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Identification Numbered Ships Photo Archive

Santa Elena (ID 4052)

Navy call sign (Early 1919):
George - Jig - Cast - Dog

Call sign (1919):
Nan - Item - Vice - Mike

Santa Elena served the Navies of Germany and the United States


  • Built in 1907 by Blohm and Voss, Hamburg, Germany for the Hamburg South American Line
  • Requisitioned by the Imperial Navy in 1914 and converted to carry aircraft
  • Commissioned SMH Santa Elena 2 July 1915
  • Intered at a Swedish port at the end of World War I
  • Transferred to the United Kingdom in April 1919
  • Acquired by the Navy 26 April 1919 at Brest, France and commissioned USS Santa Elena (ID 4052) the same day
  • Decommissioned 20 August 1919 at New York and returned to the United Kingdom
  • Transferred to France in 1920
  • Renamed Linois in 1922 and operated by Compagnie des Chargeurs Reunis, Le Havre, France
  • Seized by the Germans 14 December 1941
  • Transferred to Italy for operations in 1942 and renamed Orvieto
  • Seized again by the Germans in September 1943 when Italy capitulated
  • Seized at Genoa, Italy at end of World War II and returned to her French owners
  • Scuttled as a block ship 22 August 1944 at the north entrance to the Port of Marseilles, France
  • Raised and scrapped in 1945.


  • Displacement 12,573 t.
  • Length 446' 10"
  • Beam 54' 8"
  • Draft 23' 6"
  • Speed 11 kts.
  • Complement 276
  • Armament: None
  • Propulsion: Three boilers, one 3,000hp quadruple expansion steam engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    SMH Santa Elena
    Santa Elena 25k

    Santa Elena - St. Helena was the mother of Emperor Constantine the Great and an Empress of the Roman Empire. Very little is known about Helena's early life, but it is believed she is from Drepanum (later known as Helenopolis) in Asia Minor and born into a poor family and lower class in the Roman culture of the day. St. Ambrose described Helena as a "good stable-maid." St. Helena is the patron saint of new discoveries and her feast day is celebrated on August 18

    Tommy Trampp
    Photo added 26 October 2020
    Santa Elena 73k Airplane Mother Ship World of Warships website
    USS Santa Elena (ID 4052)
    Santa Elena 77k Moored in harbor during her brief Naval service, circa April-July 1919, while employed bringing service personnel home from Europe
    Courtesy of Jack Howland
    U.S. Navy photo NH 93698
    Naval Historical Center
    Santa Elena 61k In port, circa April-August 1919
    U.S. Navy photo NH 99974

    View the Santa Elena (ID 4052)
    DANFS history entry located on the Naval History and Heritage Command website
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