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NavSource Online: Mine Warfare Vessel Photo Archive

Roanoke (ID 1695)

Call sign (1919):
Nan - Have - Unit


  • Built in 1901 as the steel-hulled steamer El Dia by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, VA for the Southern Pacific-Morgan Steamship Co. of New York
  • Acquired by the Navy 16 November 1917 and converted to a Minelayer at Tietjan and Lang's Shipyard, Hoboken, NJ
  • Commissioned USS Roanoke (ID 1695), 25 January 1918
  • Decommissioned 30 August 1919 and transferred to the War Shipping Board for return to her owner
  • Renamed El Dia
  • Sold to the Pan-Atlantic Steamship Co. of New York
  • Sold in 1941 to the Waterman Steamship Co. of Mobile, AL and renamed Pan-York
  • Sold in 1943 to the United Fruit Co. of New Jersey
  • Sold in 1947 to the F. & B. Shipping Co. of Miami, FL and used in transporting Aliya Bet (illegal immigration) of Jewish displaced persons from europe to the British Mandated Palestine
  • Renamed Kibbutz Galuyot' by the Haganah but retained the name Pan-York on her stern
  • Departed Bulgaria in December 1947 with 7,557 Jewish displaced persons (the second largest ever single marine transport) bound for Palestine but diverted to Cyprus by the British on 1 January 1948
  • Renamed Kommiyut' in 1949 for Zim Palestine Navigation Co. Ltd, Haifa
  • Broken up 15 November 1953 at Briton Ferry, Glamorgan, South Wales, England.


  • Displacement 7,620 t.
  • Length 405' 1"
  • Beam 48' 3"
  • Draft 22' 6"
  • Speed 14.5 kts
  • Complement 439
  • Armament: One 5"/51 mount, two 3"/50 dual purpose mounts and two machine guns
  • Propulsion: Three double ended boilers, one 4,000hp vertical triple expansion steam engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    SS El Dia
    Roanoke 58k Artwork of El Dia prior to conversion as a minelayer, photographed by E.P. Griffith, Newport News, Virginia, showing her in merchant service prior to World War I. The original is in National Archives' Record Group 19-LCM
    U.S. Navy photo NH 100250
    Naval Historical Center
    USS Roanoke (ID 1695)
    Quinnebaug 74k U.S. Navy minelayers steaming in column in the North Sea, September 1918. At left, British destroyers are covering the formation's flank with a smoke screen. Ships in the minelayer column are (from front to rear): Roanoke, Housatonic, Quinnebaug and Baltimore
    U. S. Navy Photo NH 2805
    Naval Historical Center
    Canonicus 125k U.S. Navy Mine Layers steaming in line abreast during the laying of the North Sea mine barrage, September 1918. Analysis of camouflage patterns indicates that these ships are (from front to rear): Roanoke; USS Housatonic (ID 1697); USS Shawmut (ID 1255); USS Canandaigua (ID 1694); USS Canonicus (ID 1696); with USS Quinnebaug (ID 1687)and USS Saranac (ID 1702) in the left and right center distance. A four-stack British cruiser is in the left distance
    U.S. Navy photo 61101
    Roanoke 64k U.S. Navy minelayers proceeding to sea in two columns, in Area Number 2 of the North Sea, September 1918. Ships in the column at left are (from front to rear): Roanoke, Housatonic, Quinnebaug and Baltimore. Ships in column at right are (from front to rear): Canonicus (out of picture, to right), Canandaigua, Aroostook and Saranac
    Photograph from the Army Signal Corps Collection in the U.S. National Archives
    U.S. Navy photo 111-SC-43563
    Roanoke 143k Panoramic photograph of USS Mexican (ID 1655) at St. Nazaire, France, in 1919, while serving as a troop transport. Roanoke, the former minelayer also employed as a troop transport, is at right
    Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation. Collection of Lieutenant Charles Dutreaux
    U. S. Navy Photo NH 99394
    Roanoke 122k In port, probably at Norfolk, Virginia, while serving as a troop transport in 1919
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2006
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 103584
    Robert Hurst
    Roanoke 233k Roanoke off New York City in 1919, upon her arrival from Europe with troops on board.
    Panoramic photograph by E. Muller Jr., New York
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2008
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 105703
    SS Kibbutz Galuyot' (Pan York)
    Roanoke 72k Mike South
    SS Kommiyut' (Independence)
    Roanoke 64k Photo from webssite Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 11 March 2021

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