SS Arvonian

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...

SS Arvonian was a 2794 gross ton freighter, launched in Stockton-on-Tees, England, in 1905.[1]

The ship was initially launched as the Rosedale and renamed SS Arvonian a month later.[2]

For the next dozen years the ship was employed as part of the British merchant marine then, in mid-1917, was taken over by the Royal Navy and, at some point, renamed Bendish. In late November of that year the U.S. Navy received her, on loan, placing her in commission with a crew of volunteers as USS Arvonian under the command of Commander David C. Hanrahan. Her name was changed to USS Santee in mid-December. On 27 December 1917, while conducting exercises in the waters off southern Ireland in preparation for service as an anti-submarine "decoy ship" (or "Q-ship"), Santee was torpedoed by German submarine Template:SMU. The badly damaged "mystery ship" remained afloat and suffered no personnel casualties. Towed into Queenstown, Ireland, and repaired, she was decommissioned in April 1918 and returned to the Royal Navy. She spent the rest of World War I in British service, apparently as HMS Bendish.[1]

In 1919 the ship re-entered commercial operation as SS Arvonian, but her name was soon changed to Brookvale. Sold to a Latvian owner in 1928 and renamed Spidola, she retained that name under the Soviet flag after the Eastern Baltic states were seized by their much larger neighbor in 1940. The freighter served Nazi Germany as Rudau from 1941 until the end of the Second World War. Her name was changed back to Spidola in 1947, and she was transferred to Costa Rican registry in the 1950s. A long, varied and sometimes hazardous career finally ended in 1958, when the former USS Santee was scrapped at Hamburg, Germany.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The article incorporates text from the Naval Historical Center website, an official U.S. Navy website. It is in public domain as work of the US federal government
  2. "S.S. Arvonian"