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Identification Numbered Vessel Photo Archive

Polar Land (ID 3651)

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

Refrigerated Freighter:

  • Built in 1918 by the Baltimore Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Co., Baltimore, MD
  • Acquired by the Navy 3 November 1918 and commissioned the same day at Baltimore
  • Decommissioned 10 June 1919 at New York and returned to the United States Shipping Board (USSB)
  • Foundered in November 1919 off Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


  • Displacement 8,835 t.
  • Length 353' 3"
  • Beam 49'
  • Draft 23' 1½"
  • Speed 11.25 kts.
  • Complement 86
  • Armament: One 4"/50 and one 3"/50 mount
  • Propulsion: Three single ended boilers, one 1,800shp Westinghouse compound steam turbine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Polar Land 54k Probably photographed around the time of her completion in October 1918
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 65114
    Robert Hurst

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships: Polar Land (ID 3651) was built in 1918 by the Baltimore Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Co., Baltimore, Md., for Compagnie Generale, France, requisitioned by USSB for use in NOTS [Navy Overseas Transportation Service] as a refrigerated cargo ship 12 July 1918, and commissioned at Baltimore, Md. 5 November 1918, Lt. Comdr. James Tubman McDorman, USNRF in command.

    Polar Land proceeded directly upon completion to New York where she loaded a full cargo of general Army supplies. She departed New York 8 December 1918 for Verdun in convoy on what was the first of three round trips to France during World War I. On her second and third voyages she carried 2,665 tons of frozen beef to La Pallice and St. Nazaire.

    Polar Land decommissioned 10 June 1919 at New York and was returned to the USSB.

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