USS Munalbro (1916)

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USS Munalbro
Collier SS Munalbro shortly after completion in 1916.
Career (United States) 100x35px
Name: USS Munalbro
Namesake: Previous name retained
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, Newport News, Virginia
Completed: 1916
Acquired: 17 September 1918
Commissioned: 17 September 1918
Decommissioned: 21 March 1919
Fate: Returned to owners 1919; scrapped 1954
Notes: In commercial service as SS Munalbro 1916-1918 and 1919-1936 and as SS James L. Richards 1936-1954
General characteristics
Type: Cargo ship
Tonnage: 4,293 gross tons
Displacement: 9,220 tons
Length: 375 ft (114 m)
Beam: 49 ft 0 in (14.94 m)
Draft: 25 ft 0 in (7.62 m)
Depth: 26 ft 11 in (8.20 m)
Propulsion: Steam engine
Speed: 10 knots
Complement: 53
Armament: 2 x 3-inch (76.2-millimeter) guns

USS Munalbro was a cargo ship that served in the United States Navy from 1918 to 1919.

Munalbro was built as a collier by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company at Newport News, Virginia, in 1916, and went into commercial service with Munson Steamship Lines as SS Munalbro.

In September 1917 Munalbro was chartered by the United States Army, and by December 1917 she had been armed. On 12 May 1918 she was in a convoy on a crossing from New York City to Plymouth, England, when the U.S. Navy cargo ship USS Zaanland (ID-2746) suffered a rudder casualty that evening, went off course, and was rammed by the U.S. Navy tanker USS Hisko (ID-1953). While the convoy continued on its way, Munalbro stood by the mortally damaged Zaanland -- which sank the next morning -- and took off her crew. Munalbro then set off to catch up with the convoy. Along the way she encountered the westward-bound merchant ship SS Minnesota and transferred the crew of Zaanland to Minnesota for transportation back to the United States.

The U.S. Navy acquired Munalbro from Munson Steamship Lines for World War I service as a cargo ship on 17 September 1918 and commissioned her as USS Munalbro at Newport News the same day with Lieutenant Commander F. E. Cross, USNRF, in command. Unlike many of the former merchant ships the Navy acquired in 1917 and 1918 for use in the war, Munalbro did not receive a Navy identification number (Id. No.).

Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS), Munalbro joined a convoy at New York City bound for Europe on 26 September 1918. She arrived at La Pallice, France, on 13 October 1918 to discharge part of her U.S. Army general cargo and continued on to St. Nazaire, Nantes, and Quiberon. She departed Quiberon 1 November 1918 for the United States East Coast and arrived at Norfolk, Virginia, on 22 November 1918. On 12 December 1918 Munalbro made a second crossing to Quiberon, where she arrived in January 1919, again carrying general U.S. Army supplies. In February 1919 she departed Nantes with another U.S. Army cargo, returning to New York on 1 March 1919.

On 21 March 1919 Munalbro decommissioned and was delivered to the United States Shipping Board for simultaneous return to Munson Steamship Lines. She returned to mercantile service as SS Munalbro. In 1936 her name was changed to SS James L. Richards. She was scrapped in 1954.