The Baltimore-Bound Ship That Never Made It

Roberto Vivas, Staff Writer

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This year marks the centennial of the loss of the USS Cyclops, the only Proteus-class collier of WWI, and its 309 sailors. This vessel’s disappearance remains to be the largest loss of life in the history of the United States Navy with absolutely no explanation as to why, when, and how it happened. There are, however, many theories to explain its disappearance, giving rise to the lore of the mythical Bermuda Triangle, but today’s efforts in locating the Cyclops have not proven a single one. The only information we have about the ship is what it was carrying, where it stopped and what the commanding officer, Commander Worley, said in the Cyclops’ last transmission. Here is there story.

On January 8, 1918, the USS Cyclops departed from Norfolk, VA, with 9,960 tons of coal for English ships in the South Atlantic and arrived at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on January 28, 1918. On February 15, 1918, the Cyclops left Rio with a load of 10,800 long tons of manganese ore and entered Bahia, Brazil, five days. Just before leaving Brazil, Commander Worley’s last transmission was a report on the starboard engine having a cracked cylinder, reducing there speed to 10 knots. The Cyclops then arrived in Barbados on March 3, 1918, after leaving Bahia on February 22, 1918, instead of heading straight to Baltimore, Maryland. Finally, The USS Cyclops left Barbados the next day for Baltimore, but was never seen again.

The families of those on board are left without an answer to their relatives vanishing and hope they find a resolution soon. Searches for the vessel continue, using high tech surveying equipment, and those searching hope they are the ones to finding the resting place of this mysterious ship.

Sources:

  1. Brennan, Lawrence B. “The Unanswered Loss of USS Cyclops – March 1918.” Naval Historical Foundation, 13 June 2013, www.navyhistory.org/2013/06/unanswered-loss-uss-cyclops-march-1918/.
  2. Prudente, Tim. “Baltimore-Bound USS Cyclops Vanished 100 Years Ago. Its Fate Remains a Mystery.” Baltimoresun.com, The Baltimore Sun, 13 Mar. 2018, www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-uss-cyclops-20180312-story.html.
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Roberto Vivas, Writer

Roberto Vivas is a junior at Milford Mill Academy in Baltimore, Maryland. He was born in Spain and his parents moved to the U.S due to his father being...

1 Comment

One Response to “The Baltimore-Bound Ship That Never Made It”

  1. Marvin Barrash on April 3rd, 2018 2:09 pm

    Your article about the U.S.S. Cyclops was very good. You might be interested to know that I was mentioned in the Baltimore Sun article (source 2). My great uncle was among those who were lost with the ship in 1918. I wrote a comprehensive history of the ship. (https://sites.google.com/site/usscyclopsbook/) I also graduated from Milford Mill High School in 1971.

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