USS Lake Tulare (ID-2652)

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USS Lake Tulare (ID-2652)
Lake Tulare at Danzig, Germany in 1919 while operating under the control of the United States Food Administration.
United States
Name: USS Lake Tulare
Namesake: Tulare Lake in Kings County, California (previous name retained)
Builder: Superior Shipbuilding Company, Superior, Wisconsin
Laid down: 1917
Launched: 15 December 1917
Completed: 1918
Acquired: 1918
Commissioned: 10[1] or 19[2] October 1918
Out of service: 1 March 1919 (transferred to U.S. Food Administration)
Reinstated: 14 July 1919 (transferred back to U.S. Navy)
Decommissioned: 15 September 1919
Fate: Transferred to U.S. Shipping Board 15 September 1919
  • Operated under U.S. Army control as SS Lake Tulare 1918 and as the commercial cargo ship SS Lake Tulare 1919-1924, SS Bestik 1924-1931, and SS Hai Hsiang 1931-1941
  • Sunk 8 December 1941
  • Raised and scrapped 1946
General characteristics
Type: Cargo ship
Tonnage: 1,196 gross tons
Length: 261 ft 0 in (79.55 m)
Beam: 43 ft 6 in (13.26 m)
Draft: 17 ft 9 in (5.41 m)
Depth: 25 ft 11 in (7.90 m)
Propulsion: One 1,200-ihp (895 kW steam engine, one shaft
Speed: 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Complement: 56
  • 1 × 5-inch (127-mm) gun
  • 1 × 3-inch (76.2-mm) gun[3]
SS Lake Tulare at the Superior Shipbuilding Company yard in Superior, Wisconsin, on 24 April 1918.

USS Lake Tulare (ID-2652) was a cargo ship of the United States Navy that served during World War I and its immediate aftermath.

Construction and acquisition[edit]

Lake Tulare was laid down under a United States Shipping Board contract as the commercial cargo ship SS War Valour in 1917 by the Superior Shipbuilding Company in Superior, Wisconsin. Her name was changed to SS Lake Tulare while she was under construction, and she was launched on 15 December 1917. After her completion in 1918, the United States Army acquired her for use as a cargo ship.[4]

The U.S. Navy acquired Lake Tulare from the Army for use during World War I and assigned her the naval registry identification number 2652. She was commissioned as USS Lake Tulare (ID-2652) at Cardiff, Wales, on 10[5] or 19[6] October 1918 (sources vary) with Lieutenant Commander A. G. Herbertson, USNRF, in command.[7]

U.S. Navy career[edit]

Operating out of Cardiff, Lake Tulare was assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service for use as a coal transport between ports in the United Kingdom and France. She performed these duties through the end of the war in November 1918 and into 1919.

Transferred to the United States Food Administration on 1 March 1919, Lake Tulare carried food from British and French ports to Rotterdam in the Netherlands and Danzig, Germany, until 14 July 1919, when the Food Administration returned her to the Navy and she resumed military cargo runs.[8]

Decommissioning and disposal[edit]

After steaming to New York City in the late summer of 1919, Lake Tulare was decommissioned on 15 September 1919 and was returned to the U.S. Shipping Board the same day.[9]

Later career[edit]

Once again SS Lake Tulare, the ship was sold by the Shipping Board to the International Coal Transportation Company of New York City, which in turn sold her in 1923 to K. Th. Einersen of Kristiana, Norway. In 1924, she was sold to Skibs. A/S Manitowoc, also of Kristiana, and renamed SS Bestik. In 1931, Bestik was sold to the China Merchants Navigation Company of Shanghai, China, and renamed SS Hai Hsiang. Hai Hsiang was sold again in 1938, to William Hunt and Company, Ltd., of Shanghai.[10]

On 8 December 1941, Japanese aircraft bombed and sank Hai Hsiang at Szechuen, China. Her wreck was raised in 1946 and scrapped.[11]