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USS Dwinsk



 American Troopship  

USS Lenape

USS Lenape (ID-2700) was a troop transport for the United States Navy in 1918, during World War I. She was launched in 1912 as SS Lenape, a passenger steamer for the Clyde Line. After the entry of the United States into World War I in 1917, she was chartered by the United States Army as transport USAT Lenape. After her Navy service ended in October 1918, she was returned to the Army.

Lenape was launched by Newport News Shipbuilding Co. of Newport News, Virginia, in 1912 for the Clyde Steamship Company, known as the Clyde Line. She operated as a passenger steamer on the East Coast of the United States, typically on a New York–Charleston–Jacksonville route.

After the United States declared war on Germany, the units that comprised the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) were selected in early May and ordered to Europe within 30 days. The Army, needing transports to get the men and materiel to France, re-formed the Army Transport Service. A committee of shipping executives pored over registries of American shipping and, on 28 May 1917, selected Lenape and thirteen other American ships that were sufficiently fast, could carry enough coal in their bunkers for transatlantic crossings, and, most importantly, were in port or not far at sea. After Lenape discharged her last load of passengers, she was officially chartered by the Army on 1 June.

Army career.

Before any troop transportation could be undertaken, all of the ships had to be hastily refitted — in little more than two weeks in the case of Lenape. Of the fourteen ships, ten, including Lenape, were designated to carry human passengers; the other four were designated as animal ships. The ten ships designated to carry troops had to have all of their second- and third-class accommodations ripped out and replaced with berths for troops. Cooking and toilet facilities had to be greatly expanded to handle the large numbers of men aboard. Structural reinforcement below the platforms was required before the ships could outfit for guns at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

The American convoy carrying the AEF was broken into four groups; Lenape was in the second group with Momus, Antilles, and escorts consisting of cruiser Birmingham, armed yacht Aphrodite, and destroyers Fanning, Burrows, Lamson. Major General William L. Sibert and the headquarters of the First Division along with the supply companies and one battalion (of three) of the 26th Infantry Regiment embarked on Lenape at New York.The ship, under the command of U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander P. E. Dampman, departed with her group on 14 June for Brest, France, steaming at a comfortable 14-knot (26 km/h) pace. Fanning soon traded places with converted yacht Corsair from the first group, when that ship was unable to maintain the lead group's 15-knot (28 km/h) pace. A thwarted submarine attack on the first convoy group, and reports of heavy submarine activity off of Brest resulted in a change in the convoy's destination to Saint-Nazaire.

As Lenape 's group neared France, U.S. destroyers based at Queenstown, Ireland, and French destroyers joined to escort the convoy. Just before noon 26 June, while the group was 100 nautical miles (190 km) off the coast of France, a submarine was sighted in the distance. It submerged when the escorting destroyers converged on its position, escaping without firing a shot. About two hours later another sub was sighted and chased by Cummings, one of the Queenstown destroyers. Cummings depth charged the location of the sub and noted debris and an oil slick on the surface after one explosion. The convoy arrived at Saint-Nazaire the next day.

After returning to the United States, Lenape sailed on 24 September as part of the 8th convoy with Henderson, Antilles, Finland and escorted by cruiser San Diego. According to Crowell and Wilson, the 8th group was "destined to misfortune". Three days out from New York, Lenape developed engine trouble and was compelled to return to port. On their return journeys, Antilles was torpedoed and sunk, while Finland, also torpedoed, managed to limp back to Brest.

Navy career.

Lenape did not make any more transatlantic crossings under Army control and was acquired by the Navy 10 April 1918. Commissioned on 24 April under command of Commander Robert Morris, the Lenape shifted south to Newport News, Virginia, for her next convoy, her first as a commissioned Navy vessel. Embarking a contingent of troops that included the 122nd Machine Gun Battalion of the 33rd Infantry Division,Lenape sailed at 1830 on 10 May, accompanied by American transports Pastores, Wilhelmina, Princess Matoika, Antigone, and Susquehanna, the British steamer Kursk, and the Italian Duca d'Aosta. The group rendezvoused with a similar group that left New York the same day, consisting of President Lincoln, Covington, Rijndam, British troopship Dwinsk, and Italian steamers Caserta and Dante Alighieri. American cruiser Frederick served as escort for the assembled ships, which were the 35th U.S. convoy of the war. On 20 May, the convoy sighted and fired on a "submarine" that turned out to be a bucket; the next day escort Frederick left the convoy after being relieved by nine destroyers. Three days later the convoy sighted land at 0630 and anchored at Brest that afternoon. Lenape sailed for Newport News and arrived there safely on 6 June with Pastores and Princess Matoika. Fate, however, was not as kind to former convoy mates President Lincoln and Dwinsk. On their return journeys they were sunk by German submarines U-90 and U-151, respectively.

Lenape set sail from Newport News on 14 June with Wilhelmina, Pastores, Princess Matoika, and British steamer Czar. On the morning of 16 June, lookouts on Princess Matoika spotted a submarine and, soon after, a torpedo heading directly for that ship. The torpedo missed her by a few yards and gunners manning the ship's 6-inch (150 mm) guns claimed a hit on the sub with their second shot. Later that morning, the Newport News ships met up with the New York portion of the convoy—which included DeKalb, Finland, Kroonland, George Washington, Covington, Rijndam, Dante Alighieri, and British steamer Vauben—and set out for France. The convoy was escorted by cruisers North Carolina and Frederick, and destroyers Stevens and Fairfax; battleship Texas and several other destroyers joined in escort duties for the group for a time. The convoy had a false alarm when a floating barrel was mistaken for submarine, but otherwise uneventfully arrived at Brest on the afternoon of 27 June. Lenape, Covington, Princess Matoika, Rijndam, George Washington, DeKalb, Wilhelmina, and Dante Alighieri left Brest as a group on 30 June. The following evening at 2115, Covington was torpedoed by U-86 and sank the next afternoon. Lenape, Rijndam, and Dante Alighieri arrived back in the United States on 12 July.

Lenape took on board 1,853 officers and men and sailed from New York on 18 July in the company of George Washington, Rijndam, Antigone, Ophir, and the Italian steamer Regina d'Italia. Joined by a Newport News group, all arrived safely in France on 30 July. Arriving back stateside on 13 August, Lenape sailed again from New York with 2,024 troops nine days later in convoy with President Grant, Wilhelmina, DeKalb, Rijndam, Toloa, and the French steamer Sobral.

Returning from her final cruise for the Navy on 17 September, Lenape was returned to the Army 28 October. In February 1919, Lenape was returned to the Clyde Line. Her ultimate fate is unknown.

John Doran


21st July 1917 U-Boat Index - WW1  SM U-151

Type U 151 Shipyard Reiherstiegw., Hamburg Ordered 29 Nov 1916 Launched 4 Apr 1917 Commissioned 21 Jul 1917

Commanders.
,br> 21 Jul 1917 - 26 Dec 1917 Waldemar Kophamel. 27 Dec 1917 - 11 Nov 1918 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff

Career 4 patrols.
21 Jul 1917 - 11 Nov 1918 U-Kreuzer Flotilla

Successes 34 ships sunk with a total of 88,395 tons.
6 ships damaged with a total of 13,267 tons.
1 ship damaged with a total of 1,025 tons.

  • 19 Sep 1917 U 151 Waldemar Kophamel Blanche 3,104 fr
  • 1 Oct 1917 U 151 Waldemar Kophamel Etna 5,604 it
  • 2 Oct 1917 U 151 Waldemar Kophamel Viajante 377 pt
  • 4 Oct 1917 U 151 Waldemar Kophamel Bygdønes 2,849 nw
  • 12 Oct 1917 U 151 Waldemar Kophamel Parthian (hms) (damaged) 1,025 br
  • 13 Oct 1917 U 151 Waldemar Kophamel Caprera 5,040 it
  • 19 Oct 1917 U 151 Waldemar Kophamel Harpon (damaged) 1,484 fr
  • 20 Oct 1917 U 151 Waldemar Kophamel Moyori Maru 3,746 jp
  • 21 Oct 1917 U 151 Waldemar Kophamel Gryfevale 4,437 br
  • 2 Nov 1917 U 151 Waldemar Kophamel Acary 4,275 bz
  • 2 Nov 1917 U 151 Waldemar Kophamel Guahyba 1,891 bz
  • 16 Nov 1917 U 151 Waldemar Kophamel Margaret L. Roberts 535 am
  • 21 Nov 1917 U 151 Waldemar Kophamel Sobral 1,075 nw
  • 22 Nov 1917 U 151 Waldemar Kophamel Tijuca 2,543 fr
  • 23 Nov 1917 U 151 Waldemar Kophamel Trombetas 235 pt
  • 26 Nov 1917 U 151 Waldemar Kophamel Johan Mjelde 2,049 nw
  • 4 Dec 1917 U 151 Waldemar Kophamel Claudio (damaged) 2,588 sp
  • 24 May 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Edna (damaged) 325 am
  • 25 May 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Hattie Dunn 435 am
  • 25 May 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Hauppauge (damaged) 1,446 am
  • 2 Jun 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Carolina 5,093 am
  • 2 Jun 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Edward H. Cole 1,791 am
  • 2 Jun 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Edward R. Baird Jr (damaged) 279 am
  • 2 Jun 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Isabel B. Wiley 776 am
  • 2 Jun 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Jacob M. Haskell 1,778 am
  • 2 Jun 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Texel 3,210 am
  • 2 Jun 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Winneconne 1,869 am
  • 3 Jun 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Samuel C. Mengel 915 am
  • 3 Jun 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Herbert L. Pratt (damaged) 7,145 am
  • 4 Jun 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Eidsvold 1,570 nw
  • 5 Jun 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Harpathian 4,588 br
  • 5 Jun 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Vinland 1,143 nw
  • 8 Jun 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Pinar Del Rio 2,504 am
  • 10 Jun 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Henrik Lund 4,226 nw
  • 10 Jun 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Vindeggen 3,179 nw
  • 14 Jun 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Kringsjaa 1,750 nw
  • 14 Jun 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Samoa 1,138 nw
  • 18 Jun 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Dwinsk 8,173 br
  • 22 Jun 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Chilier 2,966 be
  • 23 Jun 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Augvald 3,406 nw
  • 28 Jun 1918 U 151 Heinrich von Nostitz und Jänckendorff Dictator 125 br

Fate - Surrendered to France at Cherburg. Sunk as target ship at Cherburg on 7 June, 1921.

There was another U 151 in World War Two.
That boat was launched from its shipyard on 14 Dec 1940 and commissioned into the Kriegsmarine on 15 Jan 1941.

John Doran


18th Jun 1918 SS Dwinsk lost  

SS Dwinsk

SS Dwinsk, 8137grt, was a British-flagged ocean liner sunk by U-151 in World War I. The ship was previously the third Rotterdam for the Holland America Line, C.F. Tietgen for the Scandinavian America Line, and, as Dwinsk, for the Russian American Line. The ship was put under Cunard Line management in 1917, and sailed under the British flag until sunk on 18 June 1918. SS Rotterdam was launched 18 February 1897 by Harland & Wolff in Belfast for the Holland America Line, the third ship by that name for the line. She sailed from Rotterdam, her namesake city, to Boulogne and New York on her maiden voyage 18 August 1897. The ship began its final voyage on this route on 17 February 1906.

Purchased by the Scandinavian America Line on 5 April 1906, the ship was renamed C.F. Tietgen after Carl Frederik Tietgen, a Danish merchant. The ship operated primarily on a Copenhagen-Kristiania-Kristiansand-New York route through 1913. On 28 June 1906 the Tietgen collided with and sank the schooner E. G. Hay without loss of life. In July 1913 the ship was chartered to Nordisk Film A/S for the filming of Atlantis.

Later in 1913, the ship was sold to the Russian American Line and renamed Dwinsk, and operating between Libau and New York from 10 February 1914. On 20 September 1914, Dwinsk began sailing on an Archangel-Hammerfest-New York route.

In 1917, control of the ship passed to Cunard Line who reflagged her under the British flag, and retaining her existing name.

John Doran


18th June 1918 Uboat sinks SS Dwinsk  

SS Dwinsk lifeboat rescue by USS Siboney

SS Dwinsk was a British-flagged ocean liner sunk by U-151 in World War I. The ship was previously the third Rotterdam for the Holland America Line, C.F. Tietgen for the Scandinavian America Line, and, as Dwinsk, for the Russian American Line. The ship was put under Cunard Line management in 1917, and sailed under the British flag until sunk on 18 June 1918. SS Rotterdam was launched 18 February 1897 by Harland & Wolff in Belfast for the Holland America Line, the third ship by that name for the line. She sailed from Rotterdam, her namesake city, to Boulogne and New York on her maiden voyage 18 August 1897. The ship began its final voyage on this route on 17 February 1906.

Purchased by the Scandinavian America Line on 5 April 1906, the ship was renamed C.F. Tietgen after Carl Frederik Tietgen, a Danish merchant. The ship operated primarily on a Copenhagen-Kristiania-Kristiansand-New York route through 1913. On 28 June 1906 the Tietgen collided with and sank the schooner E. G. Hay without loss of life. In July 1913 the ship was chartered to Nordisk Film A/S for the filming of Atlantis.[1] Later in 1913, the ship was sold to the Russian American Line and renamed Dwinsk, and operating between Libau and New York from 10 February 1914. On 20 September 1914, Dwinsk began sailing on an Archangel-Hammerfest-New York route.

In 1917, control of the ship passed to Cunard Line who reflagged her under the British flag, and retaining her existing name. On 18 June 1918, under the command of Captain Henry Nelson, while steaming from France to Newport News, Virginia, Dwinsk was torpedoed by U-151 about 400 miles (640 km) from Bermuda.[2] After the ship sank, U-151 remained in the area, using the survivors in seven lifeboats as a lure to try to sink additional Allied ships.

Later the same day, USS Von Steuben spotted wreckage and the seven lifeboats, and as it approached the survivors, narrowly averted a torpedo strike launched by U-151. Under orders from the Captain, the men lay down in the boats to try to avoid attracting rescue ships as the submarine was waiting in the area, so the crew of the Von Steuben were unaware that the boats held survivors and made off after its narrow escape from a similar fate.

Six of the lifeboats were rescued by other ships; the seventh lifeboat, in the charge of the Second Officer, Joseph William Coppin (born 1881, St Neot, Cornwall), with 22 men aboard was never heard from again. USS Siboney rescued two boats on 21 June, and USS Rondo picked up the final boat on 28 June 1918.

Captain Henry Nelson - In a letter on the report of the sinking of Dwinsk. from the British Admiralty to The Cunard SS Co Ltd,it stated. At 0920 on that date the wake of a torpedo was sighted at a distance of 200 yards, on the Port Quarter. The ship was not zig-zagging at the time and was steaming at 13 knots. The weather was fine and smooth with a slight swell, wind S.E. 3, visibility good. When the torpedo was sighted helm was put over hard aport, but the torpedo struck the ship in No 4 hold making a large hole. The ship listed to port and the Master decided to abandon ship, which was done in 7 boats. The submarine then came to the surface and attacked her by gunfire, one round hit the magazine which exploded. The ship sank at about 111. The submarine interrogated the 2nd Officer's boat, but no prisoners were taken. The 2nd Officers boat containing 22 of the crew is missing (was never found), and one man was drowned out of the Chief Officers boat. The remaining boats were picked up by various ships and landed at New York , Bermuda, Newport News and Nova Scotia. The 1st Officer's boat was adrift for 10 days and a boat in charge of Boatswain's Mate Larbalastier for 8 days, before being picked up and it is considered that the lives of those in these two boats were saved by the good seamanship, management and fortitude displayed by Mr Pritchard and Larbalestier. I am to inform you that First Officer Pritchand and Boatswain's Mate Larbalestier will be "commended" in the London Gazette, in recognition of these services. Signed J.W.S. Anderson

News media


18th June 1918 Naval Action - 18th June 1918  The Action of 18 June 1918 was an attack on two allied ships near Bermuda in the Atlantic Ocean by an Imperial German Navy u-boat during World War I. Sinking an allied merchant vessel, the U-boat failed to destroy an American warship which came to the merchantman's aid.

Action

The SS Dwinsk was a British flagged merchant ship known for her involvement in the War at Sea. On 18 June 1918, while steaming in the Atlantic from France to Newport News, Virginia, Dwinsk encountered the German submarine U-151 around 400 miles from Bermuda. The submarine surfaced and fired a torpedo into the helpless British steamer which caused severe damage. No distress call is known to have been sent by Dwinsk. The deaths of 22 or more British sailors have been confirmed, others were reported to have minor injuries. The dead either went down with Dwinsk when she sank or were in a lifeboat that went missing after their vessel went down. U-151's action was not over though, instead of fleeing after sinking the Dwinsk, she waited in the vicinity for any allied vessels coming to aid the British lifeboats. The lifeboats did not attempt to abandon the wreckage of their transport. The German U-boat remained for a few hours, using the stranded Britons as bait. USS Von Steuben, which just happened to be returning to America from Brest, France—sighted the wreckage of Dwinsk from over five miles away. What the Americans saw were seven lifeboats that appeared to be empty. The boats appeared to be empty due to the actions of the captain of Dwinsk. He had ordered the crew to lie down to prevent allied vessels from approaching and being attacked by the Germans. Von Steuben made her approach anyway and began zig-zagging as a measure against torpedo attack. Sure enough, as Von Steuben closed with the British lifeboats, the wake of one or two torpedoes were spotted coming towards the ship off her bow from abaft the port beam. Quickly the American commander was informed of the situation and ordered his crew to battle stations. Von Steuben fired her first shells in anger at the incoming torpedo, while another turret fired on U-151's periscope which was seen at the other end of the torpedo's trail. The shots fired at the torpedo apparently missed their target but Von Steuben was able to maneuver fast enough to keep out of the torpedo's path which missed by just a few yards. Once over the U-boat's last known position, the Americans dropped over 12 depth charges which shook the submarine severely, according to German accounts, and forced her to flee.

Aftermath

Von Steuben's crew did not rescue any of the Britons that night. It was not until later that the Americans learned that the survivors were lying down in their boats. The American commander did not want to risk his ship by slowing down to investigate the lifeboats. If Von Steuben had stopped to check the lifeboats, she would have been exposed to a torpedo attack. Six of the seven lifeboats were rescued by other allied ships. The seventh boat with about 20 men aboard was never heard from again. USS Siboney rescued two boats on 21 June and USS Rondo picked up the final boat on 28 June. This engagement was Von Steuben's only combat action during World War I.

John Doran


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