USS Kittery (AK-2)
|Builder:||Schichau Seebeckwerft, Bremerhaven|
|Laid down:||date unknown|
|Launched:||30 November 1905|
|Out of service:||interned at San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1915|
|Fate:||acquired by the US Navy, 14 May 1917|
|Acquired:||14 May 1917|
|Commissioned:||6 July 1918|
|Decommissioned:||5 April 1933|
|Struck:||11 April 1933|
|General characteristics |
|Displacement:||=3,300 t (3,200 long tons)|
|Length:||293 ft 8 in (89.51 m)|
|Beam:||40 ft 6 in (12.34 m)|
|Draft:||13 ft 3 in (4.04 m)|
|Installed power:||1,400 shp (1,000 kW)|
|Propulsion:||triple expansion steam engine|
|Speed:||15.5 kn (17.8 mph; 28.7 km/h)|
USS Kittery (AK-2) was a German passenger liner of the Hamburg America Line that was built in 1905 as D/S Präsident. The United States Navy took her over in 1918, renamed and commissioned her as a troopship and military cargo transport in World War I. She was transferred to the United States Shipping Board in 1933 and scrapped in 1937.
Acquiring a captured German freighter
After the outbreak of World War I, she was suspected of supplying German cruisers in the Leeward Islands. Following several cruises, during which she narrowly avoided capture by English and French ships, she entered the port of San Juan, Puerto Rico, early in 1915 and was interned with two other German merchant ships. After the United States entered the war in April 1917, the US Navy took her over on the authority of President Woodrow Wilson's Executive Order 2619-A of 14 May 1917. Präsident sailed to the United States escorted by USS Hancock and was refitted for naval service. She was commissioned as USS Kittery 6 July at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Lt. Comdr. Charles Geddes, USNR, in command.
World War I North Atlantic service
Assigned to cargo and troop transport service between the United States and the West Indies, Kittery left Philadelphia on 18 July. Operating out of Charleston, South Carolina, she made monthly trips during the remainder of the war to supply US forces.
After the war she continued cargo service from Charleston and Norfolk, Virginia, for more than 15 years, making scores of runs to West Indian ports. After a final trip to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Port-au-Prince, and Cap-Haïtien, she arrived Norfolk 21 December 1932. She left on 28 January 1933 and reached Philadelphia two days later.
Kittery decommissioned on 5 April, and her name was struck from the Navy List 11 April 1933. She was transferred to the United States Shipping Board 26 June 1933 and scrapped in 1937.
Military awards and honors
Kittery's crew members were authorized the following medals:
- World War I Victory Medal (with Transport Clasp)
- "USS Kittery (AK-2)". Navsource.org. Retrieved May 23, 2015.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- NavSource Online: Service Ship Photo Archive - AK-2 Kittery
- Photo gallery at Naval Historical Center