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The Lonely Goatherd: 1916

The Lonely Goatherd: 1916

"1916. German sailor interned in U.S." A sailor from the cruiser Prinz Eitel Friedrich, interned along with the Kronprinz Wilhelm, their crews and a menagerie of mascots at Norfolk, Va., in 1915. Harris & Ewing Collection. View full size.


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Interned Germans

By interned do you mean detained for a bit or are they in a prison? Regardless- I imagine the goat was a comfort.

[The sailors lived on their ships but were permitted shore leave if they wore civilian clothing. They also built a "German village" on land that became a popular tourist attraction. After the United States entered the war in 1917 they became POWs and were sent to camps in Georgia. - Dave]


Prinz Eitel Friedrich, a 8797 gross ton passenger liner, was launched at Stettin, Germany, in 1904. She spent nearly a decade in commercial service under the flag of North German Lloyd. When the First World War broke out in August 1914 Prinz Eitel Friedrich was at Tsingtau, China, where she was quickly converted to an auxiliary cruiser for the German Navy. For the next seven months the ship operated on the high seas with Vice Admiral von Spee's squadron and as a detached commerce raider. Among her victims while in the latter role was the schooner William P. Frye, captured on 27 January 1915 and scuttled the next day, the first U.S. flag vessel sunk in World War I.

On 10 March 1915 Prinz Eitel Friedrich, now low on supplies and burdened by many prisoners, arrived at Newport News, Virginia, where she was interned. Later taken to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, she remained under the German flag until seized by the United State in April 1917. She served from May 1917 to September 1919 as USS DeKalb, then returned to civilian control, initially as DeKalb and, after 1920, as Mount Clay. After briefly operating for the United American Lines during the first half of the 1920s, the ship was laid up. She was scrapped in 1934.

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