USS Zaanland (ID-2746)

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USS Zaanland
Zaanland as a commercial ship prior to her United States Navy service
United States
Name: USS Zaanland
Namesake: Previous name retained
Builder: Russell and Company, Port Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
Completed: 1900
Acquired: 25 March 1918
Commissioned: 29 March 1918
Fate: Sunk in collision, 13 May 1918
Notes: In commercial service as SS Zaanland in 1900-1918
General characteristics
Type: Cargo ship
Tonnage: 5,417 gross tons
Length: 389 ft 5 in (118.69 m)
Beam: 51 ft 1 in (15.57 m)
Draft: 23 ft 6 in (7.16 m) mean
Propulsion: Steam engine(s)
Speed: kn (10 mph; 17 km/h)
Complement: 81

USS Zaanland (Id. No. 2746) was a cargo ship that served in the United States Navy in 1918.

SS Zaanland was a steel-hulled, single-screw cargo vessel completed in 1900 at Port Glasgow, Scotland, by Russell and Company. The Royal Dutch Lloyd line owned her at the outbreak of World War I. The ship sought security at Hampton Roads, Virginia, lest, at sea, she fall prey to warships of the Royal Navy

On 20 March 1918, Zaanland was seized at Newport News, Virginia, by the United States Government under the right of angary, which allowed a belligerent power to use the property of a neutral nation if necessary, subject to full indemnification. She was acquired by the United States Navy for use by the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS) on 25 March 1918, the cargo ship was assigned the identification number (Id. No.) 2746 and commissioned as USS Zaanland at Hampton Roads on 29 March 1918, Lieutenant Commander Daniel Brown, USNRF, in command.

Zaanland was repaired and fitted out at Newport News, Virginia, by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company, before sailing for the Gulf of Mexico on 4 April. Arriving at New Orleans, Louisiana on 11 April, she simultaneously underwent further repairs and conversion work and loaded 4,946 long tons (5,025 t) of general cargo consigned by the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps. She departed New Orleans on 20 April and arrived back at Hampton Roads on 25 April.

Zaanland sailed from Norfolk, Virginia on 30 April, in Convoy HN-67, bound for La Pallice, France. During the voyage, in a heavy mist at 20:26 on 12 May, she apparently suffered a rudder casualty and was rammed by the tanker USS Hisko (ID-1953). The collision tore a jagged, 15 in (0.38 m) hole in the cargo ship's starboard side, amidships between her bridge and fire room. Zaanland soon assumed a heavy list and began to sink by the bow. At 20:40, all hands were called topside as boats were launched. Within an hour, all of Zaanland's crew were safely aboard the United States Army-chartered Munson Line cargo ship SS Munalbro, which later in 1918 would be commissioned into the U.S. Navy as USS Munalbro.

Although settling deeper in the water with each passing hour, Zaanland remained afloat into the next day. At 04:00 on 13 May, Lt. Cdr. Brown reboarded Zaanland and inspected the ship. He found that there was no hope of towing the vessel to port and predicted that she probably would sink within a few hours. His observation proved to be correct, for Zaanland sank, bow first, at 07:10 on 13 May.

Munalbro — while endeavoring to overtake the convoy — soon met SS Minnesota en route, and transferred Zaanland's crew to the west-bound vessel for passage back to the United States.


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.

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