USS Pretoria (1897)

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SS Pretoria LOC det.4a15908.jpg
Pretoria circa 1898.
Career (United States)
Name: USS Pretoria
Namesake: Previous name retained
Builder: Blohm + Voss, Hamburg, Germany
Completed: 1897
Acquired: 28 March 1919
Commissioned: 29 March 1919
Fate: Transferred to United States Shipping Board 25 November 1919
Ceded to the United Kingdom 10 September 1920
Notes: In commercial service as SS Pretoria 1897-1919 and 1919-1921
Scrapped November 1921
General characteristics
Type: Troop transport
Tonnage: 13,234 gross tons
Displacement: 14,130 tons
Length: 561 ft 1 in (171.02 m)
Beam: 62 ft 2 in (18.95 m)
Draft: 25 ft 9 in (7.85 m)
Propulsion: Steam engines, two shafts
Speed: 13 knots (maximum)
Complement: 542
Armament: None
For the American wooden schooner-barge, see Pretoria (ship).

USS Pretoria was a United States Navy troop transport in commission in 1919.

SS Pretoria, a sister ship of SS Graf Waldersee and SS Patricia, was built in 1897 as a commercial passenger ship at Hamburg, Germany, by Blohm + Voss for Hamburg-Amerikanische Paketfahrt A.G.. The U.S. Navy acquired her on 28 March 1919 and commissioned her on 29 March 1919 at Cowes, England, as USS Pretoria with Commander Archibald Grahame Stirling in command.

Pretoria crossed the Atlantic in April 1919. Upon arriving at Boston, Massachusetts, on 28 April 1919, she was assigned to the New York Division of the Cruiser and Transport Force. Between 11 May 1919 and 25 August 1919, she made four transatlantic crossings from Brest, France, to New York City, during which she returned 10,380 U.S. military personnel to the United States after their World War I service in Europe. Among the United States Army units that Pretoria brought home were the 8th, 149th, and 150th Machine Gun Battalions, the 149th Field artillery Artillery Battalion, and the 144th Infantry Battalion.

Pretoria was reassigned to the custody of the Commandant of the 3rd Naval District in late September 1919 and subsequently was decommissioned. She was transferred to the United States Shipping Board at New York City on 25 November 1919.

Pretoria was ceded to the United Kingdom on 10 September 1920. She then operated for the Ellerman Line under the British flag. She was scrapped in November 1921.

Unlike most commercial ships commissioned into U.S. Navy service during and just after World War I, Pretoria never received a naval registry Identification Number (Id. No.).

The Pretoria transported many immigrants to America in her early years.

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