Friday, June 03, 2011

The Herbert L. Pratt

June 3, 1918 - An oil tanker, Herbert L. Pratt, hit a mine which had been laid down a by German submarine, U-151, off of Cape Henlopen. Damage did not prevent the ship from being salvaged.

The Herbert L. Pratt under salvage after hitting a mine.

The Herbert L. Pratt, a 7150 gross ton oil tanker, was completed at Alameda, California, in 1918. She was ordered delivered to the Navy but, while off Cape Henlopen, Delaware, on 3 June 1918 she struck a mine laid by the German submarine U-151. Though her entire forward section was submerged, structural damage was apparently not too severe, as she was quickly salvaged and repaired. While this work was in process, the ship was placed in commission as USS Herbert L. Pratt (ID # 2339) in June 1918. At the end of July she began her first Navy voyage, taking fuel oil to Brest, France, for use by the U.S. warships stationed there. She made a second trans-Atlantic trip, from New York to England and back, in October-December 1918. USS Herbert L. Pratt was decommissioned in mid-January 1919 and returned to her owners, the Atlantic Refining Company. She had more than two-and-a-half decades of further commerical service, taking her through the Second World War. The old ship was placed in the War Shiping Administration's reserve fleet in February 1946 and sold for scrapping in December of that year.

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