SS Pennsylvanian - U.S. Navy Service

U.S. Navy Service

On 13 September 1918, Pennsylvanian was transferred to the U.S. Navy at New York and commissioned USS Pennsylvanian (ID-3511) the same day. Assigned to the Navy's Naval Overseas Transportation Service, Pennsylvanian loaded a general cargo and sailed for Brest, France, on 30 September. She arrived there on 15 October and sailed for La Pallice the next day, where she unloaded her cargo before departing for New York on 5 November.

Arriving at New York on 15 November, four days after the Armistice, Pennsylvanian was refitted as an animal transport ship, which, among other things, required the building of ramps and stalls for the animals. Sometime in November, probably during her refit, she was renamed USS Scranton, becoming the first U.S. Navy ship named in honor of the Pennsylvania town. Scranton sailed for France on 12 December, arriving at Saint-Nazaire on 29 December, and returning to New York on 29 January 1919.

On 5 February, Scranton was transferred from the to the Navy's Cruiser and Transport Force, and began conversion to a troop transport to carry American personnel home from France. While sailing to France to begin her first troop-carrying duties in late March, Scranton suffered damage to her rudder and was disabled 900 nautical miles (1,700 km) east of New York. Navy transport El Sol responded to Scranton's distress call, and attempted to take Scranton under tow. During the day on 28 March, Scranton attempted to run a towline to El Sol by sending a launch in the rolling seas, but it capsized, drowning three men. El Sol stood by Scranton for over 40 hours until minesweeper Penguin arrived and took Scranton under tow. Penguin and Scranton arrived in New York on 3 April, where Scranton entered drydock to undergo repairs.

After repairs, Scranton made three roundtrips to France and carried some 6,000 troops and passengers home to the United States before she was decommissioned on 19 July. The ship was handed over to the for return to American-Hawaiian, who restored her original name.

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