USS Munsomo (ID-1607)

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SS Munsomo (1916).jpg
SS Munsomo, probably around the time of her completion in 1916.
History
United States
Name: USS Munsomo
Namesake: Previous name retained
Builder: Maryland Steel Company, Sparrows Point, Maryland
Completed: 1916
Acquired: 28 June 1918
Commissioned: 28 June 1918
Decommissioned: 4 February 1919
Fate: Transferred to United States Shipping Board 4 February 1919 for simultaneous return to owners
Notes:
  • In commercial service as SS Munsomo 1916-1918 and 1919-1938 and as SS Capo Orso 1938-1943
  • Sunk February 1943
General characteristics
Type: Cargo ship
Tonnage: 3,315 gross tons
Displacement: 7,345 tons (normal)
Length: 328 ft 6 in (100.13 m)[1]
Beam: 46 ft (14 m)
Draft: 21 ft 6 in (6.55 m)
Propulsion: Steam engine
Speed: 10 knots
Complement: 85
Armament: 2 × 3-inch (76.2-millimeter) guns

USS Munsomo (ID-1607) was a cargo ship that served in the United States Navy from 1918 to 1919.

SS Munsomo was built as a commercial collier by the Maryland Steel Company at Sparrows Point, Maryland, in 1916, for the Munson Steamship Company. The U.S. Navy inspected her in the 3rd Naval District in 1917 for possible World War I service, and acquired her from Munson on 28 June 1918 for use as a cargo ship. Assigned the naval registry Identification Number (Id. No.) 1607, she was commissioned as USS Munsomo at Baltimore, Maryland, the same day with Lieutenant Commander A. Asborn, USNRF, in command.

SS Munsomo probably around the time of her 1917 inspection in the 3rd Naval District for possible U.S. Navy service.

Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, Munsomo took on a cargo of United States Army supplies and departed New York City on 9 August 1918 to cross the Atlantic in a convoy, bound for France. She reached Nantes, France, on 29 August 1918. After discharging her cargo she moved on to Le Verdon-sur-Mer, France, then returned to the United States, arriving at Baltimore on 25 September 1918.

On 16 October 1918, Munsomo departed with a mixed cargo for a second transatlantic crossing in convoy, reaching Brest, France, on 2 November 1918. She proceeded to Nantes to ballast, then returned to the United States, arriving at Newport News, Virginia, on 29 November 1918.

Munsomo next made a run to Antilla, Cuba, carrying general supplies and returned to the United States with a cargo of sugar, arriving at New York City.

Munsomo was decommissioned on 4 February 1919 and transferred to the United States Shipping Board the same day for simultaneous return to Munson Steamship Lines.

She returned to mercantile service as SS Munsomo. In 1938, she was sold to Italian interests and renamed SS Capo Orso. Capo Orso was sunk during World War II by a torpedo dropped by a torpedo plane.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The length of 828 ft 6 in (253 m) cited in the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (DANFS) (at http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/m15/munsomo.htm) and by NavSource Online (at http://www.navsource.org/archives/12/171607.htm) clearly is a great exaggeration of the ship's length. The online version of DANFS appears to have been created by optical scanning of a hard copy, and contains frequent scanner errors; in this case, the initial "3" in her length of 328 feet 6 inches must have been misscanned as an "8", and the resulting length of "828" feet was simply copied without question by NavSource Online. A length of 828 feet 6 inches would have made Munsomo – in reality an average-sized ship – one of the largest of her time.

References[edit]