Home | Angelillo Family History - The steamship Amerika as troopship U.S.S. America. This page supplements: The 315th Infantry of the U.S. Army at the beginning of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.

The 315th Infantry's Steamship Departure for Europe

Early on the morning of Monday, 8 July 1918, the various units of the 315th Regiment left the Baltimore and Ohio train which had transported them from Camp Meade, Maryland, and went by ferry to United States Embarkation Pier No. 3 at Hoboken, New York. The ship assigned to the 315th Infantry was the former Hamburg-American liner "Amerika", renamed "America", and at that time the third largest U.S. transport ship. (The Official History of the 315th Infantry U.S.A. (Philadelphia, 1920), p. 35)

The Steamship Amerika (later America)

Drawing of the Steamship Amerika, 36 KB

Image Source: based on the drawing reproduced courtesy of the Peabody Museum of Salem in Michael J. Anuta's Ships of Our Ancestors (Baltimore: 1983), page 8, where it is titled "S.S. Amerika, 1905 Hamburg American Line".

According to the Morton Allan Directory of European Passenger Steamship Arrivals (Baltimore: 1987), the Hamburg-American Line sailed a ship named "Amerika" between Hamburg and New York from 1905-1913. For the year 1914 it sailed a ship of that name between Hamburg and Boston; the Amerika's last U.S. arrivals were to Boston on 19 June and 24 July 1914 (p. 178). The Hamburg-American Line disappears from the Directory after 5 August 1914 and then does not reappear until 1921.

The Steamship Amerika, 33 KB

Image Source: based on the photograph reproduced as Claire White Peterson Photo, Mystic Seaport, Mystic, Connecticut, in Michael J. Anuta's Ships of Our Ancestors (Baltimore: 1983), page 8, where it is titled "S.S. Amerika, 1905 Hamburg-American Line". Printed in the top right corner of the photograph are the words:

Hamburg-American Line.
22,500 tons.

Description and History

Operated by the German company Hamburg-Amerika Linie ("Hapag"), known in English as "Hamburg American Line", founded in 1847. 22,225 ton steamship. Dimensions in feet (between perpendiculars): 669.0 x 74.3. Two funnels, four masts; twin screw; two sets of four-cylinder quadruple-expansion engines; service speed of 18 knots [20.7 miles per hour]. Room for 2,508 passengers (386 first class; 150 second class; 222 third class; 1,750 fourth class). Shipbuilder: Harland & Wolff, Belfast. Launched 20 April 1905. Maiden Voyage 11 October 1905 Hamburg-Dover-Cherbourg-New York. Tonnage increased in 1907 to 22,621. On 4 October 1912 collided with and sank the British submarine B.2 off Dover, England. Last Voyage on the Hamburg-Boulogne-Southampton-Boston route 14 July 1914. In April 1917 seized by U.S.A. [The United States and Imperial Germany were at war from 6 April 1917 until 11 November 1918]; renamed "America" (U.S. Army transport). In 1917-18 nine trooping voyages to France. On 14 July 1918 collided with and sank the British ship "Instructor".

Source: North Atlantic Seaway: an illustrated history of the passenger services linking the old world with the new in four volumes by N.R.P. Bonsor, with illustrations by J.H. Isherwood (New York: 1975), Volume 1, pages 347, 411.

Line drawing of the Steamship Amerika by J.H. Isherwood, 10 KB

1905 - Amerika,  by J.H. Isherwood
(North Atlantic Seaway, Vol. 1, p. 370)

U.S.S. America on 20 August 1919. Troop transport ship

U.S.S. America on 20 August 1919, 46 KB

The Text Written on the Photograph

30th Inf - 18th Field Art. A.E.F.
The Ship that brought us home from France
U.S.S. "America". New York Aug.20.1919.
488 - 7 Ave N.Y.

The America's departure for Europe on 9 July 1918 as a troop transport ship.

Post Card - Amerika

Postcard Amerika, verso, 29 KB


Total length: 668 feet
Width: 74 "
Depth: 52 "
Gross tonnage: 22,622 tons
Power: 15,500 HP.

Speed: ca. 18 nautical miles per hour.
Operates between Cherbourg and New York.

386 First Class
150 Second Class
222 Third Class
1750 Steerage
Total: 2508 Passengers
Ship's complement: 577 Officers and crew
= 3085 altogether.

Kunstverlag [Fine art publisher] A.N.H.

Image Source: Undated postcard of the steamship "Amerika" (front and back). Courtesy of Stig Zetterkvist.

Postcard Amerika, recto, 22 KB

The URL of this Web page: https://www.roangelo.net/angelo/amerika.html
Last revised: 9 April 2005 : 2005-04-09 [2019-06-23] by Robert [Wesley] Angelo.

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