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NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive

USS Rappahannock (AF-6)
USS Rappahannock (ID# 1854) (1917 - 1920)

1931-International Radio Call Sign:
Negative - Easy - George - Tare

1921-International Radio Call Sign:
Nan - Jig - Oboe
Awards, Citations and Campaign Ribbons

World War I Victory Medal (with bronze star in lieu of Transport clasp)
Animal Transport / Stores Ship;
  • Laid down at Bremer-Vulcan Yards, Vegesack, Germany as SS Pommern for the North German Lloyd Line
  • Launched in 1913
  • Seized at US entry into WWI and assigned by the United States Shipping Board (USSB) to the US Navy
  • Acquired by the US Navy, 7 December 1917
  • Commissioned, USS Rappahannock (ID# 1854), 8 December 1917, LCDR Troels Smith, USNRF in command
  • Placed in reserve status at Portsmouth, VA. in 1919
  • Designated (AF-6), 17 July 1920
  • Decommissioned, 10 December 1924 at Mare Island Navy Yard, Vallejo, CA.
  • Laid up in the Pacific Reserve Fleet at Mare Island Navy Yard
  • Struck from the Naval Register, 19 July 1933
  • Sold, 5 October 1933, to Luckenbach Steamship Co., New York, N.Y., renamed SS William Luckenbach
  • Resold in November 1946 to an Italian shipping Co.
  • Final Disposition, fate unknown
    Displacement 17,000
    Length 497'9"
    Beam 59'2"
    Draft 26'9"
    Speed 11.5 kts.
    Complement 155
    Complement 10 officers and 149 enlisted
    one single 5" gun mount
    one single 3" gun mount
    four single ended boilers
    one 4,580hp vertical triple expansion steam engine
    one propeller shaft

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    Size Image Description Contributed
    USS Rappahannock (ID-1854)
    Rappahannock - Rappahannock River is a river in eastern Virginia, in the United States, approximately 195 miles in length.[3] It traverses the entire northern part of the state, from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the west where it rises, across the Piedmont to the Fall Line, and onward through the coastal plain to flow into the Chesapeake Bay, south of the Potomac River. (Wikipedia)
    Tommy Trampp
    Rappahannock 115k SS Pommern a German freighter was interned at Honolulu in August 1914 and was seized by the U.S. there in April 1917. In this view her German commercial markings have been painted out and she appears to have empty American-style gun platforms at both ends and probably shown while being operated by the Shipping Board in 1917 or very early in her Navy career as USS Rappahannock (ID-1854)
    US Naval History and Heritage Command., Photo # NH 44060, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Rappahannock 247k Damage to SS Pommern's boilers carried out by her German crew prior to her seizure by US authorities.
    Photo from "A History Of The Transport Service: Adventures And Experiences Of United States Transports And Cruiser In The World War", by Vice Admiral Albert Gleaves, USN, Pub. by George H. Doran Company, New York.
    Robert Hurst
    Rappahannock 135k USS Rappahannock (ID-1854) photographed circa March 1919. In the background can be seen USS Amphion (ID# 1888) probably during her inspection by the Third Naval District.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 105617
    Robert Hurst
    Rappahannock 130k Post card image of USS Rappahannock (ID-1854) in pattern camouflage circa 1918, possibly while operating for the Naval Overseas Transportation Service. Note the guns on platforms fore and aft.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command, Photo # NH 105921, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Rappahannock 59k USS Rappahannock (ID-1854) at anchor, circa 1918. The ship is painted in pattern camouflage. The original image is printed on post card ("AZO") stock.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command Photo # NH 105481, donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2008, courtesy
    Mike Green
    Rappahannock 141k USS Rappahannock (ID-1854) at anchor off the Isle of Wight near Cowes, England, in late March 1919 supporting the delivery to the Allies by Germany of ocean liners that had remained in Germany during World War I. The liners were turned over under the terms of the Armistice to bring American troops home from Europe and were then retained by the Allies as war reparations. The Navy operated several of them, including USS Mobile, formerly the German Cleveland. The photo is from a scrapbook created by George Graham Smith of USS SC-254 that was broken up and sold on Ebay. SC-254 was at Cowes during the turnover.
    Mike Green
    USS Rappahannock (AF-6)
    Rappahannock 42k USS Rappahannock (AF-6) at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, circa 1922 CAPT. Walter W. White, USCG Ret in remembrance of his father
    LCDR Eric W. White, USN Ret USS Rappahannock
    Rappahannock 110k USS Rappahannock (AF-6) off Pensacola, FL., July 1924.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 105186
    US Naval History and Heritage Command
    Rappahannock 100k USS Rappahannock (AF-6) moored off San Diego, CA., during the early 1920s. Several destroyers are tied up in the left distance, among them: USS Woodbury (DD-309), second from left; and USS Mullany (DD-325), fourth from left. Photographed by the Pier Studio, San Diego. Courtesy of ESKC Joseph L. Aguillard, USNR, 1969.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 69440
    Robert Hurst
    Rappahannock 80k USS Rappahannock (AF-6) at anchor, with boats streamed astern, April 1923, location unknown.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 1219
    Robert Hurst
    Rappahannock 94k USS Rappahannock (AF-6) in port, circa 1922-1924. The original print is a color-tinted black & white photograph.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 74665-KN Donation of Donald M. McPherson, 1971.
    Robert Hurst
    Rappahannock 61k USS Rappahannock (AF-6) at anchor, circa 1922-1924, location unknown.
    US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 1342
    Robert Hurst

    USS Rappahannock (ID# 1854 / AF-6)
    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS)
    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR. Smith, Troels, USNRF8 December 1917 - 10 June 1920ID-1854
     Decommissioned10 June 1920 - 10 April 1921
    02CDR. Smith, Troels, USNRF10 April 1921 - 10 July 1921AF-6
    03CDR. Allen, Burrell Clinton, USN (USNA 1901)10 July 1921 - 1 July 1922AF-6
    04CDR. Taylor, Thomas Herbert, USN (USNA 1903)1 July 1922 - 4 October 1923AF-6
    05LCDR. Rhodes, Butler Young, USN (USNA 1903)4 October 1923 - 3 November 1924AF-6
    06CDR. Koch, Ralph A, USN (USNA 1903)3 November 1924 - 10 December 1924AF-6
    Courtesy Wolfgang Hechler and Ron Reeves

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    This page is created and maintained by Gary P. Priolo
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    Last Updated 23 April 2021