- 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 Fleetoff Mexico. On December 17, 1914, "Proteus" left Hampton Roadscarrying men, fuel, and stores to the Philippines. She completed the final of four such runs on August 4of 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 Janeiroand 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 Cardiffand 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 Canalfour times, she delivered fuel and stores to Pearl Harborin 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 1924and remained inactive until her name was struck from the Navy List 5 December 1940. She was sold 8 March 1941to 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
CWGCHalifax 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 Trianglearea while doing similar duty during World War Iand World War II, respectively. Her third sister, USS "Jupiter", was converted into the very first aircraft carrierof the United States Navy.
See USS "Proteus" for other ships of the same name.
USS Cyclops (AC-4)
USS Nereus (AC-10)
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