USS City of South Haven

SS City of South Haven (American Passenger Steamship, 1903) Underway prior to World War I, with her decks crowded with passengers. This Great Lakes steamer was USS City of South Haven (ID # 2527) in 1918–1919
Name: SS City of South Haven
Owner: Dunkley-Williams and Company of South Haven, Michigan
Builder: Craig Shipbuilding of Toledo, Ohio
Launched: 1903
Fate: Damaged by fire 3 December 1935, scrapped 1942
General characteristics
Displacement: 1719 gross ton

USS City of South Haven (ID-2527) was a transport ship for the United States Navy at the close of World War I. Before the war, she was a passenger steamship that sailed as SS City of South Haven on the Great Lakes. In post-war civilian service she operated as SS City of Miami between Florida and Cuba before returning to the Great Lakes as SS E.G. Crosby. She was scrapped in 1942 following a fire.


SS City of South Haven was built in 1903 by Craig Shipbuilding of Toledo, Ohio for Dunkley-Williams and Company of South Haven, Michigan. She was sold to the Chicago and South Haven Steamship Company of Chicago, Illinois in 1906.[1] City of South Haven operated commercially on the Great Lakes, primarily Lake Michigan, until early 1918.[2]

World War I

The United States Navy purchased SS City of South Haven on 19 April 1918 at Manistee, Michigan. She underwent a conversion into naval service at Kraft Shipyard and Dry Dock Company of Chicago, Illinois.[3] USS City of South Haven was commissioned on 9 November 1918, two days before the Armistice that ended World War I. Commanded by Lieutenant Commander A. C. Wilvers of the United States Naval Reserve Force, she left Chicago on 29 November and arrived in Boston, Massachusetts on 13 December.[2][3] Boston was to be her final stop for fitting en route to Europe and cross-channel transport. However, with the end of hostilities USS City of South Haven was no longer needed and placed on the sale list.[3] She was sold to the Goodrich Transit Company of Chicago and struck from the Navy List on 27 September 1919. Her decommissioning took place on 3 December and she was latter delivered to her new owners.[1]

Post-war service

Following her brief stint in the Navy, SS City of South Haven would change names and ownership a number of times before finally returning to the Great Lakes. Goodrich Transit sold her in 1919 to J.G. Crosby of Chicago. J.G. Crosby in turn sold her to the Havana-American Steamship Company of Miami, Florida on 3 February 1920. Her name was then changed to SS City of Miami and she was resold on 21 May to A.O. Anderson and Company of Miami. During this period she would operate between Florida and Cuba.[2][3] City of Miami returned to her former owners on 17 June 1920 when she was again sold to the Havana-American Steamship Company. The United States Marshals Service next sold her to the O'Brien Brothers Towing Company of Miami on 6 November 1922. Ten days later City of Miami was sold to the Havana Navigation Corporation of Miami. The following year she was sold to the Crosby Transportation Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and renamed SS E. G. Crosby. This sale would return her to the Great Lakes. In 1924, she would be sold for the final time to the Wisconsin and Michigan Transportation Company of Milwaukee. She was laid up in 1931 and suffered massive fire damage in a boneyard at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin on 3 December 1935. As a result, she was scrapped in 1942.[3]


External links

  • Photo gallery of City of Miami at Maritime Timetable Images
  • Photo gallery of City of South Haven at NavSource Naval History
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