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Identification Numbered Vessel Photo Archive

USS Tiger (ID 1640)

Call sign (early 1919):
George - Fox - Quack - Nan

Call sign (Late 1919):
Nan - Easy - Love - Sail

ex-USAT Tiger

Civilian call sign (1919):
Love - Have - King - Nan

Tiger served both the U. S. Army and Navy


  • Built in 1917 by the Union Iron Works, San Francisco, CA
  • Acquired by the Army 12 November 1917
  • Acquired by the Navy 23 December 1917 and commissioned USS Tiger (ID 1640) the same day
  • Decommissioned 23 August 1919 and returned to her owner, the Standard Transportation Co. of Delaware
  • Refitted in 1928 as a tanker
  • Torpedoed 1 April 1942 off the coast of Cape Henry, VA by the German submarine U-754
  • Sank 2 April 1942 at position 36 50' N, 75 49' W.


  • Displacement 9,960 t.
  • Length 410'
  • Beam 56'
  • Draft 27' 6½"
  • Depth of hold 29' 6"
  • Speed 10.5 kts.
  • Complement 81
  • Armament: One 5"/40 and one 3"/50 mount
  • Propulsion: Three single ended boilers, one 2,600ihp vertical triple expansion steam engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    SS Tiger
    Tiger 66k Photographed prior to her World War I era Navy service
    U.S. Navy Photo NH 65039-A
    Naval Historical Center
    Tiger 43k c. 1917
    Photo from the collection of LT Gustav E. Schier, Engineering Officer, U.S. Merchant Marine
    Contributed by his daughter, Etienne Simon and her family
    USS Tiger (ID 1640)
    Tiger 69k Homeward bound with 2,772 soldiers on board, at St. Nazaire, France, 1919. Note that she retains the "S" smokestack marking of her owner, the Standard Transportation Company
    U.S. Navy Photo NH 467
    Naval Historical Center
    Tiger 151k Arriving in New York Harbor at the end of a voyage from Europe, 1919.
    Photographed by E. Muller Jr., New York
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 104946
    Robert Hurst
    SS Tiger
    Tiger 155k Sinking in shallow water near Cape Henry, Virginia, circa 2 April 1942
    National Archives photo 80-G-177196
    Naval Historical Center
    Tiger 154k Under tow near Cape Henry, Virginia, circa 1-2 April 1942
    National Archives photos 80-G-177202 and 80-G-177203
    Tiger 152k

    Photos from the collection of Lieutenant Gustav E. Schier, Engineering Officer, U.S. Merchant Marine

    Contributed by his daughter, Etienne Simon and her family

    (If you know the identity of any of these crew members, please send an email with their names)

    Click on thumbnail for full size photo

    1. LCDR George S. Owens, Commanding, seated center and
    ships officers
    C. 1919

    2. ENS Gustav E. Schier of San Francisco, CA and Chief Machinist Walter E. Norin of Philadelphia, PA

    3. Chief Machinist Norin and ENS Schier
    c. 1919

    4. ENS Schier
    La Pallice, France
    c. 1919

    5. ENS Schier

    6. Standing around the 5"/40 gun mount

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR George S. Owens, USNRF1919
    Commanding Officers
    01Master Rein Alexander Schnore, Merchant MarineApril 1942
    Courtesy Joe Radigan

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships: The first Tiger (Id. No. 1640)-a single-screw, steam freighter built at San Francisco, Calif., by the Union Iron Works-was completed in June 1917 and operated as a merchant ship by the Standard Transportation Co., of Delaware, until chartered by the War Department on 12 November 1917. The ship was fitted out at New York for the Army Transportation Service, received a Navy armed guard on 30 November, and carried supplies to France for the American Expeditionary Force through the autumn of 1918. On 23 December at Norfolk, Va., the ship was transferred to the Navy Department and commissioned the same day.

    Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service and refitted for naval service, Tiger took on a cargo of food and general Army supplies and departed Hampton Roads on 9 January 1919, bound for France. The ship reached Le Havre on the 24th and discharged her cargo. After voyage repairs, she got underway on 7 February and proceeded, via Norfolk, to New York where she arrived on 3 March. There, she was inspected and found suitable for conversion to a troop transport. On 7 March 1919, the ship was transferred to the United States Cruiser and Transport Force to assist in the formidable task of returning some two million American troops from Europe. By mid-summer, most of the doughboys had been returned; and Tiger was transferred to the 3d Naval District on 29 July. The ship was decommissioned on 23 August and returned to her owner the same day.

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