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Identification Numbered Vessel Photo Archive

Oskawa (ID 3797)

Civilian call sign (1919):
Love - Nan - Rush - Watch

Refrigerated Freighter:

  • Built in 1918 by the Moore Shipbuilding Co., Oakland, CA
  • Launched 18 May 1918
  • Acquired by the Navy 6 January 1919 and commissioned USS Oskawa (ID 3797) the same day
  • Decommissioned 27 February 1919 at New York, struck from the Navy Regiater and returned to the United States Shipping Board (USSB)
  • Custody transferred to the Maritime Commission in 1937
  • Sold in 1941 to the Ministry of War Transport, London, England and managed by the Houlder Line Ltd.
  • Renamed Empire Raven in 1942
  • Sold in 1948 to the South Georgia Co./Charles Salvesen and Co. and renamed Southern Raven
  • Scrapped in 1952 at Port Glasgow, Scotland.


  • Displacement 11,570 t.
  • Length 416' 6"
  • Beam 53'
  • Draft 27' 5¼"
  • Speed 11 kts.
  • Complement 60
  • Propulsion: Four Heine boilers, one 2,800shp General Electric steam turbine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    Zaca 120k The refrigerated cargo ship SS Oskawa photographed on 24 December 1918 inboard of a non-refrigerated sister, SS Zaca [later USS Zaca (ID 3792)], at the yard of their builder, Moore Shipbuilding Co, Oakland, California
    National Archives photo from
    Robert Hurst
    Oskawa 65k Probably photographed on her trials 29 December 1918
    Naval Historical Center photos NH 65112 and NH 65118
    Oskawa 95k

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships: Oskawa (ID 3797), a refrigerator ship built in 1918 by the Moore Shipbuilding Co., Oakland, Calif., for the USSB, was acquired by the Navy for use as a Naval Overseas Transportation Service refrigerator ship 6 January 1919 and commissioned the same day, Lt. Comdr. C. H. Batehelder, USRNF in command. In commission for less than two months, Oskawa decommissioned and was returned to USSB, at New York, 27 February 1919. She remained in custody of USSB and its successor the Maritime Commission until World War II.

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