Ship Photos of the Day – USS Conestoga Found!

gCaptain
Total Views: 80
March 23, 2016

USS Conestoga (AT 54), the last known broadside photograph taken likely during WWI. Credit: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command NH 71299

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) and the U.S. Navy announced on Wednesday the discovery of the wreck of USS Conestoga in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary in California, solving one of the greatest maritime mysteries ever in U.S. Navy history.

uss conestoga
Modern painting of the USS Conestoga (AT 54) on its final voyage pounding through large waves during a gale off Southeast Farallon Island in March 1921. Credit: Artist Danijel Frka © Russ Matthews Col.

The Conestoga and its 56 crew vanished without a trace after sailing from San Francisco Bay on March 25, 1921 on a voyage to Tutuila, American Samoa via Pearl Harbor, but when the ship never arrived many questions over where, when, and how the ship went down were left unanswered.

uss conestoga
In September 2009, a NOAA/Fugro multibeam sonar survey of the area around Farallon Islands documented a probable shipwreck with an estimated length of 52m (170ft) at a depth of 56.5m (185ft). Credit: NOAA/Fugro

The shipwreck was actually first documented in 2009, but it took investigators two years and a second survey in October 2015 to confirm the wreck as the Conestoga.

uss conestoga
Credit: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command NH 89793

Conestoga was originally built as a civilian tug for a railroad company in 1904, but it was later purchased by the U.S. Navy in September 1917 to carry out towing and escort duties along the Atlantic coast.

You can find more about the USS Conestoga on the National Marine Sanctuaries website.

USS Conestoga
Ship’s Company beside and on USS Conestoga, at San Diego, California, circa early 1921. Credit: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command NH 71503
Stern view of the shipwreck USS Conestoga colonized with white plumose sea anemones contrasting the water column. Credit: NOAA ONMS/Teledyne SeaBotix
Stern view of the shipwreck USS Conestoga colonized with white plumose sea anemones contrasting the water column. Credit: NOAA ONMS/Teledyne SeaBotix
Starboard bow view of the shipwreck USS Conestoga with the top of the stem visible. Credit: NOAA ONMS/Teledyne SeaBotix
Starboard bow view of the shipwreck USS Conestoga with the top of the stem visible. Credit: NOAA ONMS/Teledyne SeaBotix
uss conestoga
Deck and Longitudinal View of Conestoga, as reproduced in Marine Engineering 1904 Vol. 9, page 36. Credit: Robert Schwemmer Maritime Library

Tags:

Back to Main