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Identification Numbered Vessel Photo Archive

Polar Star (ID 3787)

Civilian call sign (1919):
Love - Pup - Have - Quack

Refrigerated Freighter:

  • Laid down in 1918 as War Venus by the Baltimore Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Co., Baltimore, MD for the British government
  • Renamed Polar Star before construction began
  • Completed 31 December 1918
  • Acquired by the Navy 4 January 1919 and commissioned USS Polar Star (ID 3787) the same day at Baltimore
  • Decommissioned and struck from the Navy Register 14 May 1919 at New York and returned to the United States Shipping Board (USSB)
  • Scrapped in 1930 by the Union Shipbuilding Co. of Baltimore.


  • Displacement 8,785 t.
  • Length 353' 3"
  • Beam 49'
  • Draft 23'
  • Speed 11.25 kts.
  • Complement 60
  • Propulsion: Three single ended boilers, one 1,800shp Westinghouse steam turbine with reduction gear, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Polar Star 78k In port, possibly photographed when inspected by the Fifth Naval District on 6 January 1919. The ship on the left is USS Fort Wayne (ID 3786)
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 105230
    Robert Hurst

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships: Polar Star (ID 3787) was built in 1918 by the Baltimore Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Co., Baltimore, Md., requisitioned by USSB for use in Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS) as a refrigerated cargo ship 23 October 1918, and commissioned at Baltimore 4 January 1919, Lt. Comdr. Thomas F. Gorman, USNRF, in command.

    Polar Star quickly entered NOTS service, and was sent from New York 19 February 1919 with a cargo of supplies for the use of the USSB in Montevideo, Uruguay. After visiting La Plata and Pernambuco she returned via Barbados to the U.S. 29 April 1919.

    Polar Star decommissioned 14 May 1919 at New York and was returned to the USSB.

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