Clipping of “The Transport Ace, Tuesday, September 2, 1919” from the John J. Pershing Diary


The Transport Ace was the onboard newspaper of the USS Leviathan, “printed every day at sea,” as its masthead proclaimed. Presented here is the issue of the newspaper for September 2, 1919, the day after the ship left the port of Brest, France, carrying General John J. Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), from France back to the United States. Most of the two-page edition is devoted to the departure ceremonies of the previous day and the farewell speech of General Ferdinand Foch, commander of all Allied forces during the closing months of World War I, and Pershing’s reply to Foch’s address. The remainder of the newspaper contains a few news stories, news about the ship’s crew, and a few humorous items. As was the case every day, the position of the ship at noon on the day of publication is given. Pershing arrived in New York on September 8, where he was given a tumultuous welcome culminating in a military parade on September 10, in which an entire army division marched from 110th Street to Washington Square. The Leviathan began its career as the Vaterland, a passenger liner of the German-owned Hamburg America Line. Completed on April 29, 1914, she was seized in New York Harbor by the United States Shipping Board when the United States entered World War I and turned over to the U.S. Navy. The ship was renamed the Leviathan by President Woodrow Wilson and used for the duration of the war to ferry American soldiers to France. In 19 voyages, the Leviathan carried a total of more than 100,000 soldiers to Europe. On one particular crossing it carried 14,416 troops, at that time the largest number ever transported by a single ship.

Last updated: November 14, 2017