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NavSource Online: Identification Numbered Vessel Photo Archive

Huron (ID 1408)
ex-Friedrich Der Grosse (ID 1408)


  • Built in 1896 as Friedrich Der Grosse by the Vulcan Shipbuilding Corp. Stettin, Germany
  • Launched 1 August 1896
  • Acquired by the Navy 6 April 1917
  • Commissioned USS Friedrich Der Grosse (ID 1408), 25 July 1917
  • Renamed Huron 1 September 1917
  • Decommissioned 2 September 1919 at New York and returned to the United States Shipping Board (USSB)
  • Sold in May 1922 to the Los Angeles Steamship Co. and renamed City of Honolulu
  • Caught fire and sank 12 October 1922 some 670 mi (1,080 km) from Los Angeles. The captain ordered everyone to the lifeboats after it became apparent that the fire could not be brought under control.
    None of the passengers or crew were killed or seriously injured during either the firefighting attempts or the orderly evacuation of the liner
  • The passengers were rescued by freighter West Faralon, the first ship on the scene, but transferred to USAT Thomas for return to Los Angeles
  • Sunk 17 October 1922 by 25 rounds of gunfire from the USCGC Shawnee [WAT 54] at position 3230'N 12945'W some 185 miles (298 km) from the location of her fire.


  • Displacement 10,170 t.
  • Length 545' 6"
  • Beam 60'
  • Draft 28'
  • Speed 15.5 kts.
  • Complement 507
  • Armament: Four 5"/51 mounts, two 1-pounders and two machine guns
  • Propulsion: Five double ended and two single ended boilers, two 3,400hp vertical quadruple expansion steam engines, two shafts.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    SS Friedrich Der Grosse
    Huron 70k Undated postcard Tommy Trampp
    Huron 305k Photo from "Passenger Liners of the World Since 1893" (1979) by Nicholas T. Cairis
    Friedrich Der Grosse
    Huron 132k Fitting out for World War I Navy service at the New York Navy Yard, Brooklyn, New York, in 1917.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 94202
    Naval Historical Center
    Huron 107k Herbert Mossop Soule, BM2/c (arrow) Robert D. Soule
    USS Huron (ID 1408)
    Huron 71k In harbor, 1918, while painted in pattern camouflage.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 155
    Naval Historical Center
    Huron 68k Annotated, on its reverse: "The ship that took me back to the land of my birth". The original photograph was almost certainly reversed, as the camouflage scheme seen here was painted on Huron's starboard side. It has been reoriented for this photo.
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2005.
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 102971
    Robert Hurst
    Huron 153k . Tommy Trampp
    Huron 100k At the New York Navy Yard, 23 May 1918, while painted in pattern camouflage.
    Courtesy of Boatswain's Mate First Class Robert G. Tippins, USN (Retired), 2005.
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 102876
    Robert Hurst
    Huron 129k Arriving off Newport News, Virginia, bringing troops home from Europe, 1919
    Panoramic photograph by Holladay, Newport News, Va.
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 104731
    Huron 96k Docked at St. Nazaire, France, in 1919
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2006
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 104116
    Manchuria 119k Undated post card showing Manchuria (ID 1633) outboard of Huron at St. Nazaire, France Tommy Trampp
    Huron 212k Original photo: In port, probably at Newport News,Virginia, 1919
    Donation of Charles R. Haberlein, Jr., 2008
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 105962

    Replacement photo: From the collection of Peter J. Kelly
    Original photo: Robert Hurst
    Replacement photo: Maggie Winters
    Replacement photo added 1 May 2019
    Huron 96k Panoramic photograph, taken by the G.L. Hall Optical Company, of Norfolk, Virginia, showing the ship at the Norfolk Navy Yard on 27 February 1919
    Donation of D.L. Tippens, 1969.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 92616
    Naval Historical Center
    Huron 107k At Pauillac, France, 21 April 1919. The card is marked on its back: "Embarked at this port at this time on U.S.S. Huron for home. H.A. Smith."
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2006.
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 104117
    Robert Hurst
    Huron 145k At Newport News, Virginia, 11 July 1919
    Photographed by Moore
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2008
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 106366-A
    Huron 103k 11 July 1919
    Newport News, VA
    Returning troops on board
    Tommy Trampp
    SS City of Honolulu
    Huron 45k Undated postcard Tommy Trampp
    Huron 88k c. 1920
    Photo courtesy of the Steamship Historical Society of America, Inc.
    Huron 117k c. 1922
    Photo courtesy of the Mariner's Museum, Newport News, VA

    Commanding Officers
    01CDR Stafford H. R. Doyle, USN - USNA Class of 1900
    Awarded a letter of Commendation from the War Department (1918) and the Navy Cross (1919) - Retired as Captain
    25 July 1917 - August 1918
    02CAPT Harold E. Cook, USN - Awarded the Navy Cross (1918)August 1918 - 2 September 1919
    Courtesy Joe Radigan

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships History:


    Center lake in the Great Lakes and a city in east central South Dakota.

    The third Huron was built as Friedrich Der Grosse in 1896 by Vulcan Shipbuilding Corp. Stettin, Germany, and sailed the Atlantic for North German Lloyd Lines until being interned in New York Harbor in 1914. She was seized as a prize of war 6 April 1917. Her crew had sabotaged her boilers so the ship was taken to Robbins Drydock Co., Brooklyn for repairs. The USSB then turned the ship over to the Navy, and she commissioned at New York Navy Yard 25 July 1917 as Fredrich Der Grosse. The ship, Comdr. S. H. R. Doyle in command, was renamed Huron 1 September l9l7.

    Huron acted as a troop transport during the remaining years of the war. She made eight round trips to France before the Armistice, and then seven more, bringing American soldiers back from Europe.

    She arrived New York after her last voyage 23 August 1919 and decommissioned 2 September for return to the USSB.

    Huron operated in the Atlantic for the U.S. Mail Lines (later U.S. Lines) from 1920 to 1922. Renamed City of Honolulu in May 1922, she was turned over to the Los Angeles Steamship Co.; and on her maiden voyage caught fire 12 October and sank with no loss of passengers or crew.

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