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NavSource Online: Army Ship Photo Archive

USAT Tours

  • Laid down, date unknown, at American International Shipbuilding Co. at Hog Island, PA.
  • Launched 6 July 1920
  • Named in honor of the city of Tours, headquarters of the Army Transport Service in France during World War I
  • Delivered to the U.S. Shipping Board (USSB), 21 January 1921
  • Transferred to the War Department, 22 January 1921
  • Assigned to the U.S. Army Transport Service
  • Further assigned to the A.T.S. Atlantic Fleet with home port at Norfolk, VA.
  • Concurrently laid up at Norfolk
  • Directed by Executive Order dated, 1 July 1922, to be turned over to the U.S. Shipping Board
  • Turned over to the U.S. Shipping Board, 11 January 1923
  • Sold to the American Merchant Line in early 1924, renamed SS American Shipper
  • Re-sold to the Société Maritime Anversoise, a Belgian shipping firm, reflagged Belgian, renamed SS Ville de Mons
  • Final Disposition, sunk, 2 September 1940, by the U-47 off the coast of Northern Ireland/Scotland
    Displacement 9,050 t.
    Length 448'
    Beam 58'
    Draft 28'
    Speed unknown
    Complement unknown
    Passenger capacity unknown
    Fuel Capacities unknown
    Propulsion steam turbine
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    Tours 338k
    The city of Tours France was greatly affected by the First World War. A force of 25,000 American soldiers arrived in 1917, setting up textile factories for the manufacture of uniforms, repair shops for military equipment, munitions dumps, an army post office and an American military hospital at Augustins. Thus Tours became a garrison town with a resident general staff. The American presence is remembered today by the Woodrow Wilson bridge over the Loire, which was officially opened in July 1918 and bears the name of the man who was President of the USA from 1913 to 1921. Three American air force squadrons, including the 492nd, were based at the Parçay-Meslay airfield, their personnel playing an active part in the life of the city. Americans paraded at funerals and award ceremonies for the Croix de Guerre; they also took part in festivals and their YMCA organized shows for the troops. Some men married girls from Tours. Photo of Tours City Hall.
    Tommy Trampp
    Tours 63k Ex-USAT Tours underway as the American Merchant Line freighter SS American Shipper, date and location unknown.
    US Army Order of Battle 1919-1941 Vol. 4, courtesy Mariners Museum, Newport News, VA.
    US Army Order of Battle 1919-1941 Vol. 4

    The history for USAT Tours is from US Army Order of Battle 1919-1941 Vol 4
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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 31 May 2019