam route and on the eastbound Nagasaki, Japan, Chinwangtao, China route
  • Awarded the Efficiency (“E”) pennant for Pacific-based transports for 1925
  • Thomas was the last of the more than 50 transports acquired by the U.S. Government in 1898
  • In March 1928 USAT Thomas made her final voyage for the Army Transport Service
  • Decommissioned and turned over to the United States Shipping Board in 1928 for disposal
  • Final Disposition, sold for scrapping, 14 May 1929, to the American Iron and Metal Co., scrapped in August 1929 at Oakland, CA.
    Specifications:
    Displacement 7,685 gross tons
    Length 445'5"
    Beam 29.8'2"
    Draft unknown
    Speed 14 kts
    Complement
    Officers unknown
    Crew unknown
    Troopship Passenger Capacity100 officers, 1,200 enlisted
    Cargo Capacity unknown
    Cruise Radius unknown
    Propulsion one triple expansion engines, 499 nhp
    single propeller

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    Size Image Description Source
    USAT Thomas
    Thomas 13k
    Namesake

    George Henry Thomas (July 31, 1816 – March 28, 1870) United States Army Union general during the American Civil War, one of the principal commanders in the Western Theater.
    Thomas served in the Mexican–American War and later chose to remain with the U.S. Army for the Civil War as a Southern Unionist. He won one of the first Union victories in the war, at Mill Springs in Kentucky. His defense at the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863 saved the Union Army from being completely routed, earning him his most famous nickname, "the Rock of Chickamauga." He followed soon after with a dramatic breakthrough on Missionary Ridge in the Battle of Chattanooga. In the Franklin– Nashville Campaign of 1864, he achieved one of the most decisive victories of the war, destroying the army of Confederate General John Bell Hood, his former student at West Point, at the Battle of Nashville.
    Thomas had a successful record in the Civil War, but he failed to achieve the historical acclaim of some of his contemporaries, such as Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman. He developed a reputation as a slow, deliberate general who shunned self-promotion and who turned down advancements in position when he did not think they were justified. After the war, he did not write memoirs to advance his legacy. He also had an uncomfortable personal relationship with Grant, which served him poorly as Grant advanced in rank and eventually to the Presidency.
    Wikipedia
    Thomas 210k Post card image of USAT Thomas with mechanics on the pier at Oakland CA. in 1915, Tommy Trampp
    Merritt 101 USAT Merritt left and USAT Thomas moored at Manila, P.I. 3 September 1915. Tommy Trampp
    Thomas 92k USAT Thomas in drydock at Honolulu, T.H. in early 1916. Thomas broke her propeller on a voyage from San Francisco to Manila and put into Honolulu for repairs. The floating dry dock that was available had a capacity of only 4,500 tons, while the Thomas was an 11,000 ton vessel, and 118 feet longer than the dry dock. Engineers allowed the bow to extend beyond the front of the dry dock granting them access to stern which was lifted out of the water, allowing them to replace the damaged propeller. Wikipedia
    Thomas 82k Post card image of USAT Thomas at anchor in the harbor at Manila, Philippines, circa 1920s. Tommy Trampp
    Thomas 164k USAT Thomas sailing day scene, at Manila, Philippines, circa early 1920s. Note sailors crowding her bow railings, and onlookers ashore.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # 101019, copied from the collection of David J. Lohr, by courtesy of RM1 Pamela J. Boyer, USN, 1986.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Thomas 79k Post card image of USAT Thomas moored pierside at Singapore, BCC, circa 1920s.  
    Thomas 83k USAT Thomas underway, date and location unknown
    US Army Order of Battle 1914-1941 Vol 4, US National Archives RG-22 Records of the Quartermaster General
     
    Thomas 178k USAT Thomas commemorative US Military Embroidery Souvenir of Philippine-Manila run. Early 20th century. Tommy Trampp

    USAT Thomas history is from US Army Order of Battle 1914-1941 Vol 4
    US Army Transportation Service Ship's Masters
    01CAPT. Hall, Frank, A.T.S.December 1916 - 4 April 1926
    02CAPT. McLellan, Edgar S., A.T.S.4 April 1926 - 26 March 1928

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 3 May 2019