Our Navy in the Great War


Front Cover, Our Navy's Part in the Great War by John Wilber Jenkins, 1919.

Front Cover, Our Navy's Part in the Great War by John Wilber Jenkins, 1919. GGA Image ID # 184c84ca1d


This section organizes the content based on the Booklet "Our Navy's Part in the Great War" by John Wilber Jenkins. It supplements the text with additional photographs to help tell the US Navy's story in World War 1.


Greatest United States Naval Fleet Ever Assembled in American Waters.

2,000 Vessels in Service When War Ended

The growth of the Navy in ships and personnel was phenomenal. When the war began, were 364 vessels on the naval list, of which 20 were listed as unserviceable for war purposes.


The Converted Yacht USS Alcedo SP-166, Sunk by German Submarine UC-71, 75 Miles Southwest of Brest, France.

Alcedo Sunk by Torpedo - 1917

On November 5, the converted yacht Alcedo (SP 166), which had been on almost constant escort duty and had rescued 117 survivors of the Antilles when that vessel was torpedoed, was sunk by an enemy submarine while escorting a convoy from Quiberon.


American Fleet in Atlantic Waters That Has Upheld Navy Traditions.

American Naval Fleet Sent Over There - 1919

Submarines had been successfully used by the British against enemy U-boats. In the autumn of 1917, American submarines were sent abroad to cooperate with the British forces.


The USS Casin (DD-43) on Maneuvers circa 1916. Naval History and Heritage Command NH 76057.

"Cassin," Hit by Torpedo, Saved by Quick Action - 1917

The USS Cassin was struck by a torpedo on 15 October 1917 but was taken to port and repaired. But one man was killed, Gunner's Mate Osmond K. Ingram, who gave his life to save the ship.


U-Boat U-65 Submerged and Preparing to Fire Torpedo at a Ship in an Allied Convoy.

German U-Boats on American Coast - 1918

From the beginning, it was realized by the American naval authorities that Germany could at any time send her submarines across the Atlantic, and patrol vessels in home waters were constantly on the lookout for them.


President Wilson Reading to Congress his Famous War Message on April 2, 1917.

Our Navy in the Great War

On April 6, 1917, the day President Wilson, per the resolution of Congress, declared the existence of a state of war with Germany, Secretary Daniels sent out the order for the mobilization of the Fleet.


American Dreadnoghts, The Embodiment of Sea Power.

US Naval Fleet in the Great War

By January 1, 1918, there were 113 United States naval vessels across, and in October 1918, the total had reached 338 ships of all classes.


Josephus Daniels and Staff. Left to Right—Admiral Griffin, Admiral Taylor, Mr. Daniels, Admiral Earle, Commander Foote.

US Navy - Our First Line of Defense - 1919

The Navy was called upon to undertake many novel and untried tasks in the war. Still, whenever any new and challenging duty was imposed, the entire service responded enthusiastically, from admirals to apprentice seamen.


Soldiers on Deck of the USS Madawaska Awaiting Their Turn to Go Ashore.

US Navy's Growth and Expansion During the Great War

The Naval Overseas Transportation Service, organized in January 1918 to carry supplies and munitions to the American forces abroad, grew in ten months to a fleet of 321 cargo-carrying ships aggregating 2,800,000 dead-weight tons.


A United States Battleship and Submarines Ready for Action.

US Navy Ship Construction Program

Secretary Daniels announced in 1917 that the entire war-building program of the Navy embraced nearly a thousand ships. Most vessels authorized by the three-year program 1916 were contracted for early 1917.


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