Photo: The submarine chaser SC-291 loaded with troops from the stranded Northern Pacific off Fire Island, NY leaving for the military hospitals near New York Harbor.A steamer laid down 25 September 1913. Completed by Win. Cramp and Sons, Ship & Engine Building Co., Philadelphia, Pa.in 1914; acquired by the Shipping Board from Spokane, Portland, & Seattle Railway, Portland, Oreg. 17 September 1917 and commissioned 3 November 1917 at Bremerton, Wash., Lt. Comdr. Alfred T. Hunter in command.
The passenger steamer was originally built to serve between Astoria, Oreg. and San Francisco, Calif. before World War I. The Navy operated the ship Northern Pacific operated between Hoboken, N.J. and Brest, France, making a total of 13 trips taking 22,645 troops and passengers to France and open corridors. There were 7 deaths. On 2 October, sister ship Great Northern collided with British ship Brinkburn which caused her to lose contact with the convoy. Northern Pacific searched and found her seaworthy enough to rejoin the convoy.Northern Pacific ran aground off Fire Island, N.Y. 1 January 1919. Her troops transferred to other ships. She was refloated 18 January, and proceeded to Staten Island. She decommissioned 20 August 1919 and was subsequently transferred to the Army Transport Service.Returned to the Shipping Board 22 November 1921, she was sold to the Pacific Steamship Co. 2 February 1922; while being towed to their yard at Chester, Pa., she was destroyed by fire.The Northern Pacific’s upside down hull is almost perfectly intact, although several broad breaks allow access to the interior including the engine room. The port side is ripped outward exposing portholes, many of which lie loose in the sand. Large lobsters are found in the debris field that extends out into the sand. Dive depth to 150 fsw.