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Identification Numbered Vessel Photo Archive

Polar Bear (ID 3666)

Civilian call sign:
Love - Pup - Cast - Boy

Refrigerated Freighter:

  • Built in 1918 as War Neptune by the Baltimore Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Co., Baltimore, MD
  • Renamed Polar Bear prior to completion
  • Acquired by the Navy 28 September 1918
  • Delivered to the Navy and commissioned USS Polar Bear (ID 3666), 3 December 1918
  • Decommissioned 10 March 1919, struck from the Navy Register and returned to the United States Shipping Board (USSB)
  • Laid up in 1923
  • Scrapped in 1930 at Baltimore.


  • Displacement 8,785 t.
  • Length 353' 3"
  • Beam 49'
  • Draft 23'
  • Speed 11.25 kts.
  • Complement 77
  • Propulsion: Three single ended boilers, one 1,800shp Westinghouse steam turbine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Polar Bear 69k In port, 1918
    U.S. Navy photo NH 102133
    Naval Historical Center

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships: Polar Bear (ID-3666) was built in 1918 by the Baltimore Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Co., Baltimore, Md., requisitioned by USSB for use in NOTS as a refrigerated cargo ship 28 September 1918; and commissioned at Baltimore 3 December 1918, Lt. Comdr. Richard Russell Lukens, USNRF, in command.

    Assigned to NOTS, Polar Bear sailed 19 December 1918 with a full cargo of general Army supplies for the American Expeditionary Force in France. She discharged her cargo at La Pallice, Verdun, Bordeaux and Pallice before returning to the U.S. 3 February 1919.

    Polar Bear was decommissioned at New York 10 March 1919, and was returned to the USSB.

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