USS Wathena (ID-3884)

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Name: USS Wathena
Namesake: Wathena, a Kickapoo chief
Builder: Merchants' Shipbuilding Corporation, Bristol, Pennsylvania
Completed: 1918
Acquired: 1 February 1919
Commissioned: 1 February 1919
Decommissioned: 10 April 1919
Struck: 10 April 1919
Fate: Returned to United States Shipping Board, 10 April 1919; abandoned due to age and deterioration 1933
Notes: In Shipping Board custody as SS Wathena 1918 and 1919-1933.
General characteristics
Type: Design 1025 ship
Displacement: 12,225 tons
Length: 417 ft 9.5 in (127.343 m)
Beam: 54 ft 0 in (16.46 m)
Draft: 25 ft 6 in (7.77 m)
Depth: 32 ft 9 in (9.98 m)
Propulsion: Steam, one screw
Speed: 11 knots
Complement: 70
Armament: none

The first USS Wathena (ID-3884) was a United States Navy cargo ship in commission in 1919.

Wathena was a steel-hulled, single-screw freighter built for the United States Shipping Board in 1918 at Bristol, Pennsylvania, by the Merchants' Shipbuilding Corporation. She was taken over by the U.S. Navy on 1 February 1919 for operation by the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS). Assigned Identification Number (Id. No.) 3884, she was placed in commission at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the same day with Lieutenant Commander Percy E. Crosby, USNRF, in command.

Wathena conducted only one round-trip voyage for NOTS. Her holds loaded with 5,754 tons of cargo, she departed Philadelphia on 13 February 1919, bound for the British Isles. After arriving at London, England, on 1 March 1919, she discharged her cargo in the ensuing days, underwent voyage repairs, and departed on 17 March 1919 to return to the United States.

Wathena arrived back at Philadelphia on 3 April 1919 and was placed in line for demobilization soon thereafter. Decommissioned and struck from the Navy List on 10 April 1919, Wathena was simultaneously turned over to the United States Shipping Board.

Wathena remained in the ownership of the Shipping Board through the 1920s. Eventually laid up, she deteriorated so much that she was abandoned in 1933 due to "age and deterioration."


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