USS William Isom (ID-1555)

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History
United States
Name: USS William Isom
Namesake: William Isom, vice president of the North American Transportation and Trading Company just after 1900 (previous name retained)
Builder: Baltimore Drydock and Shipbuilding Corporation, Baltimore, Maryland
Completed: 1917
Acquired: 1 May 1918
Commissioned: 1 May 1918
Decommissioned: 21 August 1919
Fate:
Notes: In commercial service as SS William Isom 1917-1918 and 1919-1931, as SS Edwin B. DeGolia from 1931 until late 1947/early 1948, and as SS Demosthenes until late 1955/early 1956
General characteristics
Type: Tanker
Displacement: 7,045 tons
Length: 293 ft (89 m) between perpendiculars
Beam: 47 ft 11 in (14.61 m)
Draft: 23 ft (7.0 m) (aft)
Propulsion: Steam engine
Speed: 10.5 knots
Complement: 44
Armament:
  • 1 × 5-inch (127-millimeter) gun
  • 1 × 3-inch (76.2-millimeter) gun

USS William Isom (ID-1555) was a United States Navy tanker in commission from 1918 to 1919.

Construction, acquisition, and commissioning[edit]

SS William Isom was built as a commercial tanker in 1917 at Baltimore, Maryland, by the Baltimore Drydock and Shipbuilding Corporation for the Sinclair Gulf Corporation. The United States Shipping Board acquired her from Sinclair Gulf on 24 April 1918 for service in World War I. The U.S. Navy acquired her from the Shipping Board on 1 May 1918, assigned the naval registry Identification Number (Id. No.) 1555, and commissioned as USS William Isom the same day at New York City with Lieutenant Commander Wenzel Habel, USNRF, in command.

United States Navy career[edit]

Initially assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, William Isom had been reassigned to the Fleet Train by 1 July 1918 to serve as a depot tanker. In that role, she carried fuel and supplies to various American ships and stations. She appears never to have seen service overseas, but rather remained close to the shores of the United States throughout her 15 months of naval service.

On 21 August 1919, William Isom simultaneously was decommissioned, transferred to the U.S. Shipping Board, and returned to the Sinclair Gulf Corporation .

Later career[edit]

The ship resumed mercantile service with the Sinclair Gulf Corporation as SS William Isom. In 1920, she was sold to the American Italian Commercial Corporation, then in the mid-1920s to the Cuba Distilling Company. In 1930, Edwin B. DeGolia acquired her and in 1931 renamed her SS Edwin B. DeGolia. She served with the Hillcone Steamship Company under that name until late 1947 or early 1948, when the Artemis Maritime Company of Panama acquired her and renamed her SS Demosthenes. She continued in mercantile service with Artemis under the name Demosthenes until late in 1955 or early in 1956. At that point, all mention of her in mercantile lists ceased.

References[edit]