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Identification Numbered Vessel Photo Archive

Santa Paula (ID 1590)

Navy call sign:
George - Fox - Quack - Cast

Call sign (1919):
Love - George - Vice - Fox

Call sign (1933):
William - Affirmative - Cast - Negative


  • Built in 1917 by William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, PA
  • Acquired by the Navy 14 August 1918
  • Commissioned USS Santa Paula (ID 1590), 17 August 1918
  • Decommissioned 21 August 1919 at New York and returned to her owner
  • Sold in 1925 to the American Hawaiian Steamship Company of New York and renamed Montanan
  • Torpedoed and sunk 3 June 1943 in the Indian Ocean at 1758'N., 5809'E. by the Japanese submarine IJN I-27
  • Five of Montanan's crew were killed and 58 were rescued.


  • Displacement 13,000 t.
    1933 - 4,897 t.
  • Length 420' 6"
    1933 - 404.6'
  • Beam 53' 9"
  • Draft 28' 4"
    1933 - 26.2'
  • Speed 13 kts.
  • Complement 70
    1933 - 41
  • Armament: One 6"/50 mount and one 6-pounder
  • Propulsion: Three single ended boilers, one 3,200hp vertical quadruple expansion steam engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    SS Santa Paula
    Santa Paula 13k

    Saint Paula Frassinetti is an Italian saint in the Roman Catholic Church and foundress of the Congregation St. Dorothea. Her feast day is June 11. Paula was beautified by Pope Pius XI on June 8, 1930 and canonized on March 11, 1984 by Pope John Paul II

    Tommy Trampp
    Santa Paula 83k Photographed by her builder, the William Cramp & Sons Ship & Engine Building Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, probably when first completed
    U.S. Navy photo NH 65060
    Naval Historical Center
    USS Santa Paula (ID 1590)
    Santa Paula 129k Halftone reproduction of a photograph taken in 1919, showing the ship in harbor after conversion to a transport
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2005
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 103310
    Naval Historical Center
    Santa Paula 209k Photographed circa June 1919 in the lock of the New Entrance at Saint Nazaire, France, with the outer lock gates and the Rolling Bridge in the foreground. A crew member, Francis Locke, wrote "We docked at high tide which was about 4 A.M. Troops started coming aboard immediately. We could not sail until high tide which was 5 P.M." photo posted by Bob Swanson, from
    Robert Hurst
    Santa Paula 91k Arrives in New York Harbor after a voyage from France, circa April-August 1919. Her decks and rigging are crowded with troops
    Photograph received from the Caraway Company, Rutherford, New Jersey, 10 August 1936
    U.S. Navy photo NH 43286
    Naval Historical Center
    SS Montanan
    Santa Paula 133k c. 1930s Tommy Trampp
    Santa Paula 108k Model of IJN I-27 the submarine that sank Montanan

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships History: Santa Paula (ID-1590), a single-screw, steel freighter built during 1917 by William Cramp & Sons Co., Philadelphia, Pa., was acquired on 14 August 1918 by the United States Navy from W. R. Grace Steamship Co., of New York City and commissioned on 15 August 1918, Lt. Comdr. David Innes Wade, USNRF, in command.

    Santa Paula was assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS) to carry cargo for United States forces fighting in France. She only completed one round-trip voyage, from New York to Marseilles and back, with 8,340 tons of general cargo, before the war's end. Santa Paula made a second voyage to Marseilles between 21 November and 14 January 1919 with supplies to sustain United States forces still in France before she was transferred to the Cruiser and Transport Force on 17 January.

    Santa Paula then returned American troops home from France during four additional round-trip voyages from New York to Brest Bordeaux, and St. Nazaire between 22 March and 1 August. When the last of these voyages ended at New York, the ship was turned over to the custody of the Commandant, 3d Naval District and was decommissioned on 21 August 1919 and simultaneously returned to her owner. Renamed Montanan during 1925, the ship remained under United States registry until she was sunk by submarine torpedoes, in the Indian Ocean, on 3 June 1943.


    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships History Addendum: SS Montanan was sunk by the Imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-27, 3 June 1943, 150 miles South of Masirah Island, Oman in the Arabian Sea. A torpedo struck on the starboard side of the No. 2 hold, igniting the bunker fuel tanks.

    Most of the casualties are believed to be the result of a huge sheet of flame which arose to envelope the foremast. The ship sank bow first, 7 minutes after the torpedo hit. The 58 survivors got away in the four lifeboats or jumped overboard. Five crew members, including the master were killed, along with 2 of the armed guard.

    Life Boat No. 2 with 8 survivors sailed for 48 hours until they were picked up by the sailing dhow Naranpasha. They were turned over to the armed trawler HMIS Baroda (T 249) on June 10th, arriving at Port Okha, India the following day. The remainder of survivors in three boats made landfall at Masirah Island.

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