USS Pocahontas (ID-3044)

USS Pocahontas (ID-3044)

Named for the Algonquin princess, USS "Pocahontas" (SP-3044), formerly "Prinzessin Irene", was a transport ship in the United States Navy.

She was launched as "Prinzess Irene" on 19 June 1900 by Aktiengesellschaft Vulkan, Stettin, Germany for North German Lloyd Lines.

During World War I, she was seized by the United States under authority of the Presidential Proclamation of 6 April 1917, and after refitting and training with the Atlantic Fleet, she commissioned as "Princess Irene" 25 July 1917, Commander Junius F. Hellweg in command. She was assigned to the Cruiser-Transport Force under Rear Admiral Albert Gleaves and was renamed "Pocahontas" 1 September 1917.

Throughout World War I, and for nearly a year after the Armistice, "Pocahontas" served as a troop transport, completing eighteen round trips to Europe. She carried 24,573 servicemen to Brest and St. Nazaire and returned 23,296 servicemen to the United States.

Although "Pocahontas" managed to convey all of her passengers safely, she faced numerous dangers. The most serious incident occurred in the forenoon of 2 May 1918 when a German submarine surfaced in her path and straddled her with 5.9” shells. Captain Edward C. Kalbfus ordered the crew to battle stations and gave the signal to open fire. Unfortunately the submarine was not within range of "Pocahontas"' guns. Although fragments of enemy shells fell on the ship, she was not directly hit and suffered no casualties. The transport commenced zig-zag courses, and then at full speed drew away from the submarine, probably "U–151", twenty minutes after the attack began. Making a record of 16.2 knots, she kept the enemy astern. For saving the ship Captain Kalfbus was awarded the Navy Cross.

"Pocahontas" decommissioned at Brooklyn, New York 7 November 1919 and was returned to her owner.

See USS|Pocahontas for other ships of this name).

References

* [http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/lines/nglloyd.html#pirene Prinzess Irene] , on a list of ships of the North German Lloyd Line at shipslist.com

External links

Photographs of "Prinzess Irene"/"Pocahontas" can be seen here [http://www.simplonpc.co.uk/NDL2.html#anchor862481] and here [http://www.oryansroughnecks.org/diary2.html] (under the "Friday May 17, 1918" diary of George A. Morrice of the 107th Regiment.)


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