USS Newport News (AK-3)

From SpottingWorld, the Hub for the SpottingWorld network...
Career (US) 100x35px
Laid down: date unknown
Launched: 1904
Acquired: 14 May 1917
Commissioned: 14 July 1917
Decommissioned: 1 August 1924
Struck: 1 August 1924
Fate: sold for scrapping, 4 April 1925
General characteristics
Displacement: 10,000 tons
Length: 371 ft 5 in (113.21 m)
Beam: 45 ft 5 in (13.84 m)
Draft: 23 ft 6 in (7.16 m)
Propulsion: system unknown
Speed: 13 kts.
Complement: 150
Armament: four single 3" gun mounts

USS Newport News (AK-3) was a cargo ship acquired by the U.S. Navy for service in World War I.

Acquiring a captured German freighter

The first Navy ship to be named Newport News, AK-3 was a cargo ship built in 1904 by Flensburg Shipbuilding Co., Flensburg, Germany, was taken over as SS Odenwald by the U.S. Navy from the Hamburg-American Line in compliance with Executive Order dated 14 May 1917; renamed Newport News and commissioned 14 July 1917, Lt. Comdr. John Allison, USNRF, in command.

World War I North Atlantic operations

Newport News operated on transatlantic supply runs until assigned to NOTS 9 January 1918. Returning to Hampton Roads from Europe 2 February, she carried coal to Boston, Massachusetts, before sailing from New York 24 March laden with military supplies for England, arriving Liverpool on the 22nd. After discharging her cargo at Liverpool, Dublin, and Queenstown, she got underway for the United States 18 May, arriving Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the 31st.

In subsequent months, Newport News made three more voyages to European ports with mixed cargoes. Her last took her from New York to Gibraltar in April 1919. After unloading there, she took on food, clothing and other supplies and steamed to Constantinople to relieve famine and wide spread suffering in the Middle East. Returning to Norfolk, Virginia, via Gibraltar 27 June, Newport News was detached from NOTS.

Servicing activities in the Pacific Ocean

The cargo ship departed Hampton Roads 12 July and steamed via the Panama Canal for the Pacific Ocean, arriving Mare Island 5 August. She operated on supply runs, primarily to the Far East.


She was decommissioned at U.S. Navy Yard, Puget Sound, Washington, 1 August 1924 and struck from the Navy List the same day. Newport News was sold 4 April 1925 to John F. Blaine of Berkeley, California, for scrapping.

Military awards and honors

Newport News’ crew was authorized the following medal:

  • World War I Victory Medal (with Transport clasp)


External links