USS Manchuria (ID-1633)

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USS Manchuria (ID-1633) underway in 1919
Name: SS Manchuria
Namesake: Manchuria
Owner: 1902: Pacific Mail Steamship Co.
1915: International Mercantile Marine Co.
Operator: 1902: Pacific Mail Steamship Co.
1915: Atlantic Transport Line
Laid down: 3 September 1902
Launched: 2 November 1903
Sponsored by: Miss Laura Wick
Fate: Expropriated by U.S. Navy, 1918
Career (U.S. Navy) 100x35px
Name: USS Manchuria (ID-1633)
Acquired: 10 April 1918
Commissioned: 25 April 1918
Decommissioned: 11 September 1919
Fate: returned to IMM
Name: 1919: SS Manchuria
1928: SS President Johnson
1948: SS Santa Cruz
Namesake: 1928: President Andrew Johnson
Owner: 1919: International Mercantile Marine Co.
1928: Dollar Steamship Lines
1938: United States Maritime Commission
1948: Tagus Navigational Co.
Operator: 1919: Atlantic Transport Line
1923: Panama Pacific Line
1928: Dollar Steamship Lines
1938: American President Lines (through WSA)
1948: Societa Saicen
Route: 1919: New York–Hamburg
1923: New York–Panama Canal–San Francisco
1928: round-the-world service
1931: (Laid up)
Acquired: 10 April 1918
General characteristics
Displacement: 27,000 t
Length: 615 ft 8 in (187.66 m)
Beam: 65 ft (19.8 m)
Draft: 33 ft 6 in (10.21 m) (mean)
Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h)
Armament: 1 × 6-inch (150 mm) gun
2 × 4-inch (100 mm) guns
1 × 1-pounder guns
2 × machine guns

USS Manchuria (ID-1633) was a transport ship for the United States Navy during World War I. Before the war she was known as SS Manchuria in civilian passenger service. In the interwar years she reverted to her original name but was later renamed SS President Johnson. During World War II, she served as a transport ship for the United States Army. After World War II, she was sold and renamed SS Santa Cruz. The liner was scrapped in Italy in 1952.

Early career

Manchuria, a passenger liner transport, was laid down by the New York Shipbuilding Co. of Camden, New Jersey, for the Pacific Mail Steamship Co., also of Camden, on 3 September 1902; launched on 2 November 1903; sponsored by Miss Laura Wick; acquired by the Navy from the Atlantic Transport Line, a subsidiary of International Mercantile Marine Co., on 10 April 1918; and commissioned at New York on 25 April 1918, Commander Charles S. Freeman in command.

World War I

Assigned to the Cruiser and Transport Force, Manchuria departed New York with the 18th Field Artillery and the 153d and 154th Infantry Battalions embarked for Europe. She arrived in Saint-Nazaire, France, on 13 May to debark her passengers. Five days later she returned to the east coast, arriving at New York on 30 May.

The troop transport made 13 round trips to Europe with nine of them after the Armistice, bringing approximately 39,500 troops home. On 25 August 1919 she arrived New York, decommissioned there 11 September, and was returned to her owner.

Interwar years

Manchuria continued service on the New York to Hamburg run, begun in 1919, until 1923, when she was shifted to New York–Panama CanalSan Francisco run to operate under another subsidiary of International Mercantile Marine Co., the Panama Pacific Line. On 1 November 1928 she was renamed President Johnson and sold 7 days later to Dollar Steamship Lines for round‑the‑world cruises. The ship was acquired by the Maritime Commission on 26 October 1938 and operated by American President Lines.

World War II

On 29 November 1941 President Johnson was acquired by the U.S. Army from the War Shipping Administration. She departed from San Francisco for the Philippines on 5 December but turned back after learning of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 2 days later. On 27 December she began the first of eight round trips to Honolulu, transporting troops into September 1942. On 8 November, the ship sailed from San Francisco for the South Pacific to spend the next 2 years in support of the amphibious operations which had penetrated by July 1945 to the Japanese home islands. With stops at Eniwetok and Guam, Marshalls; Ulithi, Carolines; Peleliu, Palaus; and Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, long behind her, President Johnson returned to San Francisco 14 January 1946 to end her World War II service with the Army.

Later career

She was returned to the Maritime Commission 26 April 1946 and sold to Tagus Navigational Co. of Panama City, Panama. Renamed Santa Cruz, she was chartered to Societa Saicen of Savona, Italy, in 1948 to transport Italian war refugees to South America. The transport was scrapped at Savona on 12 January 1952.


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