USS Munsomo (ID-1607)
SS Munsomo, probably around the time of her completion in 1916.
|Namesake:||Previous name retained|
|Builder:||Maryland Steel Company, Sparrows Point, Maryland|
|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|
|Tonnage:||3,315 gross tons|
|Displacement:||7,345 tons (normal)|
|Length:||328 ft 6 in (100.13 m)|
|Beam:||46 ft (14 m)|
|Draft:||21 ft 6 in (6.55 m)|
|Armament:||2 × 3-inch (76.2-millimeter) guns|
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.
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.
- 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.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Department of the Navy, Naval Historical Center: Online Library of Selected Images: Civilian Ships: S.S. Munsomo (American Freighter, 1916) Served as USS Munsomo (ID # 1607) in 1918-1919. Later S.S. Capo Orso.
- NavSource Online NavSource Online: Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive Munsomo (ID 1607)