USS Rijndam (ID-2505)

USS "Rijndam" (ID-2505) was a transport for the United States Navy during World War I. Both before and after her Navy service she was known as SS "Rijndam" or "Ryndam" as an ocean liner for the Holland America Line.

History

"Rijndam" was launched during 1901 by Harland & Wolff Ltd. of Belfast, Ireland, as a steel passenger liner for the Holland America Line.. The group rendezvoused with a similar group that left Newport News, Virginia, the same day, consisting of American transports served as escort for the assembled ships, which were the 35th U.S. convoy of the war.Crowell and Wilson, p. 609.] On 20 May, the convoy sighted and fired on a "submarine" that turned out to be a bucket; the next day escort "Frederick" left the convoy after being relieved by 11 destroyers. Three days later the convoy sighted land at 06:30 and anchored at Brest that afternoon.Pollard, p. 27.]

On her return journey on 31 May 1918, "Rijndam" was nearly torpedoed in the same attack by German submarine "U-90" that resulted in the loss of "President Lincoln". , , and destroyers USS|Stevens|DD-86|2 and USS|Fairfax|DD-93|2; battleship USS|Texas|BB-35|2 and several other destroyers joined in escort duties for the group for a time. The convoy had a false alarm when a floating barrel was mistaken for submarine, but otherwise uneventfully arrived at Brest on the afternoon of 27 June. Cutchins and Stewart, p. 68. ]

"Rijndam" landed troops and supplies at Brest, France, on three more occasions through November 1918, and called once at Saint-Nazaire during July. "Rijndam" made seven round-trip voyages from Quiberon, Saint-Nazaire, and Brest, France, following the end of World War I, returning U.S. troops and personnel to Newport News, Virginia; Norfolk, Virginia; Hoboken, New Jersey; and New York.

In March 1919, "Rijndam" and USS|Princess Matoika|ID-2290|2 raced each other from Saint-Nazaire to Newport News in a friendly competition that received national press coverage in the United States. [cite news | title = Chicago troops reach U. S. after race over ocean | work = Chicago Daily Tribune | date = 1919-03-21 | page = 4 ] [cite news | title = "Old Hickory" boys go to Charleston | work = The Atlanta Constitution | date = 1919-03-21 | page = 10 ] "Rijndam", the slower ship, was just able to edge out the "Matoika"—and cut two days from her previous fastest crossing time—by appealing to the honor of the soldiers of the 133rd Field Artillery returning home aboard her and employing them as extra stokers for her boilers.Harlow, p. 195, quoting Kent Watson from "History of the 133d Regiment". ]

She carried over 3,000 passengers on many of her 26 trips across the Atlantic, completing her active service upon arrival at New York 4 August 1919 from Brest. Transferred from the Cruiser and Transport Force on 11 August 1919 to the custody of the 3rd Naval District, "Rijndam" was decommissioned and returned to her former owner on 22 October 1919 at New York. "Rijndam" resumed her mercantile career under the Dutch flag, remaining active until scrapped during 1929.

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