The only complete history of the ship from conception to disappearance.
From the day it was realized that the U.S.S. Cyclops would never arrive at her destination, much attention has been drawn to the subject of this colossal collier. Many have been curious because of the mystery surrounding her disappearance in the area known as the Bermuda Triangle. Others are interested in naval history and some because of a family connection to a member of her crew.
This study provides an objective look at the U.S.S. Cyclops; escorting readers through the multitude of stacks of documentation of this yet-to-be solved case. Conflicting points of view are presented. That is especially the case with the story about the Cyclops' only commanding officer, George W. Worley. The U.S.S. Cyclops served a vital role in the Navy, in peace as in war.
As a fuel ship the Cyclops did not offer her crews glamorous tours of duty. Being assigned to the U.S.S. Cyclops meant hard work, long days, and the handling of thousands of tons of coal. Most days on board the U.S.S. Cyclops have been accounted for within these pages. Dates on which only negligible activity, such as when clothes washing occurred, have not been included. In a few instances, log book pages for a few dates appear to have been lost.
The Cyclops' logs from January 1, 1918 and later were likely on board the ship when she was lost. Events related to the ship beyond December 31, 1917 have been found in-part within the log books of other vessels or from other documentation. Information pertaining to War Risk Insurance and pilgrimages to France are included as they affected surviving family members.
This is as much a finding aid for most information related to the U.S.S. Cyclops as it is a narrative history. As much as possible, each source used in this study has been identified in detail as to permit further research by the reader.
March 4, 2016 marks the 98th anniversary of the
final sighting of the U.S.S. Cyclops. The Cyclops
was a United States Navy fuel ship, designated as a collier. From 1910 to 1918 she successfully refueled ships
of the fleet with coal. Ahead of her
time, she also provided fuel oil to the next generation of U.S. Navy ships. On her final mission, she transported an
important cargo of war materiel. The Cyclops made a brief layover at Barbados
before her departure, on March 4, 1918, for Baltimore Maryland. The massive collier, with 309 aboard,
including my Great Uncle, Fireman 2C, Lawrence Merkel, was never seen again.