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The "Cincinatti" Hamburg America Line.


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What happened to German ship crews who were in the US at the outbreak of the war?

CINCINNATI

The "Cincinatti" was a 16,339 ton liner belonging to the Hamburg America Line. She was built in 1908 by F. Schichau of Danzig and was launched on 24th July 1908. Her dimensions were length 582.3ft x beam 65.4ft, two funnels, four masts, twin screw and a speed of 16 knots. She had accommodation for 243-1st, 210-2nd, 484-3rd and 1821-4th class passengers. On 27.5.1909 she left Hamburg on her maiden voyage to Southampton, Cherbourg and New York and continued on this service until 4.4.1910 when she was used on a winter service Genoa - Naples - New York. In 1913 she made her last voyage on this run and on 21.5.1913 made her first trip on the Hamburg - Boulogne - Southampton - Boston run. She stayed on this service until her last voyage on 28th July 1914 when she was interned at Boston and seized by the USA in April 1917 on their entry into the Great War. She was then renamed "Covington" and on 1.7.1918 was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U.86 off the French coast.

I have a milit?rpass to a guy who served on her when she was inturned. his seamans book is there showing the last voyage as is his milit?rpass with an entry "reported for mobilisation" german consulate, Boston Mass. 10 August 1914

then no further entries.

Was he then interened? or sent back to Germany? His papers dont say..... What was the usual thing in a case like this?

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Someone had a sense of humor. Covington, KY is right across the Ohio River from Cincinnati.

What happened to German ship crews who were in the US at the outbreak of the war?

CINCINNATI

The "Cincinatti" was a 16,339 ton liner belonging to the Hamburg America Line. She was built in 1908 by F. Schichau of Danzig and was launched on 24th July 1908. Her dimensions were length 582.3ft x beam 65.4ft, two funnels, four masts, twin screw and a speed of 16 knots. She had accommodation for 243-1st, 210-2nd, 484-3rd and 1821-4th class passengers. On 27.5.1909 she left Hamburg on her maiden voyage to Southampton, Cherbourg and New York and continued on this service until 4.4.1910 when she was used on a winter service Genoa - Naples - New York. In 1913 she made her last voyage on this run and on 21.5.1913 made her first trip on the Hamburg - Boulogne - Southampton - Boston run. She stayed on this service until her last voyage on 28th July 1914 when she was interned at Boston and seized by the USA in April 1917 on their entry into the Great War. She was then renamed "Covington" and on 1.7.1918 was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U.86 off the French coast.

I have a milit?rpass to a guy who served on her when she was inturned. his seamans book is there showing the last voyage as is his milit?rpass with an entry "reported for mobilisation" german consulate, Boston Mass. 10 August 1914

then no further entries.

Was he then interened? or sent back to Germany? His papers dont say..... What was the usual thing in a case like this?

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He would have been interned at Camp Devens, Ayer, Massachusetts, unless part of the maintenance crew left aboard ship. This base was used as a POW camp as well as staging area for New England troops in both wars, and contains a cemetery for the Central/Axis prisoners who died there-- but no other physical traces remain of that camp. Hard cases in WW2 were imprisoned in underground bunkers-- those have been sealed and hidden.

My Evil Twin has an entire group to her U.S. Engineer, including photos of the ship sinking taken from an escort, and the special medal struck for the crew's efforts in saving the transport's passengers, with his citation.

So there is an American medal for the sinking of a German ship by a German submarine to add to the peculiarity of this particular case!

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  • 2 months later...

It's about the nicest USN groups I've ever handled. Silver Stars to WW1 USN personnel are pretty scarce. This guy ended his career as a Lt. Commander. Every piece of paper he received from about 1908 through 1946 is here. Including the 1930's transmittal letter from the USN ordering him to attach a silver star to his Victory Medal ribbon. Which he never did! He just wore it with the transport clasp only. Transmittal letter came along with the official USN Letter of Commendation and the Presidential Commendation with full ink signature of Wilson. A pretty heady group, history-wise.....

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