USS Zaanland

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Zaanland

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Zaanland

(Freighter: t. 5,417 (gross); l. 389'4''; b. 61'1"; dr. 23'6" (mean); s. 9 k.; cpl. 81)

Zaanland steel-hulled, single-screw cargo vessel completed in 1900 at Port Glasgow, Scotland, by Russell and Co.—was owned by the Koninklijke Hollandsche Lloyd line at the outbreak of World War I. The ship sought security at Hampton Roads, VA., lest, at sea, she fall prey to warships of the Royal Navy. Acquired by the Navy for use by the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS) on 25 March 1918, the cargo ship was assigned the identification number (Id. No.) 2746 and commissioned at Hampton Roads on 29 March 1918, Lt. Comdr. Daniel Brown, USNRF, in command.

Zaanland was repaired and fitted out at Newport News, VA., by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., before sailing for the Gulf of Mexico on 4 April. Arriving at New Orleans, La., on the 11th, she simultaneously underwent further repairs and conversion work and loaded 4,946 tons of general cargo consigned by the Army Quartermaster Corps. She later departed from New Orleans on 20 April and arrived back at Hampton Roads five days later.

Zaanland sailed from Norfolk on 30 April in Convoy HN-67, bound for La Pallice, France. During the voyage, in a heavy mist at 2026 on 12 May, she apparently suffered a rudder casualty and was rammed by the tanker Hisko (Id. No. 1953). The collision tore a jagged, 15-foot hole in the cargo ship's starboard side, amidships between her bridge and fireroom. Zaanland soon assumed a heavy list and began to sink by the bow. At 2040, all hands were called topside as boats were launched. Within an hour, all of Zaanland's crew were safely aboard the Army transport Munalbro.

Although settling deeper in the water with each passing hour, the cargo ship remained afloat into the next day. At 0400, Lt. Comdr. Brown reboarded Zaanland and inspected the ship. He found that there was no hope of towing the vessel to port and predicted that she probably would sink within a few hours. His observation proved to be correct, for Zaanland sank, bow first, at 0710 on 13 May 1918.

Munalbro, while endeavoring to overtake the convoy, soon met SS Minnesota en route, and transferred Zaanland's crew to the west-bound vessel for passage back to the United States.
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