|USS Covington (ID-1409)|
USS Covington (ID-1409) at the Boston Navy Yard, Massachusetts
|Career (U.S. Navy)|
|Name:||USS Covington (ID-1408)|
|Acquired:||26 July 1917|
|Commissioned:||28 July 1917|
|Fate:||torpedoed by U-86 and scuttled in the next day|
|Length:||608 ft (185 m)|
|Beam:||65 ft 4 in (19.91 m)|
|Speed:||16 knots (30 km/h)|
|Armament:||4 × 6-inch (150 mm) guns|
USS Covington (ID-1409) was a transport for the United States Navy during World War I. Prior to the war the ship, built in 1908 in Germany, was SS Cincinnati of the Hamburg America Line. The transport was torpedoed by U-86 on 1 July 1918 and was scuttled the next day with six men killed.
Covington, named after the city of Covington, Kentucky, was built in 1908 by F. Schichau, Danzig, Germany, as Cincinnati.; interned by customs officials at Boston upon the entry of the United States into World War I
At the outbreak of World War I, Cincinnati was interned in Boston with Hamburg America line-mate SS Amerika; North German Lloyd steamers Kronprinzessin Cecilie, Köln, Wittekind, and Willehad; and Hansa Line freighter Ockenfels. In March 1916, all except Kronprinzessin Cecilie and Ockenfels were moved from their waterfront piers to an anchorage across the harbor from the Boston Navy Yard. Daily "neutrality duty" by United States Coast Guard harbor tug Winnisimmet kept a watchful eye on the ships. Many crew members of the ships eventually went ashore, were processed through immigration, and found employment, while a contingent of musicians from the vessels toured New England, frequently playing at department stores and restaurants, and drawing the ire of the local musicians' union. After the U.S. declared war on Germany, Cincinnati and the other interned ships were seized on 6 April 1917 and handed over to the United States Shipping Board (USSB).
The ship was transferred to the Navy 26 July 1917; and commissioned 28 July 1917, Captain R. D. Hasbrouck in command. Between 18 October 1917 and 1 July 1918, Covington made six voyages from Hoboken, New Jersey, to Brest, France, safely transporting more than 21,000 troops for service with the American Expeditionary Force. On 1 July 1918 she was torpedoed without warning by the German submarine U-86 off Brest; she was scuttled the next day despite efforts to save her. The convoy escorts succeeded in rescuing all but six of her complement of 776.
- "Heavy tonnage in German steamers tied up in Boston" (fee). The Christian Science Monitor. 4 March 1916. p. 18. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/csmonitor_historic/access/270041872.html?FMT=AI&dids=270041872:270041872&FMTS=ABS:AI&type=historic&date=Mar+4%2C+1916&author=&pub=Christian+Science+Monitor++(1908-Current+file)&desc=HEAVY+TONNAGE+IN+GERMAN+STEAMERS+TIED+UP+IN+BOSTON. Retrieved 2008-03-28.
- Drechsel, V. I, p. 159
- Drechsel, Edwin (1994). Norddeutscher Lloyd, Bremen, 1857–1970: History, Fleet, Ship Mails. Vancouver, British Columbia: Cordillera Pub. Co.. ISBN 978-1-895590-08-1. OCLC 30357825.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Photo gallery of Covington at NavSource Naval History
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