Captain
Everett
William
Staley


CAPTAIN EVERETT WILLIAM STALEY was born in Camden NJ on January 29, 1895 to Frank Staley and his wife, the former Isabella Miles. Besides Everett there was an older brother, Linaws Staley, and two younger sisters, Elsie and Ruth Staley. The marriage appears to have broken up around 1899 or 1900. Times were hard for his mother Isabella, and young Everett was placed for a time at the Union Industrial Home in Trenton NJ, where he appears in the 1900 census. His siblings were living with their grandmother, Anna Link, and her husband Benjamin, in Camden. Frank Staley eventually went out west, dying in Phoenix, Arizona in 1930.

While he does not appear in the 1910 Census in Camden, Everett Staley's mother Isabella and younger sisters Ruth and Elizabeth do, Isabella having remarried, this time to Wray William Ross, an iron moulder. Brother Linaws Staley was still living on Federal Street with Benjamin and Anna Link. Mr. and Mrs. Ross and the Staley children then lived at 1150 Penn Street. They later moved to 1999 Cooper Street, in East Camden. Linaws Staley, having a bit of a wild street as a young man, made the newspapers when in October of 1912 he was held as a material witness to the murder of Karl Kellman

Everett Staley took to the sea at an early age. He served aboard the S.S. Martha Washington in 1914, returning from Patras, Greece to New York on August 3rd of that year. Showing great promise, Everett Staley was serving as Quartermaster Second Class aboard a merchant ship operated by the Ward Line the summer of 1917. He had been promoted to Third Officer (Third Mate) by January of 1920. That year's Census lists him at 1999 Cooper Street in East Camden with his mother Bella, stepfather William Ross, and sister Ruth Staley, then 20. Sadly, sister Ruth would pass the following year.

IN June of 1919 he was serving as 3rd Officer aboard the S.S. Wacoauto, sailing from Havana, Cuba to New York. Later that year In 1920 he followed a similar route, sailing from Havana to New York City in December of that year for the Ward Line aboard the S.S. Mexico. He made two trips between Alexandria, Egypt and New York City in 1921 on the S.S. Kentuckian.

Later in 1921 Everett Staley went to work for the United American line. In October of 1921 he was serving as Sr. Third Officer aboard the S.S. Mt. Clay, which operated between Hamburg, Germany and New York. This ship had an interesting history, having been built in the Germany in 1904, being interned in the United States at the beginning of World War I, and converted into a troopship in 1917 as the USS DeKalb.  He was promoted to Jr. Second Officer in mid-December of that year. In the spring of 1924 he made at least two voyages as Sr. Second Officer aboard the Mt. Clinton, before returning to Mt. Clay as its Sr. 2nd Officer in June of 1924. 1926 found Everett Staley making at least three journeys aboard the Reliance of the Hamburg America line. 

Everett Staley had married around 1922. By April of 1930 his German-born wife Gertrude had given him three children, daughters Helen and Mildred, and a son, Everett T. Staley. Two more sons, Frank and Raymond, would follow. Mildred Staley had been born in Germany, which perhaps indicates that Everett Staley had met his wife in the course of his travels. After his tour aboard the Reliance, Everett Staley had returned to the United States and was employed for several years ashore. During this time he and his family lived aboard his old ship, the S.S. Mount Clay. He worked as the ship's caretaker into the early 1930s. When the ship was scrapped in 1934, the Staley family moved to nearby Pimlico, Maryland.

Everett Staley had returned to the sea by 1934, sailing as a Third Officer, when he arrived in New York City from Daquiri, Cuba aboard the S.S. Santore. This ship and a ship that Everett Staley later became captain of, the S.S. Cubore, were operated by the Ore Steamship Company of New York City. These ships originally had been were used to carry iron ore from Cuba to  Sparrows Point, Maryland and New York, 11,000 tons at a time.

Everett Staley moved his family from Baltimore to 632 Randolph Street in East Camden early in 1942, By this time he was a captain. Everett Staley arrived in New York City as the Captain of the S.S. Cubore, from Paramaribo, Surinam via Havana in December of that year. His next assignment was the command of a brand new Liberty Ship, the John W. Denver. Captain Staley had the misfortune of having his ship sunk on its maiden voyage, when torpedoes from the U-195 found their mark. He kept his crew intact for for 25 days before reaching the coast of North Africa, and survived an additional five days on land with no food or water, as their life raft touched shore on a desert coast.

Aster returning to the United States and recovering from his ordeal, Captain Staley was given command of another ship, the S.S. Charles M. Schwab, which sailed from Puerto Tarafa, Cuba in September of 1943, arriving in New York on October 10. April of 1944 saw Captain Staley take the S.S. Daniel Willard from Baltimore to Oran, Algeria ad back to New York. In July of 1944 he was engaged in Boston to command the S.S. Thomas Sully on a run to Cardiff, Wales, from which he returned in December of 1944.

Late in 1945 Captain Staley took a ship to Houston, Texas, where he was assigned to the S.S. William Pepper. He left Houston for Antwerp, Belgium on December 6, 1945, arriving January 6, and returning to New York on the 24th. He took the S.S. William Pepper back to France, again returning to New York, on a trip that began in April and and ended in June of that year. From September of 1946 he captained the S.S. John Blair, one of his runs being from Bremerhaven, Germany to New York.

When the 1947 Camden City Directory was compiled Captain Staley and his family had moved to 3196-B Westfield Avenue in East Camden. The following year the family moved to 1538 Merchantville Avenue in nearby Pennsauken NJ. Son Frank graduated from Merchantville High School in 1951. 

Captain Staley subsequently captained the S.S. Otis E. Hall from mid 1947 through 1949. His final trio in the Otis E. Hall started in New Orleans on April 25, took him to Shimuzu, Japan and back to the United States at Seattle in June of 1949.

On January 11, 1951 Captain Staley's older brother, Linaws W. Staley, died, a week after his 60th birthday. Their mother, Isabella, passed away on the 19th of the following month, having just turned 80 years of age.

From June of 1951 through May of 1952 Captain Staley commanded the S. S. Warwick Victory, during which time he crossed the Atlantic at least five times. Among the other ships he commanded in the 1950s was the S.S. Winifred Smith, which he took from Ceuta in Spanish Morocco to New York in the spring of 1957.

Mr. and Mrs. Staley moved from New Jersey to Miami, Florida around 1959.

Captain Staley was still following the sea at the age of 65 when he was taken off ship in Galveston, Texas in 1960, ill with cancer. He died on March 29, soon after leaving his ship and was buried in Miami, Florida. He later was brought back to New Jersey, where he rests alongside his wife Gertrude, at Arlington Cemetery in Pennsauken NJ.


The S.S. Martha Washington


World War I Draft Card

Click on Image to Enlarge


The S.S. Mount Clay


The S.S. Reliance


World War II Draft Card - April 15, 1942

Click on Image to Enlarge


The sinking of the S.S. James W. Denver

Name James W. Denver
Type: Steam merchant (Liberty)
Tonnage 7.200 tons
Completed 1943 - Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards Inc, Baltimore MD 
Owner Calmar SS Co Inc, New York 
Homeport Baltimore 
Date of attack 11 Apr, 1943 Nationality:      American
 
Fate Sunk by U-195 (Heinz Buchholz)
Position 28.52N, 26.30W - Grid DG 9248
- See location on a map -
Complement 69 (2 dead and 67 survivors).
Convoy UGS-7 (straggler)
Route Baltimore - New York (1 Apr) - Casablanca 
Cargo 6000 tons of sugar, acid, flour, aircraft parts, vehicles, bulldozers and 12 P-38 aircraft on deck 
History Completed March 1943 
Notes on loss

At 20.41 hours on 11 Mar, 1943, the James W. Denver (Master Everett William Staley) was hit by one of three torpedoes fired by U-195 about 475 miles west of Las Palmas, Canary Islands. The ship straggled on her maiden voyage from the convoy UGS-7 due to overheated engine bearings and was proceeding alone on a straggler route at 11 knots. The torpedo was spotted by the coxswain when it was 40 yards from the ship, but it struck on the starboard side between the #2 and #3 holds before evasive manouevers were taken. The engines were secured and the ship took a heavy list and settled by the head, bringing the propeller out of the water. 20 minutes after the hit the eight officers, 34 crewmen, 26 armed guards (the ship was armed with one 4in and nine 20mm guns) and one passenger (US Army security officer) abandoned ship in five lifeboats. A motorboat capsized during launching and threw 18 men into the sea, but they all get into other boats. The master stayed on board for an hour and later stayed with his lifeboat in the vicinity of the sinking until the next morning. The other four boats set together sail for the African coast, but became separated during the second night.
The U-boat fired at 22.07 hours a coup de grâce, which missed. The vessel was sunk by another coup de grâce at 01.20 hours on 12 April.

Six crew members and five armed guards in a boat were picked up after seven days by the Spanish steam merchant Cabo Huertas and landed at Las Palmas on 21 April. Another boat with 15 survivors was picked up in 22°42N/35°05W by the Spanish steam merchant Campana after 13 days and landed at Aruba on 3 May. On 6 May, the master and 13 men landed about 90 miles north of Port Etienne, Rio de Oro. These men might have died there on the desert, but they were spotted by a British patrol aircraft after three days, which dropped food and medical supplies to them. They were picked up the following day by the submarine chasers PC-2040 and PC-1041 and landed at Port Etienne on 11 May. After 23 days at sea, another eleven survivors were rescued by the Portuguese steam fishing trawler Albufeira in 21°55N/17°10W and landed at Lisbon on 10 May, but the second engineer died of exposure and was buried at sea.
The remaining 18 survivors in the last boat were rescued after 35 days by the Spanish sailing vessel Juan near Belle Nassent and taken to La Aguerrio, Rio de Oro, but an oiler later died in a hospital at Gibraltar.


From Liberty Ships, the Ugly Ducklings of World War II
by John Gorley Bunker, 1972

Now We Know

Another chapter in the Battle of the North Atlantic began on 11 April 1943. The brand new Liberty ship JAMES W. DENVER had straggled from her convoy in a heavy fog, then stopped when overheated engine bearings made it necessary to shut down for repairs.

While the black gang labored with sledges, calipers, and scrapers to repair the bearings and get going again, two torpedoes sent the ship down as though she had been scuttled. In the excitement, one lifeboat overturned and the men were spilled into the sea, but were hauled out again.

Somehow or other, all the deck officers wound up in the same boat, with the result that two of the boats had no one with any knowledge of navigation. To complicate matters, all the boats were soon separated by heavy seas and never sighted one another again, but resourcefulness and determination carried all of them through their ordeal with the loss of only one life.

Deck engineer Dolar Stone was in a boat carrying 18 engineers, stewards and Armed Guard gunners, only two of whom knew anything at all about small boat seamanship. Although he knew more about deck winches and ship's gear than he did about small boats, Stone took command as being the man aboard with the most seagoing experience.

Captain Everett W. Staley gave each boat a course to steer toward the nearest land, and a last command: "Hoist sail and let's get going."

"There was some light-hearted joking at first," said Stone, "but all in all it was a solemn leave taking from the JAMES W. DENVER. We hated to lose our ship and especially to see her go down without ever having fired a shot from all those beautiful new guns."

On the third night out the bow lookout on Stone's boat sighted a vague shape in the dusk and someone yelled, "Destroyer dead ahead!" To attract attention, they switched on their life jacket lights. Almost before they realized what was happening, a submarine appeared directly across their course.

"It was a big one," Stone recalled, "and we were careening right down on to it." The lifeboat grated against the hull and a German officer shouted at them from the conning tower.

"Where are you from?"

"Brooklyn!"

The German laughed. "That's where the baseball comes from," he said in good English.

As DENVER was stenciled on the lifeboat equipment, they answered up readily enough when the officer asked the name of their ship: "JAMES DENVER." The German laughed again so the men guessed this was the submarine that had sunk them.

"Well, well," he said. "You are from one of the new Liberty ships." A German sailor handed them a carton of cigarettes. From the bridge the officer shouted a course for them to steer, and the U-boat moved off into the night on the hunt for more victims.

In another boat, some unidentified man, probably first mate Andy Del Proposto, kept a log of their 23 day ordeal. Such chronicles are rare. This one is well worth reading because it fittingly describes the fortitude and patience of men who waited out their fates for more than three weeks and won:

April 11: Ship hit at 5 p.m. Second explosion 9:40 p.m. Rough and large, choppy sea. Wind northeasterly all night.

April 12: Lost sea anchor 11 a.m. Rig up new one and put over side 12:05. Mounting sea. Sea anchor out all night. Men living on one cracker, two ounces water.

April 13. 6:00 a.m. Hoist sails. 6:30 a.m. Take sails down. Sea too rough. Put sea anchor out again. Boys feeling fair. Still living on two crackers, four ounces water. Found out had no flares. Cans empty. No chocolate in food containers. Drifting southwesterly. Out 48 hours.

April 14. 5:30 a.m. hoist sail, heading south. Wind NNE. Medium sea and swell. Men living on two crackers, four ounces water. Sun came out for first time today. 9:45 a.m., chop sail. Sea too large. Put out sea anchor. Wind force 6. Lost sea anchor at 6:53 p.m. Had to rig up another from two oars. 9:45 p.m. cleared up a little. Hoisted sail. Head south. Wind during night. All men have wet clothes now four days.

April 15. Day started clear. Sea moderate with westerly winds. Force 3. 7 a.m. set sail heading south by east. North wind. Sun out again and feels good. 11:30 pm. wind died down. Everything calm, put out oars. 3 p.m. wind sprung up from northwest. Force 3. Put up sail and made good time. Raining. Everything wet.

Friday. April 16. Raining. All calm. Try to catch water. No luck. Went to three ounces of water, two crackers and pemmican also one malt milk tablet. 12 noon approximately 600 miles from coast. Try fishing. No luck. Fish all around. Won't bite. Air stirring a little. 5 pm. Breeze freshing to NNE. Making a little time. Sun out. Maybe we'll dry out. Everyone's clothes damp. Getting on everyone's nerves. All snapping at one another. Set regular watches. Five men to watch. 5:30 a.m. Men talking of food and water and what they like to have. Also talking of religion. Rain during night. Try to catch water. No luck.

Saturday. April 17. Eight miles south of yesterday's position. Calm sea. Air stirring slightly. Might have to row. Back to two ounces of water. Havn't seen a thing in six days now. 10 pm started to row. Men got extra two ounces of water. 11 pm wind freshing to northwesterly. Quit rowing. Getting small sea. Up speed. Continued sailing all night on easterly course.

Palm Sunday. Clear NWly breeze. Continued sailing easterly course. Men got four ounces of water but not eating much. 12 N. Still sailing easterly course. Small following sea. Making good time. 3 pm gave men extra two ounces water. Wind change to westerly. Have not see a thing yet. Men feeling pretty good. Doing a little singing. Now and then a man is a little seasick. Have not eaten since in boat. Given extra two ounces of water. First ass't and lieutenant pretty sick. Given extra water. Deck cadet feet swelling. Can't get in shoes. Clothing starting to dry out a little now, but with night everything wet and cold again. 11 pm continued on easterly course. 4 am rain squalls. Still heading easterly. Wind westerly. Following small sea.

Monday, April 19, Fresh westerly breeze. Force 3. Large following sea. Occasional squalls. Men growling now and then. Sea getting worse. Shipping water. 8 pm Took in sail. Wind change to northerly. Can only make leeway. 12 M. Cold and damp. Full moon. Jib up only makes leeway. Saw few birds today. Men got 4 ounces water. Must have 450 miles to go.

Tuesday, April 20. Bob has birthday. 27 years old today. Gave men six ounces of water. 6 pm moderate northerly sea and swell. Put up main sail. Can't seem to get clothes dry and makes men cold and snappy. Can't get civil answer anymore. 8 pm small northerly Sea and swell heading easterly. Second assistant pretty sick. Made 75 miles today.

Wednesday, April 21. Clear and calm. Wind mod. northerly. Heading southeasterly. Making fair time. App 400 miles to go. 6 pm. Clear, full moon. Occasional rain squalls. Making fair time.

Thursday, April 22. 6 am clear and bright. NW wind and mod. sea. Quite a sharp current southerly. Men singing a little and hoping to be picked up soon. 12 M. Wind NE and mod sea. Cold damp. Overcast.

Friday, April 23. Overcast. Beam sea. Fresh NE breeze. Not making any time. Men pray now before breakfast and after supper. Not a thing sighted as yet. Still have hope. Body starting to ache. Damp clothing. Can't keep them dry.

Saturday, April 24. Overcast and cloudy. Cold NE winds. Heading south. Tide to west. Large, rough, choppy, quarter seas. Shipping sea occasionally. Must bale frequently. Everybody's nerves on edge. Still living on six ounces of water, crackers and pemmican. Now and then men will talk of home and what they would like to be doing or different food and wine. Worst part is you can't lay out straight. Always cramped up. No wonder we ache.

Easter Sunday, April 25. First time and hope it is the last I ever spend Easter in a life boat. Not sure of your position or anything. Day started clear. Put up sail. Wind from east, force 3. Large swell. Shipping water occasionally. Heading south. 12 noon. Men got treat. Half can of pemmican, ten ounces water. Nothing in sight. Still have hope.

Monday, April 26. Heading south. Drift to west. Large mountain sea and swells. 7 am lower sail. Shipping too much water. Drifting to west. 12 N wind much same. Hoist sail, head south again. Can't seem to get any easting at all. Dear God, how we pray for a ship to pick us up or for the sight of land. Men starting to lose hope now. Second assistant talking out of his head regularly now. Cut down on rations. Have enough to last 11 days reduced ration. Cold and damp. Can't seem to get warm. Most of men joints swelling. Rough beam sea all night. Force 3.

Tuesday, April 27. High mountainous beam sea. Wind northeasterly. Force 4. Shipping water. Temperature 72 degrees. Everything damp. 12 N. Cut down on rations again. Can't see anything. Must make food and water last. Try fishing. Nothing bites. Have no bait. Let's hope we see something soon. Men's feet swelling at joints and every word a complaint. Hoping to hit mainland or Cape Verde Islands. Strong westerly winds and sea. Small swell. Making fair time. Heading SE.

Wednesday, April 28. Daybreak clear. Nothing in sight. Hurley thought saw submarine but did not surface. Wind NE. Force 2. Small swell. Heading SE. Must have app. 150 miles to mainland. Taking one box crackers, two cans pemmican, eight ounces water for 11 men now. Making mash. Lets hope what we have left lasts till picked up.

Thursday, April 29. Daybreak clear. Had prayer and breakfast. Small sea. Easterly swell. Wind NE heading SE. Made app. 50 miles yesterday. Men starting to break. Sure wish I was in my ap't, with my wife and baby. Hope I can keep up my courage and stop thinking of home too much. Made fair time last night.

Friday, April 30. Daybreak clear. Plenty of hope left yet. Cut down to one can of pemmican, one box of crackers, eight ounces of water. Expect to see land sometime this week yet. Wind from E. Heading SE, small sea and swell. 12 N Took sight for latitude. Everything looks all right. About 75 miles to go if calculations right. Bound to hit coast this week. Wind change NEly. Second assistant very low. Small sea and swell.

Saturday, May 1. Second assistant passed away during night. Gave burial at sea this morning 7:20 am. Men feel bad. 12 men went in swimming for a bath. Water felt good. Wind force 3. Making good time.

Sunday, May 2. Daybreak cloudy. Wind force 2. Small sea and swell. Force 1, making little headway. 11:25 a.m. sighted plane. Sent out smoke bomb. Think we were seen. Sure felt good after 21 days to see something. Will know within 24 hours whether we were or not. If not, expect to see land tomorrow if calculations right. Wind from E. Making little headway.

Monday, May 3. Daybreak clear and calm. Drift SW. Losing quite a bit of distance covered. Small sea and swell. Sight seven whales at 10:05 am. Close enough we could have hit them with a stone. Sighted raft at noon. Boarded it to look for food and water. No luck. Found some marine growth so ate that. No sign of life yet. Looks like plane did not see us yesterday.

Tuesday May 4 (position 21 degrees 55 minutes north. 17 degrees, ten minutes west). Sighted smoke on horizon but too far away to signal. Makes one feel low to see help so near yet so far. Daybreak clear. Wind strong NE. Heading SEly. Sighted fishing vessel 10 pm. Sent up flare. They sighted us and picked us up. We were 30 miles from African coast. Fed us and wined us in style. Now heading for Lisbon. Will be there in five days. Treat us like gentlemen. Gave us clothes and washed ours. Fed us again, gave up their bunks so we may sleep. They keep feeding us everytime we open our eyes. They really are wonderful people. They just can't seem to do enough for us.

Wednesday, May 5. Aboard the Albufeira. Daybreak clear. Making ten knots. Had fish for breakfast and soup and wine. Then a nap. Feel like a million. Now supper. Cabbage and beef noodle soup, beef and potatoes. Abeam Canary Islands now. Only three days to Lisbon. Had spot of tea before going to sleep. These men give you their bunks and sleep on deck. Too bad there is nothing we can do in return.

Friday, May 7. Breakfast coffee and sea biscuit. Had bath. Dinner fried fish and potatoes bread and wine. Supper fish chowder and rice, baked fish wine and bread. Tea before retiring. Eat, sleep.

Saturday May 8. 4 pm Casablanca abeam. 8 pm today ends clear.

Sunday, May 9. Passed Cabo de Sae Vicente.

Monday, May 10. Passed pilot boat at mouth of Tagus River and proceeded up river to Lisbon where we disembarked at the pier about 5 am amid many officials, police and a large crowd. After clearance with local officials proceeded at once to the British Hospital.

In the captain's boat there was a sextant but no mathematical tables, so he relied on dead reckoning, steering with a compass held between his legs. Several men tried to jump overboard -- a phenomenon of human behavior in almost every lifeboat trip of any duration -- but were restrained. When food ran out they wondered if they would live to sight land again or if some passing steamer would eventually find only their mute skeletons.

The captain had a chart and each day's dead reckoning position provided a constant reminder of their progress and was a great morale builder. Sometimes the captain would strike up a song and most of them would join in. He would dole out the water with: "It's only water now, boys, but keep your spirits up and you'll be drinking champagne one of these days soon."

Finally, on 5 May, the twenty-fifth day after leaving the ship, they made land -- the beach at Rio del Oro, West Africa. They were so weak no one could walk. They crawled up the beach on hands and knees, exulting in just being on dry land, but their joy was considerably mitigated by the discovery that they had landed on a desert -- no water, no signs of human life, nothing. After five days of blinding sandstorms and unrelenting bright sun, intensified by the burning sands, they might have died there had it not been for another German submarine.

In a strange paradox of war, a U-boat had been sighted and depth-charged offshore by British planes a few days before and on 10 May a plane hunting for evidence of this marauding German sighted the DENVER's lifeboat. Some hours later a patrol vessel, which was also hunting for the U-boat, landed several armed men who thought at first that the DENVER's crew might be German survivors. They were soon aboard ship and headed for a hospital where all of them recovered from their ordeal. Hardy sailors, most of them went back to sea when they returned to the United States.




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USS DeKalb (ID-3010)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

USS DeKalb (ID-3010) was a transport in the United States Navy. She was named for General Baron Johann de Kalb after being seized.

DeKalb was launched 18 June 1901 by Vulcan Company, Stettin, Germany, as Prinz Eitel Friedrich. She put in to Norfolk 11 March 1915 for repairs, and failing to leave in the time prescribed by international law, was interned in April and moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When the United States entered World War I, she was seized by Customs officials and transferred to the Navy. Reconditioned and refitted as a troop transport, she was renamed DeKalb, and commissioned 12 May 1917, Commander W. R. Gherardi in command.

DeKalb was assigned to the Cruiser and Transport Force, Atlantic Fleet, and on 14 June 1917 sailed in the convoy carrying the first troops of the American Expeditionary Forces to France. In the next 18 months DeKalb made 11 such voyages, carrying 11,334 soldiers safely. With the end of the war, she continued her transport duty returning 20,332 troops from Europe in eight voyages. On 6 September 1919 she was turned over to the Commandant, 3d Naval District.

She was decommissioned 22 September 1919 and returned to the Shipping Board for disposal the following day.






Career United States Navy ensign
Name: Prinz Eitel Friedrich
Builder: Vulcan Co., Stettin, Germany
Launched: 18 June 1901
Recommissioned: 12 May 1917
Decommissioned: 22 September 1919
Renamed: USS DeKalb (ID-3010)
General characteristics
Displacement: 14,180 tons
Length: 506 ft 6 in (154.4 m)
Beam: 55 ft 6 in (16.9 m)
Draft: 26 ft (7.9 m)
Speed: 16 kts
Complement: 534 officers and enlisted
Armament: 8 5", 6 3"

USS DeKalb (ID # 3010), 1917-1919

USS DeKalb, a 14,180-ton (displacement) troop transport, was built at Stettin, Germany, in 1904 as the passenger liner Prinz Eitel Friedrich. She was a German Navy auxiliary cruiser during the first seven months of World War I, then was interned in the United States. Seized when the U.S. entered the conflict in 1917, she was turned over to the Navy, converted to a troopship at the Philadelphia Navy Yard and renamed DeKalb. She was commissioned in May 1917 and a month later helped carry the first contingent of U.S. troops to the European war zone. Later registered as ID # 3010, she continued in her vital work until the fighting ended in November 1918. During this time DeKalb made a total of eleven trans-Atlantic voyages, transporting over eleven-thousand men. After the Armistice, she reversed the process, bringing home more than twenty-thousand troops in eight trips. USS DeKalb was decommissioned in September 1919 and transferred to the U.S. Shipping Board. Subsequently refitted for commercial employment, she operated as SS Mount Clay during the early 1920s and was scrapped in 1934.

This page features, or provides links to, all the views we have concerning the World War I troop transport USS DeKalb (ID # 3010).

For other views related to this ship, see:
USS DeKalb (ID # 3010) -- On Board and Miscellaneous Views, and
Prinz Eitel Friedrich (German Passenger Liner, 1904).

 

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

 

Photo #: NH 54654

USS DeKalb
(later ID # 3010)

Moored at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, on 11 June 1917, the day before she sailed to transport U.S. troops to the European war zone.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 62KB; 740 x 610 pixels

 

Photo #: NH 54652

USS DeKalb
(later ID # 3010)

Taking U.S. Marines on board for transportation to Europe, at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, 6:00 A.M., 12 June 1917.
Note the automobiles in the foreground.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 103KB; 740 x 605 pixels

 

Photo #: NH 54653

USS DeKalb
(later ID # 3010)

Leaving the pier at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, 6:09 A.M., 12 June 1917, en route to the European war zone with U.S. troops on board.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 80KB; 740 x 595 pixels

 

Photo #: NH 54655

USS DeKalb
(later ID # 3010)

Tied up at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, after returning from France, 1917.
Note sign on the lamp post in the foreground, marking the intersection of 2nd Street West and Preble Avenue.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 112KB; 740 x 575 pixels

 

Photo #: NH 54662

USS DeKalb
(later ID # 3010)

Tied up at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, 18 February 1918.
Note her camouflage scheme, ice in the Delaware River, and battleships in the left background.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 131KB; 740 x 600 pixels

 

Photo #: NH 68750

USS DeKalb
(ID # 3010)

Underway, circa 1918, probably in New York Harbor.
Note the pattern camouflage she wore during the latter part of World War I.

Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, D.C., 1969.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 96KB; 740 x 485 pixels

 

Photo #: NH 100562

USS DeKalb
(ID # 3010)

In port, circa 1917-1919, with U.S. battleships in the background.
Built as the German passenger liner Prinz Eitel Friedrich in 1904, she was seized when the U.S. entered World War I. She was renamed DeKalb and placed in commission on 12 May 1917.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 36KB; 740 x 290 pixels

 

Photo #: NH 105165

USS De Kalb
(ID # 3010)

In port, with a small tug alongside, 1919.
The original image was printed on post card ("AZO") stock as one of the "Ship That Brought Us Home" series produced as souvenirs for service personnel returning from Europe.

Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2007.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image size: 56KB; 740 x 445 pixels

 

For other views related to this ship, see:


USS DeKalb (ID # 3010), 1917-1919 --
On Board and Miscellaneous Views

This page features all the views we have taken on board USS DeKalb (ID # 3010), and miscellaneous images related to her.

For other views concerning this ship, see:
USS DeKalb (ID # 3010), 1917-1919, and
Prinz Eitel Friedrich (German Passenger Liner, 1904).

 

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

Photo #: NH 54660

USS DeKalb
(ID # 3010)

Scene on the ship's fire control bridge, 18 May 1918.
Note man at speaking tube at left, officer with binoculars in the center, and telescope at right.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 103KB; 740 x 550 pixels

 

Photo #: NH 54661

USS DeKalb
(ID # 3010)

Scene on the ship's fire control bridge, 18 May 1918.
Note officer and Sailor with binoculars, telescope at right, and the officer's holstered M1911 pistol.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 97KB; 740 x 590 pixels

 

Photo #: NH 41702

USS DeKalb
(ID # 3010)

Officer firing a signal gun while a Sailor observes, 18 May 1918.
The gun appears to be a 1-pounder Hotchkiss.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 67KB; 740 x 560 pixels

 

Photo #: NH 54656

USS DeKalb
(ID # 3010)

Paravane skeg fitted to the ship's forefoot, photographed in drydock at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, 26 September 1918.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 154KB; 740 x 605 pixels

 

Photo #: NH 82951

"The Original U.S. Troop Transports"


Chart compiled 16 August 1919, showing the number of trans-Atlantic "turn arounds" and their average duration for thirty seven U.S. Navy troop transports employed during and immediately after World War I.

Collection of the USS Pocahontas Reunion Association, 1974.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 157KB; 690 x 655 pixels

Click here to rotate chart 90 degrees clockwise

 

For other views concerning this ship, see:

USS DeKalb (ID # 3010), 1917-1919,
and
Prinz Eitel Friedrich
(German Passenger Liner, 1904).

 


Prinz Eitel Friedrich (German Passenger Liner, 1904).
Later German Auxiliary Cruiser Prinz Eitel Friedrich, USS DeKalb (ID # 3010) and Commercial Steamer SS DeKalb and SS Mount Clay

Prinz Eitel Friedrich, a 8797 gross ton passenger liner, was launched at Stettin, Germany, in 1904. She spent nearly a decade in commercial service under the flag of North German Lloyd. When the First World War broke out in August 1914 Prinz Eitel Friedrich was at Tsingtau, China, where she was quickly converted to an auxiliary cruiser for the German Navy. For the next seven months the ship operated on the high seas with Vice Admiral von Spee's squadron and as a detached commerce raider. Among her victims while in the latter role was the schooner William P. Frye, captured on 27 January 1915 and scuttled the next day, the first U.S. flag vessel sunk in World War I.

On 10 March 1915 Prinz Eitel Friedrich, now low on supplies and burdened by many prisoners, arrived at Newport News, Virginia, where she was interned. Later taken to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, she remained under the German flag until seized by the United State in April 1917. She served from May 1917 to September 1919 as USS DeKalb, then returned to civilian control, initially as DeKalb and, after 1920, as Mount Clay. After briefly operating for the United American Lines during the first half of the 1920s, the ship was laid up. She was scrapped in 1934.

This page features all the views we have related to the German passenger liner Prinz Eitel Friedrich, which was USS DeKalb during 1917-19.

For pictures of this ship during her U.S. Navy service, see:
USS DeKalb (ID # 3010).

If you want higher resolution reproductions than the digital images presented here, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

Photo #: NH 54659

Prinz Eitel Friedrich
(German Passenger Liner, 1904)

Interned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, on 28 March 1917. Behind her is the liner Kronprinz Wilhelm.
These ships were seized when the United States entered World War I and subsequently served as USS DeKalb (ID # 3010) and Von Steuben (ID # 3017).

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 117KB; 740 x 610 pixels

 

Photo #: NH 94986

German Passenger Liners Prinz Eitel Friedrich and
Kronprinz Wilhelm (left)

Interned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, prior to the U.S. entry into World War I. They are still flying German flags.
During 1917-19, these ships respectively served as USS De Kalb (ID # 3010) and USS Von Steuben (ID # 3017).
Note U.S. Navy target raft at right.

Courtesy of Paul H. Silverstone, 1983.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 95KB; 740 x 470 pixels

 

Photo #: NH 42417

German Passenger Liners Prinz Eitel Friedrich and
Kronprinz Wilhelm (left)

Interned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, on 26 March 1917, shortly before they were seized by the United States. Photographed from on board USS Salem.
During 1917-19, these ships respectively served as USS De Kalb (ID # 3010) and USS Von Steuben (ID # 3017).

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 100KB; 740 x 615 pixels

 

Photo #: NH 42416

German Passenger Liners Kronprinz Wilhelm and
Prinz Eitel Friedrich (left)

Interned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, on 26 March 1917, shortly before they were seized by the United States. They are still flying the German flag, and German guns are visible on Prinz Eitel Friedrich's stern.
During 1917-19, these ships respectively served as USS Von Steuben (ID # 3017) and USS De Kalb (ID # 3010).

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 104KB; 740 x 620 pixels

 

Photo #: NH 42420

German Passenger Liner Kronprinz Wilhelm

Interned at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, on 26 March 1917, shortly before she was seized by the United States. Visible on her opposite side are the masts and funnels of the interned liner Prinz Eitel Friedrich.
During 1917-19, these ships respectively served as USS Von Steuben (ID # 3017) and USS De Kalb (ID # 3010).
Photographed by Replogle.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 86KB; 740 x 605 pixels

 

Photo #: NH 54657

Prinz Eitel Friedrich
(ex-German Passenger Liner, 1904)

Sailors pose with empty beer barrels removed from the ship's hold, 20 April 1917, soon after she was seized by the United States.
She was refitted for U.S. Navy service at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, renamed DeKalb and commissioned on 12 May 1917.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 118KB; 740 x 575 pixels

 

Photo #: NH 54658

Prinz Eitel Friedrich
(ex-German Passenger Liner, 1904)

Sailors on the pier at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pennsylvania, with items removed from the ship's hold, 20 April 1917, soon after she was seized by the United States. Empty wine bottles are specifically identified, in left center.
The ship, seen in the background, was refitted for U.S. Navy service, renamed DeKalb and commissioned on 12 May 1917.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 132KB; 740 x 600 pixels

 

Photo #: NH 54663

SS DeKalb
(American Passenger Liner, 1904)

In the Hudson River near Sputtan Duyvill Creek, on 16 December 1919, after she had been damaged by fire. The fire broke out while the ship was lying ready to be converted to an oil burner for the South American trade. Her skeleton crew of 35 men was removed safely and the vessel beached.
Built in 1904 as the German liner Prinz Eitel Friedrich, this ship served as USS DeKalb (ID # 3010) in 1917-1919.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 92KB; 740 x 545 pixels

 

For pictures of this ship during her U.S. Navy service, see:

 


Prince Eitel Friedrich of Prussia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Prince Eitel Friedrich (Wilhelm Eitel Friedrich Christian Karl) (July 7, 1883December 8, 1942) was a son of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany by his first wife, Duchess Augusta Viktoria of Schleswig-Holstein. He was both born and died in Potsdam, Germany, and was a member of the Royal House of Hohenzollern

On 27 February 1906 Prince Eitel married Duchess Sophie Charlotte Holstein-Gottorp of Oldenburg (2 February 1879 Oldenburg, Germany - 29 March 1964 Westerstede, Germany) in Berlin, Germany. They were divorced 20 October 1926 and had no children.

From 1907-1926 he was Grand Master of the Lutheran Order of St. John (Johanniter-orden).

Prince Eitel was in the front line from the beginning of the First World War and was wounded at Bapaume, where he commanded the Prussian First Foot Guards. He temporarily relinquished command to Count Hans von Blumenthal, but returned to duty before the end of the year. The following year he was transferred to the Eastern Front and during the Summer of 1915, was out in a field in Russia when he had a chance encounter with Manfred von Richthofen (The Red Baron) who had just crashed with his superior officer, Count Holck. The two men were hiding in a nearby tree line from what they thought was the advancing Russian army and who turned out to be the grenadiers, guardsmen, and officers of Prince Eitel. 1921 he was found guilty of fraudulent transfer of 300,000 Mark and sentenced to a fine of 5000 Mark.[1]