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USS Auburn (ID-3842)
USS Auburn (ID-3842)
SS Auburn (American Freighter, 1918) Fitting out at the Chester Shipbuilding Company shipyard, Chester, Pennsylvania, 20 October 1918. This ship briefly served as USS Auburn (ID # 3842) in 1919.
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Name: SS Auburn
Builder: Chester Shipbuilding Company
Launched: 1918
Commissioned: 24 January 1919
Decommissioned: 22 February 1919
Fate: abandoned by 1933
General characteristics
Displacement: 12,314 tons
Length: 417 ft 5 in
Beam: 54 ft
Draught: 32 ft 9 in
Speed: 10 kts
Complement: 81 officers and enlisted

The first USS Auburn (ID-3842) was a cargo ship in the United States Navy.

Auburn was a steel-hulled freighter built for the United States Shipping Board (USSB) at Chester, Pennsylvania, by the Chester Shipbuilding Company and completed in 1918. She was delivered to the Navy by the USSB for service in the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS). Assigned the identification number 3842, Auburn was commissioned at Philadelphia on the afternoon of 24 January 1919, Lieutenant Commander Fred L. Moulton, USNRF, in command.

Two days later, the cargo ship got underway for New York harbor; proceeded down Delaware Bay; and ultimately dropped anchor off Tompkinsville, Staten Island, on the morning of 27 January. After initially shifting to Bush Terminal pier, South Brooklyn, on the 29th, she moored at pier 61, North River, New York City, on 2 February. There, she loaded 5,236 tons of general cargo (including a large quantity of wheat flour) and prepared for her maiden voyage. However, her engineers discovered several split condenser tubes in her boilers before the trip could begin, and an inspection board convened and visited the ship on 15 February.

After a brief period of repairs, Auburn shifted to pier 16, South Brooklyn, on the 17th. By that point, the Navy had apparently decided to demobilize the ship; and, on the afternoon of 22 February 1919, representatives of the USSB accepted custody of the ship when she was decommissioned. Auburn's subsequent career, like hers under the aegis of NOTS, was brief. She remained in the USSB fleet into the early 1930s, very probably laid up due to postwar austerity measures in the American merchant marine. Then, around 1932-1933, she was "abandoned . . . due to age and deterioration."

This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships.

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