From: Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships, Vol II, Pg 20-21


Cities in New Jersey and Maine.

(AK: dp. 6,075; l. 403'8"; b. 47'8"; dr. 24'; s. 12 k.; cpl.345;a.4 4", 2 3")

Camden (No. 3143) was built in 1900 by Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft, Flensburg, Germany, as Kiel; seized by the United States on entrance into World War I; transferred from the Shipping Board 22 May 1917; fitted out as a cargo ship and commissioned 15 August 1917, Lieutenant Commander E. C. Jones, USNRF, in command.

Clearing New York in September 1917, Camden carried coal between Cardiff, Wales, and French ports, with one voyage to the United States, until 25 April 1918, when she again sailed for the States. She was decommissioned at Philadelphia Navy Yard 3 May 1918 for conversion into a submarine tender.

Camden began her many years of important service with submarines 21 February 1919, when she was recommissioned as a submarine tender, AS-6. Based on New London, she was flagship for Commander, Submarine Flotilla Atlantic, and Commander, Submarine Division 9 until 15 September 1920. After repairs at Norfolk, she followed her division to the Pacific, where she took up tender duties based on San Pedro 24 June 1921. She briefly served as flagship of Commander Submarine Flotilla, Pacific Fleet early in 1922, and in March 1923 returned to the Atlantic for duty. As flagship of Submarine Division 4 at New London, and later as flagship of Commander, Control Force, she led in large-scale maneuvers and exercises. Highlights of this period included her participation in determined efforts to raise S-5 (SS-110) in September and October 1925 and her presence at the presidential naval review in Hampton Roads in May 1927. Camden's active career ended 26 May 1931 when she was decommissioned at Philadelphia.

War called the veteran back from retirement, and on 17 September 1940, Camden was reclassified IX—42, and assigned to New York Navy Yard as a barracks ship. Towed by Alleghany (AT-19), the floating barracks arrived at New York 18 September, and performed her humble but essential role of berthing the war-swollen complement of the yard until 23 October 1946 when she was sold.

Transcribed 7/12/98 by Sandy Wills