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"Information about the Ship named, S.S. George Washington"

Original Ship Name: S.S. George Washington

USS George Washington, a 37,000 ton (displacement) troop transport, was built at Stettin, Germany, in 1908 as the 25,570 gross ton passenger liner George Washington. With a capacity of nearly 2700 passengers (nearly half in the steerage class mainly used by emigrants seeking new homes in America), she was employed commercially in trans-Atlantic service under the German flag. The outbreak of World War I at the beginning of August 1914 found her at her terminal at Hoboken, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from New York City. There she remained, inactive, until the United States entered the conflict in early April 1917.

Seized by the U.S. Government at that time, the big liner was converted for Naval service at the New York Navy Yard, and placed in commission as George Washington in September 1917, while still in the shipyard. Later assigned the registry ID # 3018, she began carrying troops to Europe early in December. During the next two years, eleven months of war and thirteen following the 11 November 1918 Armistice, she transported some 48,000 people from the U.S. to Europe and returned 34,000 to America. George Washington also played an important role in post-war diplomatic efforts, twice taking President Woodrow Wilson to France for the prolonged negotiations that led to the Treaty of Versailles. In the fall of 1919, she brought the Belgian King and Queen to the United States for a visit commemorating their Nation's role in the "Great War".

USS George Washington was decommissioned in late November 1919 and turned over to the War Department. Following service as the Army Transport George Washington, in 1921 she returned to commercial employment as the American flag liner of the same name. Inactive for ten years beginning in 1931, she was briefly USS Catlin (AP-19) in 1941 and was operated as the British and U.S. civilian-manned transport George Washington in 1941-1942. The ship was then given new oil-fired boilers to improve her performance and, from April 1943, was again the Army Transport George Washington. Laid up in 1947, she was sold for scrapping in February 1951.

(Above) - USS George Washington underway at sea, May 1918.

(Above) - Close-up view of the port side of the S.S. George Washington backing out of her New York berth, bound for Bremerhaven, Germany. The 723 foot steamship, North German Lloyd's largest pre-World War I ship, was launched in 1909 and was designed to carry 2,679 passengers, half of them in steerage.


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