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Identification Numbered Civilian Ships Photo Archive

Lancaster (ID 2953)

Navy call sign:
George - Dog - Sail - Pup

Civilian call sign (1919):
Love - King - Vice - Pup


  • The second Lancaster was built in 1918 as War Trojan by the Sun Shipbuilding Co., Chester, PA for the Cunard Steamship Co.
  • Launched 5 May 1918
  • Renamed Lancaster prior to completion
  • Acquired by the Navy 19 June 1918 and commissioned USS Lancaster (ID 2953) at Philadelphia, PA
  • Decommissioned 4 October 1919 and returned to the United States Shipping Board
  • Acquired in 1920 by the Green Star Steamship Corp. of New York
  • Acquired in 1921 by the Imperial Steamship Corp. of New York
  • Acquired in 1922 by the Lancaster Steamship Corp. of New York
  • Acquired in 1935 by the Argonaut Line of New York
  • Acquired in 1940 by the American South African Line of New York
  • Ran aground 30 December 1942 at Point El Hank, off Casablanca, Morocco and declared a total loss.


  • Displacement 14,620 t.
  • Length 450'
  • Beam 57' 6"
  • Draft 28' 1½"
  • Speed 10.5 kts.
  • Complement 70
  • Armament: One 5"/51 mount and one 6-pounder
  • 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
    USS Lancaster (ID 2953)
    Lancaster 11k Unidentified crew member Tommy Trampp
    Lancaster 172k Embarking troops for passage home, 1919. Probably photographed at American Bassens, France
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007
    Naval History and Heritage Command photo NH 104495
    Robert Hurst
    Photo added 7 September 2021
    Lancaster 236k Halftone reproduction of a photograph taken in 1919, looking aft towards the ship's bridge and showing the foremast and its booms and winches. This view was published circa 1919 as one of ten images in a "Souvenir Folder" concerning USS Lancaster
    Courtesy Dr. Mark Kulikowski
    Lancaster 228k Halftone reproduction of a photograph taken in 1919, looking forward from the after deckhouse over the amidships portion of the ship. Note the deckhouses added each side of the mainmast for the troops' latrines. The ship outboard may be USS Edward Luckenbach [ID 1662]
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski
    Lancaster 175k Halftone reproduction of a photograph taken in 1919, showing a 5-inch 51-caliber gun offset to port on the stern of a ship stated to be Lancaster. She carried one such gun plus one small 6-pounder gun
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski
    SS Lancaster
    Lancaster 104k c. 1939/1940
    S.S. Lancaster with neutrality markings. The print is backstamped "Palmer Pictures, 90 West Street, New York City."
    Photo from Shipscribe
    Robert Hurst
    Photo added 7 September 2021

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR David R. Fleming, USNRF19 June 1918
    02LCDR Frank C. Lane, USNRF1919
    Courtesy Joe Radigan

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships History: The second Lancaster, a cargo Ship, was launched 5 May 1918 by Sun Shipbuilding Co., Chester, Pa.; acquired by the Navy l9 June 1918; and commissioned at Philadelphia the same day, Lt. Comdr. D. R. Fleming, in command.

    Assigned to NOTS, Lancaster departed New York 13 July with cargo for South American ports. Arriving Buenos Aires 10 days later, she discharged her cargo and proceeded to Marseilles, France, where she arrived 28 October. After the Armistice was signed 11 November, Lancaster returned to New York the following month to join the Cruiser Transport Force 17 December.

    Lancaster together with other Units of the Cruiser Transport Force was assigned the task of returning World War I veterans from Europe to the United States. The force returned over 85 percent of the veterans during the period from November 1918 to July 1919. Completing her service, Lancaster decommissioned 4 October 1919 and was returned to the USSB the same day.

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