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Cyclops AC- - History

Cyclops AC- - History

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In Greek mythology, a race of giants with only one eye.

The ironclad steamer Kickapoo (q.v.) carried the name Cyclops from 15 June to 10 August 1869, then was renamed Kewaydin

(AC: dp. 19,360 (f.); 1. 542'; b. 65'; dr. 27'8"; s. 16
k.; cpl. 236)

The second Cyclops, a collier, was launched 7 May 1910 by William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, Pa., and placed in service 7 November 1910, G. W Worley, Master, Navy Auxiliary Service, in charge. Operating with the Naval Auxiliary Service, Atlantic Fleet, the collier voyaged to the Baltic during May to July 1911 to supply 2d Division ships. Returning to Norfolk, she operated on the east coast from Newport to the Caribbean servicing the Fleet. During the troubled conditions in Mexico in 1914 and 1916, she coaled ships on patrol there and received the thanks of the State Department for cooperation in bringing refugees from Tampico to New Orleans.

With American entry into World War I, Cyclops was commissioned 1 May 1917, Lieutenant Commander G. W. Worley in command. She joined a convoy for St. Nazaire, France, in June 1917, returning to the east coast in July. Except for a voyage to Halifax, Nova Scotia, she served along the east coast until 9 January 1918 when she was assigned to Naval Overseas Transportation Service. She then sailed to Brazilian waters to fuel British ships in the South Atlantic, receiving the thanks of the State Department and Commander in-Chief, Pacific. She put to sea from Rio de Janeiro 16 February 1918 and after touching at Barbados on 3 and 4 March, was never heard from again. Her loss without a trace is one of the sea's unsolved mysteries.

USS Cyclops (AC-4)

USS Cyclops (AC-4) was the second of four Proteus-class colliers built for the United States Navy several years before World War I. Named for the Cyclops, a primordial race of giants from Greek mythology, she was the second U.S. Naval vessel to bear the name. The loss of the ship and 306 crew and passengers without a trace some time after 4 March 1918 remains the single largest loss of life in U.S. Naval history not directly involving combat. As it was wartime, she was thought to have been captured or sunk by a German raider or submarine, because she was carrying 10,800 long tons (11,000   t) of manganese ore used to produce munitions, but German authorities at the time, and subsequently, denied any knowledge of the vessel. [1] The Naval History & Heritage Command has stated she "probably sank in an unexpected storm", [2] but the ultimate cause of the ship's loss is not known.

More than 100 years later, the 'great mystery' of the vanished USS Cyclops remains unsolved

One hundred years ago Wednesday morning, the USS Cyclops, a massive American World War I transport ship hailed as a “floating coal mine,” should have been docked in the waters off Baltimore, fresh off a journey from Brazil.

But the vessel – reported to be the Navy’s biggest and fastest fuel ship at the time – and the 309 men onboard it never pulled into the Chesapeake Bay on March 13, 1918, and its whereabouts to this day remain unknown.

“In terms of loss of life and size of ship, it’s probably the last great mystery left unresolved,” James Delgado, an underwater explorer, told the Baltimore Sun this week as recent discoveries of historical shipwrecks are renewing hopes amongst the scientific community of finally finding the Cyclops.

The 540-foot long and 65-foot wide ship, outfitted with 50-caliber machine guns to help transport doctors and supplies to American Expeditionary Forces in France during The Great War, was last seen in Barbados on March 4, 1918.

The USS Cyclops, in the background, transferring bags of coal with the USS South Carolina in 1914. (US Naval History and Heritage Command)

Built in Philadelphia eight years earlier, the USS Cyclops was capable of transporting 12,500 tons of coal and could lift two tons of it in single buckets along cables that ran along the ship, leading newspapers to call it a “floating coal mine,” according to the Baltimore Sun.

But on its final journey, the Cyclops was loaded up with 10,000 tons of manganese ore – a denser and heavier cargo – and stopped at the Caribbean island for nine days to resupply before vanishing into the horizon.

Those back in the U.S. began to take notice as day after day passed without any signs of the ship making its way to Maryland.

"COLLIER OVERDUE A MONTH," blared a headline in the New York Times on April 15, 1918, next to a list of the hundreds of passengers on board.

"Numerous ships sailed to locate the collier as she was thought to have been sunk by a German submarine," the Naval History and Heritage Command says on its website. "Her wreck has never been found, and the cause of her loss remains unknown."

"As a Navy veteran, I feel I have a duty to honor the crew members on the USS Cyclops who never returned home to Baltimore, and the families they left behind."

— Maryland Rep. Andy Harris

Two months after the ship failed to reach Baltimore, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who then was an Assistant Navy Secretary, announced the Cyclops and all of its crew were presumed lost at sea, resulting in what remains the largest loss of life in Navy history unrelated to combat.

Nothing from the ship has been found. No wreckage, oil slicks or debris. Not even a distress call. And speculation has raged throughout history, leading some to claim wild theories involving the Bermuda Triangle, giant sea creatures and mutinies.

"One magazine, Literary Digest, speculated that a giant octopus rose from the sea, entwined the ship with its tentacles and dragged it to the bottom," the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command said. "Another theory was that the ship suddenly turned turtle in a freak storm, trapping all hands inside."

Navy Secretary Josephus Daniels at the time added that "there has been no more baffling mystery in the annals of the Navy than the disappearance last March of the U.S.S. Cyclops.”

“There has not been a trace of the vessel, and long-continued and vigilant search of the entire region proved utterly futile," the Baltimore Sun quoted him as saying.

The nameplate of the USS Lexington, which was struck by multiple Japanese torpedoes and bombs on May 8, 1942, is visible during a recent expedition that uncovered the ship. (Vulcan Photo)

But recent deep sea discoveries of American ships, such as the USS Lexington -- lost at the Battle of Coral Sea in 1942 and found last week -- and the USS Ward, found in the Philippines in December, both by an expedition crew led by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen, are giving explorers hope the Cyclops could be next.

“The short list keeps getting shorter these days as technology steps in,” Delgado told the Baltimore Sun. “Things can be found. It’s just a question of time and money.”

Marvin Barrash, who has spent more than a decade researching the Cyclops, believes it could be sitting in the deepest part of the Atlantic Ocean, the Puerto Rico Trench, which extends more than 27,000 feet below the surface. He is now working with Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., to build the ship’s first monument.

“As a Navy veteran, I feel I have a duty to honor the crew members on the USS Cyclops who never returned home to Baltimore, and the families they left behind,” Harris said in a statement to Fox News, nothing that his office is "actively researching and reaching out to multiple government and private entities to help support the monument."

"With the recent discoveries of past sunken ships, I hope we can draw more attention to the USS Cyclops and bring closure to those families," he added.

Barrash, a great nephew of one of the firemen on the ship, told the Baltimore Sun that he just wants the ship “to be found.

“I want the 309 to be at rest, as well as the families,” he said. “It’s something everybody needs: some resolution.”


This section lists the names and designations that the ship had during its lifetime. The list is in chronological order.

Proteus Class Collier
Keel Laid June 2 1909 - Launched May 7 1910

Naval Covers

This section lists active links to the pages displaying covers associated with the ship. There should be a separate set of pages for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Covers should be presented in chronological order (or as best as can be determined).

Since a ship may have many covers, they may be split among many pages so it doesn't take forever for the pages to load. Each page link should be accompanied by a date range for covers on that page.


This section lists examples of the postmarks used by the ship. There should be a separate set of postmarks for each incarnation of the ship (ie, for each entry in the "Ship Name and Designation History" section). Within each set, the postmarks should be listed in order of their classification type. If more than one postmark has the same classification, then they should be further sorted by date of earliest known usage.

A postmark should not be included unless accompanied by a close-up image and/or an image of a cover showing that postmark. Date ranges MUST be based ONLY ON COVERS IN THE MUSEUM and are expected to change as more covers are added.
>>> If you have a better example for any of the postmarks, please feel free to replace the existing example.

Postmark Type
Killer Bar Text

Postmark reported!
NOTE: "My article in the January 2011 USCS LOG on John Gill's fake CYCLOPS cancel has brought an interesting message from Todd Creekman, a relatively new member and Executive Director of the Naval Historical Foundation. It seems that the foundation has recently published a book on CYCLOPS by a member who had a relative on the ship when it was lost. His family had correspondence from that crew member which was given to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942 and is now in the Roosevelt Presidential Library. One of those letters has a type 3 cancel from CYCLOPS dated Jan. 28, 1918, when the ship was still in Brazil. I'll attach a scan of the illustration from the book, which is not very good. However, I've had good experience in the past with the FDR Library in providing information and copies from their archives. When I get a better illustration, I will publish it in the LOG.
Think of how many collectors we all knew in the past would have been thrilled to see that this cancel really exists!"
Text from an email dated January 3 2011 by Dave Kent.

Cover appears to be a YMCA envelope provided to the serviceman in WWI. Sender was Edward S. Morgan, Jr., Fireman Third Class.

Cover appears to be a YMCA envelope provided to the serviceman in WWI.

Incoming mail to Jack Williams Brawford, Yeoman Second Class. Mailed to the Navy YMCA Brooklyn NY, arriving January 10 1918.

Incoming mail to Jack Williams Brawford, Yeoman Second Class. Mailed to the Navy YMCA Brooklyn NY, arriving January 10 1918. Mail redirected to the USS CYCLOPS, Postmaster NY. At a unknown date, stamped with a Navy Department, Bureau of Navigation rubberstamp marking sending it back to the original writer with a manuscript inscription "Ship Missing". Mailed back to Iowa on May 17 1918 from Washington DC. Cover courtesy of Mr. Frank Hoak.

Note: The reported Type 1 is a FAKE created by John Gill.
Postmark illustration from the USCS Postmark Catalog

Other Information

One of the most famous of the "Devil's Triangle" disappearances, many speculations have risen over the ships demise including Captain Worley's collusion with the enemy (Germany), Mutiny, Coal/Manganese fires, or storm. To date no trace of the ship has ever been found

NAMESAKE - The mythical Greek one-eyed giant

If you have images or information to add to this page, then either contact the Curator or edit this page yourself and add it. See Editing Ship Pages for detailed information on editing this page.


Cyclops was launched on 7 May 1910, by William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and placed in service on 7 November 1910, with Lieutenant Commander George Worley, Master, Naval Auxiliary Service, in command. Operating with the Naval Auxiliary Service, Atlantic Fleet, she voyaged in the Baltic from May–July 1911 to supply Second Division ships. Returning to Norfolk, Virginia, she operated on the east coast from Newport, Rhode Island, to the Caribbean, servicing the fleet. During the troubled conditions in Mexico in 1914–1915, she coaled ships on patrol there and received the thanks of the U.S. State Department for cooperation in evacuating refugees.

With American entry into World War I, Cyclops was commissioned on 1 May 1917, and her skipper, George W. Worley, was promoted to full commander. She joined a convoy for Saint-Nazaire, France in June 1917, returning to the U.S. in July. Except for a voyage to Halifax, Nova Scotia, she served along the east coast until 9 January 1918, when she was assigned to Naval Overseas Transportation Service. She then sailed to Brazilian waters to fuel British ships in the south Atlantic, receiving the thanks of the State Department and Commander-in-Chief, Pacific. Α] Β]

Disappearance [ edit | edit source ]

She put to sea from Rio de Janeiro on 16 February 1918 and entered Bahia on 20 February. Two days later, she departed for Baltimore, Maryland, with no stops scheduled, carrying the manganese ore. The ship was thought to be overloaded when she left Brazil, as her maximum capacity was 8,000 long tons (8,100 t). Before leaving port, Commander Worley had submitted a report that the starboard engine had a cracked cylinder and was not operative. This report was confirmed by a survey board, which recommended, however, that the ship be returned to the U.S. She made an unscheduled stop in Barbados because the water level was over the Plimsoll line, indicating an overloaded condition ΐ] however investigations in Rio proved the ship had been loaded and secured properly. Γ] Cyclops then set out for Baltimore on 4 March, and was rumored to have been sighted on 9 March by the molasses tanker Amolco near Virginia, ΐ] but this was denied by Amolco ' s captain. Δ] Ε] Additionally, because Cyclops was not due in Baltimore until 13 March, Ζ] it is highly unlikely that the ship would have been near Virginia on 9 March, as that location would have placed her only about a day from Baltimore. In any event, Cyclops never made it to Baltimore, and no wreckage of her has ever been found. Η] Reports indicate that on 10 March, the day after the ship was rumored to have been sighted by Amolco, a violent storm swept through the Virginia Capes area. While some suggest that the combination of the overloaded condition, engine trouble, and bad weather may have conspired to sink Cyclops, ΐ] an extensive naval investigation concluded: "Many theories have been advanced, but none that satisfactorily accounts for her disappearance." Γ] This summation was written, however, before two of Cyclops ' s sister ships, Proteus and Nereus, vanished in the North Atlantic during World War II. Both ships were transporting heavy loads of metallic ore similar to that which was loaded on Cyclops during her fatal voyage. In both cases, it was theorised that their loss was the result of catastrophic structural failure, ⎖] but a more outlandish theory attributes all three vessels' disappearances to the Bermuda Triangle. ⎗]

Rear Admiral George van Deurs suggested that the loss of Cyclops could be owing to structural failure, as her sister ships suffered from issues where the I-beams that ran the length of the ship had eroded owing to the corrosive nature of some of the cargo carried. This was observed definitively on the USS Jason, and is believed to have contributed to the sinking of another similar freighter, the Chuky, which snapped in two in calm seas. Moreover, Cyclops may have hit a storm with 30-40 knot winds. These would have resulted in waves just far enough apart to leave the bow and stern supported on the peaks of successive waves, but with the middle unsupported, resulting in extra strain on the already weakened middle. ⎘]

On 1 June 1918, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt declared Cyclops to be officially lost and all hands deceased. ⎙] One of the seamen lost aboard Cyclops was African American mess attendant Lewis H. Hardwick, the father of Herbert Lewis Hardwick, "The Cocoa Kid", an Afro Puerto Rican welterweight boxer who was a top contender in the 1930s and '40s who won the world colored welterweight and world colored middleweight championships. ⎚] In 1918 a short summary of the Loss of the "Cyclops" was listed in the US Navy Annual Report ⎛]

For a BBC Radio 4 documentary, Tom Mangold had an expert from Lloyds investigate the loss of the Cyclops. The expert noted that manganese ore, being much denser than coal, had room to move within the holds even when fully laden, the hatch covers were canvas and that when wet the ore can become a slurry. As such the load could shift and cause the ship to list. Combined with a possible loss of power from its one engine it could founder in bad weather. ⎜]

How to find the Assassin's Creed Odyssey Cyclops

You'll pick up the mission at the Pilgrimage Site in the region of Pilgrim Hill on Kythera Island. It's called A God Among Men. There's a man preaching near a statue covered by a little canvas gazebo near the edge of the cliffs. There's a man there moaning that his "god" has been taken prisoner at the nearby fort, and it basically seems like they worship him because he has an - ahem - gift between his legs.

You'll need to find and free the god - aka Empedokles - and escort him back to his worshippers. Don't worry though, he's got underwear on to hide his gift from our mere mortal eyes. It's only in front of his personal statue that he'll give you the full spiel though, so prepare yourself for a man who actually believes he's a god and wants to introduce you to his celestial family. But first, he'll need to go fetch him a disk - which will eventually be the key to opening the door to the Cyclops.

Thankfully, the key was stolen by the same man who took Empedokles' clothes, and happens to be strolling nearby. Kill him and his guards to get the key before returning to Empedokles.

Now you'll have to go and meet his godly family, which actually reside on an island in the Gulf of Korinth, to the south of Phokis, in a location known as the Cave of the Forgotten Isle on the Island of Thisvi. Head over there, and go through the cave, swim through the water and emerge to find Empedokles standing by a half-broken door, talk to him and prepare yourself to meet his family.


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Cyclops, (Greek: “Round Eye”) in Greek legend and literature, any of several one-eyed giants to whom were ascribed a variety of histories and deeds. In Homer the Cyclopes were cannibals, living a rude pastoral life in a distant land (traditionally Sicily), and the Odyssey contains a well-known episode in which Odysseus escapes death by blinding the Cyclops Polyphemus. In Hesiod the Cyclopes were three sons of Uranus and Gaea—Arges, Brontes, and Steropes (Bright, Thunderer, Lightener)—who forged the thunderbolts of Zeus. Later authors made them the workmen of Hephaestus and said that Apollo killed them for making the thunderbolt that slew his son Asclepius.

What Sunk the Confederate Submarine the Hunley?

It was the first submarine in history to successfully sink an enemy ship. Made out of 40 feet of bulletproof iron, the H.L. Hunley was a Confederate submarine with a crew of eight. But despite its claim to fame, it was a dangerous vessel to be inside.

In a career of just eight months during the Civil War, between July 1863 and February 1864, the sub sank three times, killing nearly 30 men—including its inventor. (It was recovered twice.) Its final sinking, shortly after it plunged a live torpedo into the hull of the Union warship USS Housatonic, has long mystified maritime and military historians. What sank the Hunley for good?

Over 130 years after it sank, the submarine was found on the seabed in 1995. Five years later, it was brought to the surface. Inside, all eight crew members were eerily in position at their stations, around a giant hand-crank that ran down the middle of the sub. The discovery has generated a raft of possible theories as to why it sank, and why the crew aboard didn’t seem to make any attempt to escape.

Researchers have found another piece to the puzzle: A hidden failsafe mechanism in the Hunley’s keel should have helped the crew escape the vessel, but it was never activated. This suggests the crew may not have seen whatever sunk the sub coming.

The Confederate submarine, the H.L. Hunley, painted by Conrad Wise Chapman. (Credit: De Agostini Picture Library/Getty Images)

Archaeologist Michael Scafuri has been working on the submarine for 18 years. After removing layers of corrosion, silt and shells from the sub, his team of researchers found that the emergency levers were all locked in position. “It’s more evidence there wasn’t much of a panic on board,” Scafuri told the Associated Press. The levers would have released 1,000 pounds of so-called “keel blocks,” bringing the submarine up to the surface and allowing the crew to swim away to safety.

The discovery suggests two options: The crew may not have realized they were in danger, or not anticipated a need to surface quickly. The Hunley was small and cramped—not even large enough for its crew to stand up straight—yet its men showed no attempt even to get away from where they were stationed.

It’s why researchers at Duke University proposed that they must have been killed instantly, perhaps by the blast from the submarine’s own spar torpedo. “The pressure wave from the explosion was transmitted into the submarine,” graduate student Rachel Lance told Nature. “It was sufficiently large that the crew were killed.” In their 2017 study, researchers made a scale model of the submarine, then blew it up in a pond. By measuring the forces, they finally had the data to back up a long-held suspicion.

Despite these advancements, Scafuri says they were still a while away from being able to say definitively what had happened inside the submarine. “I would love to get to that point absolutely,” he said, but made no promises about whether it would be possible.

For now, scientists are focusing on the excavation, removing more of the corrosion and underwater matter from decades on the ocean floor. Each step tells them more about the craft and its crew, from what their faces were like to the lucky gold token found in the captain’s pocket.

What’s more, the scientists are finally beginning to get a handle on the inner workings of this thoroughly analog piece of military technology. “We keep seeing parts that no one has seen in 150 years. All of them add into the mix of what happened and how this sub was operated,” Scafuri said. �ter all, we don’t have the blueprints.”

Sister ships

The Cyclops was the sister ship of USS Jupiter (AC-3), USS Proteus (AC-9), and USS Nereus (AC-10). Proteus and Nereus served in the Navy until decommissioned in 1924, remaining in mothballs until sold to Canadian firms in 1940. Both were lost at sea from unknown causes in 1941. Jupiter was stripped of her coaling booms in 1920 to make room for a wooden flight deck, becoming the Navy's first aircraft carrier, USS Langley.

Some of the text was incorporated from the Dictionary Of American Naval Fighting Ships, a work in the public domain.

Watch the video: The Cyclops Polyphemus - Greek Legends and Mythology (August 2022).