USS Culgoa (AF-3)

USS Culgoa (AF-3) was a refrigerated supply ship in the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...


Culgoa was built in 1889 by J.L. Thompson and Sons, Ltd. of Sunderland, England and purchased at Cavite
Cavite is a province of the Philippines located on the southern shores of Manila Bay in the CALABARZON region in Luzon, just 30 kilometers south of Manila. Cavite is surrounded by Laguna to the east, Metro Manila to the northeast, and Batangas to the south...

, Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 on 4 June 1898. During the naval blockade of Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

, the vessel supplied the American squadron with ice and meat. Since she was not a commissioned naval vessel, Culgoa could purchase supplies while avoiding the neutrality laws that banned sales to the Navy.

Philippine–American War, 1898–1901

On 3 December 1898, one week before the Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1898)
The Treaty of Paris of 1898 was signed on December 10, 1898, at the end of the Spanish-American War, and came into effect on April 11, 1899, when the ratifications were exchanged....

 that ended the Spanish-American War
Spanish-American War
The Spanish–American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence...

 was to be signed, Culgoa was commissioned
Ship commissioning
Ship commissioning is the act or ceremony of placing a ship in active service, and may be regarded as a particular application of the general concepts and practices of project commissioning. The term is most commonly applied to the placing of a warship in active duty with its country's military...

 with Lieutenant Commander James William Carlin in command.

Assigned to the Asiatic Squadron
Asiatic Squadron
The Asiatic Squadron was a squadron of United States Navy warships stationed in East Asia during the latter half of the 19th century, it was created in 1868 when the East India Squadron was disbanded...

 as a refrigerator supply ship, Culgoa sailed out of Cavite Navy Yard supplying ships and troops at Manila with ice and meat until August 1899. Overhauled at Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 between 20 October and 18 November 1899, Culgoa returned to supply duties, making three voyages to Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

 and Brisbane
Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred around Brisbane, encompasses a population of...

, Queensland
Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern section of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean...

, Australia, for fresh stores in 1900 and 1901.

On 22 July 1901 she cleared Cavite and sailed by way of Ceylon, Suez
Suez is a seaport city in north-eastern Egypt, located on the north coast of the Gulf of Suez , near the southern terminus of the Suez Canal, having the same boundaries as Suez governorate. It has three harbors, Adabya, Ain Sokhna and Port Tawfiq, and extensive port facilities...

, Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

, and Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

 to New York City, arriving 25 September. She was placed out of commission on 16 October 1901 at Boston, Massachusetts.

North Atlantic Squadron, 1902–1907

Recommissioned 1 October 1902 Culgoa joined the North Atlantic Squadron
North Atlantic Squadron
The North Atlantic Squadron was a section of the United States Navy operating in the North Atlantic. It was renamed as the North Atlantic Fleet in 1902. In 1905 the European and South Atlantic Squadrons were abolished and absorbed into the North Atlantic Fleet. On Jan...

 and provided storeship services to ships and shore stations in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico until again placed out of commission 11 August 1905. Considered for disposition, she was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register
Naval Vessel Register
The Naval Vessel Register is the official inventory of ships and service craft in custody of or titled by the United States Navy. It contains information on ships and service craft that make up the official inventory of the Navy from the time a vessel is authorized through its life cycle and...

 on 7 May 1906, but reinstated on 30 June 1906 and recommissioned 12 September 1907 for service with the Atlantic Fleet.

Great White Fleet, 1907–1909

Sailing from New York on 21 September 1907 Culgoa was loaned to the Panama Railway
Panama Railway
The Panama Canal Railway Company is a railway line that links the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean across Panama in Central America. It is jointly owned by the Kansas City Southern Railway and Mi-Jack Products...

 Company for an emergency shipment of beef, returning to New York 16 October 1907. On 11 December Culgoa left to join the Atlantic Battleship Fleet at Santa Lucia
Santa Lucia
Santa Lucia is a traditional Neapolitan song. It was transcribed by Teodoro Cottrau and published by the Cottrau firm, as a "barcarolla", at Naples in 1849. Cottrau translated it from Napuletano into Italian during the first stage of the Risorgimento, the first Neapolitan song to be given Italian...

 as mobile stores ship, one of four auxiliaries accompanying the sixteen battleships on the cruise of the "Great White Fleet
Great White Fleet
The Great White Fleet was the popular nickname for the United States Navy battle fleet that completed a circumnavigation of the globe from 16 December 1907 to 22 February 1909 by order of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. It consisted of 16 battleships divided into two squadrons, along with...

". During the cruise, while on a planned supply run, she carried naval artist Henry Reuterdahl
Henry Reuterdahl
Henry Reuterdahl was an American painter highly acclaimed for his nautical artwork. He had a long relationship with the United States Navy. In addition to serving as a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Naval Reserve Force, he was selected by President Theodore Roosevelt to accompany the...

, who painted a number of scenes of the expedition.

At Amoy, China, and in the Formosa Strait between 28 October and 5 November 1908, she assisted in the establishment of wireless communications with the Second Squadron.

On 3 January 1909, while at Port Said
Port Said
Port Said is a city that lies in north east Egypt extending about 30 km along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, north of the Suez Canal, with an approximate population of 603,787...

 she broke off from fleet duties to bring emergency supplies to Messina, Italy
Messina, Italy
Messina is the third largest city on the island of Sicily, Italy and the capital of the province of Messina. It has a population of about 250,000 inhabitants in the city proper and about 650,000 in the province...

, which had been ravaged by an earthquake
1908 Messina earthquake
The 1908 Messina earthquake and tsunami took some 100,000–200,000 lives on December 28, 1908 in Sicily and Calabria, southern Italy.-Quake:On December 28, 1908 from about 05:20 to 05:21 an earthquake of 7.2 on the moment magnitude scale occurred centered on the of city Messina, in Sicily. Reggio...


Atlantic, Caribbean, 1909–1919

Returning to Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads
Hampton Roads is the name for both a body of water and the Norfolk–Virginia Beach metropolitan area which surrounds it in southeastern Virginia, United States...

 17 February 1909, Culgoa resumed her cruise along the Atlantic coast and in the Caribbean until 1 December 1910, when she sailed to supply ships serving in European waters, visiting Brest
Brest, France
Brest is a city in the Finistère department in Brittany in northwestern France. Located in a sheltered position not far from the western tip of the Breton peninsula, and the western extremity of metropolitan France, Brest is an important harbour and the second French military port after Toulon...

 and Cherbourg, France, and Weymouth and Gravesend
Gravesend, Kent
Gravesend is a town in northwest Kent, England, on the south bank of the Thames, opposite Tilbury in Essex. It is the administrative town of the Borough of Gravesham and, because of its geographical position, has always had an important role to play in the history and communications of this part of...

, England, before returning to New York on 20 January 1911.

She put out from New York 11 February 1911 for duty in the Caribbean, where she supplied stores for ships and shore detachments protecting American citizens and interests throughout this troubled area until February 1918.

Serving with the Naval Overseas Transportation Service during the remainder of World War I, Culgoa made seven transatlantic convoy voyages to bases in France and Britain between 19 February 1918 and 10 May 1919. On 10 July 1918 she assisted the SS Oosterdijk which sank after a collision with . Culgoa took aboard the passenger survivors and towed San Jacinto into Halifax
City of Halifax
Halifax is a city in Canada, which was the capital of the province of Nova Scotia and shire town of Halifax County. It was the largest city in Atlantic Canada until it was amalgamated into Halifax Regional Municipality in 1996...

, Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...


Pacific, 1920–1922

Culgoa issued stores and provisions to Battle Squadron 2 at Guantanamo Bay
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base is located on of land and water at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba which the United States leased for use as a coaling station following the Cuban-American Treaty of 1903. The base is located on the shore of Guantánamo Bay at the southeastern end of Cuba. It is the oldest overseas...

 from 24 March to 6 April 1920, then after supplying shore installations at Yorktown, Virginia
Yorktown, Virginia
Yorktown is a census-designated place in York County, Virginia, United States. The population was 220 in the 2000 census. It is the county seat of York County, one of the eight original shires formed in colonial Virginia in 1634....

, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Philadelphia County, with which it is coterminous. The city is located in the Northeastern United States along the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. It is the fifth-most-populous city in the United States,...

, cleared Brooklyn, New York, on 2 June for fleet maneuvers in the Pacific. Given hull classification symbol
Hull classification symbol
The United States Navy, United States Coast Guard, and United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration use hull classification symbols to identify their ship types and each individual ship within each type...

 AF-3 on 17 July 1920, she joined Battle Squadron 2 at Colón, Panama
Colón, Panama
Colón is a sea port on the Caribbean Sea coast of Panama. The city lies near the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal. It is capital of Panama's Colón Province and has traditionally been known as Panama's second city....

, transited the Panama Canal
Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a ship canal in Panama that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and is a key conduit for international maritime trade. Built from 1904 to 1914, the canal has seen annual traffic rise from about 1,000 ships early on to 14,702 vessels measuring a total of 309.6...

, and joined in fleet problems on her way to Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor, known to Hawaiians as Puuloa, is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet...

, visiting Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Seattle is the county seat of King County, Washington. With 608,660 residents as of the 2010 Census, Seattle is the largest city in the Northwestern United States. The Seattle metropolitan area of about 3.4 million inhabitants is the 15th largest metropolitan area in the country...

, and San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...


Returning to New York 3 September 1920 for overhaul, she resumed her supply operations on the east coast and in the Caribbean between February and October 1921. Culgoa was decommissioned at New York City on 31 December 1921 and sold 25 July 1922.

As of 2005, no other US ship has been named Culgoa.

External links

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