From: Dictionary of American Fighting Ships

General G. W. Goethals

George Washington Goethals was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. 29 June 1858, and graduated from the Military Academy in 1880. As a Lt. Col. in the Engineer Corps, he was appointed by President Roosevelt in 1907 chief engineer of the Isthmian Canal Commission, and in that position bore virtually the sole responsibility for the successful completion of the Panama Canal project. General Goethals later served as first civil governor of the Panama Canal Zone, and, after retiring in 1916, was called back to duty to direct the supply and transportation system of the U.S. Army during World War I. Major General Goethals died in New York City 21 January 1928.


(Str: dp. 2,783 (n.); l. 367'; b. 48'7"; dr. 27'6"; s. 11 k.; a. none)

General G. W. Goethals was built in 1912 as Grunewald by Bremer Vulkan, Vegesack, Germany; taken over by the Cruiser and Transport Force from her owners, the Panama Railroad Steamship Co. of New York. Operated by the Navy under Army account, she commissioned 10 March 1919 at Hoboken, N.J., Lt. Comdr. Edward O. Roberts, USNRF, in command.

General G. W. Goethals spent the bulk of her commissioned service ferrying vital supplies to France and bringing home veterans of the A.E.F. Leaving New York 2 April 1919 for her first transatlantic voyage, she carried supplies to Bordeaux, France, returning 4 May. Subsequently she made two more voyages to Europe with supplies, and brought home nearly 3,000 troops. On 21 August 1919, General G. W. Goethals sailed from Charleston, S.C., carrying supplies to New Orleans, San Cristobal, Panama, and San Juan, P.R., arriving New York 13 September 1919. On the day of her arrival in New York she decommissioned and was turned over to the War Department for return to her owners.


Transcribed by Yves HUBERT (