U.S.S. President Lincoln Through 1918

31st October 2010, 04:19
I recently came across an old newspaper that described one of my deceased family members as a World War I hero. I always focus on the more peaceful (passenger) ships, but I want to know about his ship and him if anybody has any information. I know the USS President Lincoln was originally a German passenger ship which was distinguished by six masts but beyond that, i dont know anything else. I dont know how she came to be in the possession of the United States. I found two pictures here on SN of the ship but if anybody can help me find some more, that would be appreciated.

Here a section of the newspaper article. It was printed August 2, 1959.

Sinking of the Lincoln:

At the beginning of the first World War, Admiral Foote was the ordinance and gunnery officer on the battleship Nevada.
But in July, 1917 he was sent as executive officer, second in command to fit out one of the larger transports, the U. S. S. President Lincoln, as a troop transport. On the first voyage in October 1917 he had on board General Summerall, the chief of staff in the army, and a brigade of artillery. After the first voyage he was put in command of the ship and said that he was greatly impressed when he realized he was solely responsible for some 5,000 men.
Commander Foote had made five successful voyages and transported approximately 25,000 soldiers to France when his ship was sunk by the Germans on May 31, 1918. The Lincoln had formerly been a German ship. At the time of the catastrophe the officers and crew lived up to their motto of “Loyalty, efficiency, and cheerfulness”
Saved Them All
Commander Foote and his crew abandoned ship and took to the lifeboats with maximum speed and care for their fellows. By having everyone, except the sick into the water and lowering the boats almost empty, great loss of life was averted. Besides directing all the action, Commander Foote personally saved the life of one man who was drowning; he took him on his back and swam with him for some distance.
The ship sank in about half an hour after she was hit by the German U-90. The submarine stayed near the boat trying to pick up the officers. The men delighted in telling the Germans “The old man went down with his ship.” There were about 450 men in lifeboats and 250 on the rafts. After hours of waiting in the darkness and anxiety, they were finally rescued by the U. S. S. Warrington. When the captain of the Warrington asked “How many were saved?” Commander Foote happily answered, “All of them.”
Percy Foote was the hero of the hour and became world famous after the event. From President Woodrow Wilson he received the coveted Distinguished Service Medal for courage and gallantry.

Kolby Hurt

31st October 2010, 04:55

I have a picture of the ship you requested at this site.


And here:


The entry does show the ship in it's operation history format.



31st October 2010, 05:22
A history of the President Lincoln can be found at the site below. The ship left Germany in 1914 before the start of WW 1 and was detained in the New York Harbor. It was not until after the US entered the war in 1917 when the ship was seized by the US Government and was put under the control of the USSB.


More pictures



1st November 2010, 02:44
Thanks guys!

JP Hayes
17th November 2010, 04:27
My maternal grandfather, Maj David E Hannon, US AEF Tank Corps was the ranking US Officer aboard this ship when it was sunk. I would love to network with other members who may have access to personal accounts of the sinking, and to clippings saved from newspapers. Grandad's diary, uniform, his boots, and great coat are about all he saved from his room...and he led a squad around the ship kicking in doors to save men who were trapped. He had high praise for Percy Foote!