USS Proteus (AC-9)


USS Proteus (AC-9)

The collier USS "Proteus" (AC-9) was laid down on October 31, 1911, by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, and launched on September 14, 1912. With the threat of war looming, she was commissioned on July 9, 1913, to the U.S. Navy, Master Robert J. Easton, Naval Auxiliary Service, in command.

Following her fitting out and shakedown, "Proteus" steamed out of Norfolk, Virginia, on November 11, 1913, on the first of four runs to Vera Cruz to coal battleships and cruisers of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet off Mexico. On December 17, 1914, "Proteus" left Hampton Roads carrying men, fuel, and stores to the Philippines. She completed the final of four such runs on August 4 of that year.

Sailing again from Norfolk on September 25, 1914, "Proteus" supplied coal, oil, men and stores for ships of the Atlantic Fleet at Rio de Janeiro and Montevideo. Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transport Service, she operated between Norfolk, Boston and New York City for the next several years.

"Proteus" set forth from New York on July 14, 1918, for the British Isles, returning to Hampton Roads on September 19. She left again on Christmas Eve of 1918 for Brest, France, and spent the next 6 months shipping coal from Cardiff and Barry, Wales, to Brest.

"Proteus" returned to Norfolk, 6 August 1919, and during the greater part of the next three years cruised from Norfolk to replenish the Fleet in the Caribbean.

In the aftermath of the Great War, "Proteus" cruised from Norfolk to replenish the U.S. Fleet in the Caribbean. Crossing the Panama Canal four times, she delivered fuel and stores to Pearl Harbor in 1920, and to Callao, Peru, in 1921.

Her last supply run to the Caribbean ended at Hampton Roads on April 12, 1923. "Proteus" spent the remainder of her career in operations between Norfolk and Melville, Rhode Island.

She decommissioned at Norfolk 25 March 1924 and remained inactive until her name was struck from the Navy List 5 December 1940. She was sold 8 March 1941 to Saguenay Terminals Ltd. of Ottawa, Ontario.

The "Proteus" was lost at sea with an unknown cause and date sometime after 23 November 1941; there are no German U-boat claims for this vessel. [ [http://www.uboat.net/forums/read.php?3,45986,46029#msg-46029] ] A memorial listing of her crew can be found at the CWGC Halifax Memorial. [ [http://www.cwgc.org/search/cemetery_details.aspx?cemetery=400620&mode=1] ] A Canadian website suggests the "Proteus"'s possible fate. [ [http://familyheritage.ca/Articles/merchant1.html] ]

Interestingly, two of USS "Proteus"' three sister ships, USS "Cyclops" and USS "Nereus", vanished without a trace in the Bermuda Triangle area while doing similar duty during World War I and World War II, respectively. Her third sister, USS "Jupiter", was converted into the very first aircraft carrier of the United States Navy.

ee also

See USS "Proteus" for other ships of the same name.
* USS Cyclops (AC-4)
* USS Nereus (AC-10)
* USS Langley

References

DANFS [http://www.history.navy.mil/danfs/p12/proteus-ii.htm]


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