USS Edward Luckenbach (ID-1662)

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Coordinates: 24°57.830′N 81°53.270′W / 24.96383°N 81.88783°W / 24.96383; -81.88783

SS Edward Luckenbach around the time of her completion in 1916.
SS Edward Luckenbach around the time of her completion in 1916.
Career 100x35px
Name: USS Edward Luckenbach
Namesake: Previous name retained
Builder: Fore River Shipbuilding Corporation, Quincy, Massachusetts
Completed: 1916
Acquired: 29 August 1918
Commissioned: 29 August 1918
Decommissioned: 6 August 1919
Fate: Transferred to United States Shipping Board 6 August 1919
Returned to owner
Sunk by mines while in commercial service 1 July 1942
Notes: Served as commercial cargo ship SS Edward Luckenbach 1916–1918 and 1919–1942
General characteristics
Type: Cargo ship and troop transport
Tonnage: 8,151 gross tons
Displacement: 15,963 tons
Length: 456 ft 5 in (139.12 m)
Beam: 57 ft 2 in (17.42 m)
Draft: 32 ft (9.8 m)
Propulsion: Steam engine
Speed: 15 knots
Complement: 62
Armament: 2 × 5-inch (127-millimeter) guns

USS Edward Luckenbach (ID-1662) was a cargo ship and troop transport that served in the United States Navy from 1918 to 1919.

SS Edward Luckenbach was built as a commercial cargo ship in 1916 at Quincy, Massachusetts, by Fore River Shipbuilding Corporation for Luckenbach Steamship Company of New York City. By 1918, she had come under control of the United States Shipping Board. The Shipping Board transferred her to the U.S. Navy for World War I service on 29 August 1918. Assigned Identification Number (Id. No.) 1662, she was commissioned the same day as USS Edward Luckenbach with Lieutenant Commander A. C. Fickett, USNRF, in command.

Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, Edward Luckenbach departed New York City on 18 September 1918 for Marseilles, France, carrying United States Army cargo. By the time she returned to New York on 22 November 1918, the war had been over for eleven days, so it was her only wartime voyage as a U.S. Navy ship.

On 18 December 1918, Edward Luckenbach was transferred to the Newport News Division of the Cruiser and Transport Force for postwar use as a troop transport. After conversion into a transport, she made three voyages in 1919 from New York and Newport News, Virginia, with cargo for St. Nazaire, France, returning with patients, convalescents, troops, and casuals to the United States.

Edward Luckenbach was unable to continue her fourth voyage to Europe — this time from Hampton Roads, Virginia — because of engine trouble. She was lying disabled in mid-ocean in the Atlantic on 15 July 1919 when troop transport USS Arizonan (ID-4542A) — herself four days outbound on a voyage from Brooklyn, New York, to St. Nazaire, France — encountered her. Arizonan towed her 425 nautical miles (787 kilometers) toward Boston, Massachusetts. The United States Coast Guard cutter USCGC Ossipee joined the two troop transports on the afternoon of 17 July 1919. On the morning of 19 July 1919, Ossipee took over the towing duty from Arizonan, freeing Arizonan to continue on her voyage to France.[1]

USS Edward Luckenbach as a cargo ship in 1918.

After arriving at Boston under tow, Edward Luckenbach was decommissioned on 6 August 1919 and delivered to the Shipping Board the same day for return to Luckenbach Steamship Company.

Once again SS Edward Luckenbach, she resumed commercial service as a cargo ship, continuing in this role until 1 July 1942 when, during World War II, she mistakenly entered a defensive minefield north of Key West, Florida, struck two naval mines, and sank.

The shipwreck was salvaged to recover the large quantity of tungsten.[2] The wreck was wire-dragged to prevent it from being a hazard to navigation. The wreck is scattered over a wide area in 65 feet (20 m) of water.[2]


This article includes text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.