A former Navy collier, USS Alexander, may have slipped through the pages of history had she not attained a degree of mysterious celebrity when she promptly vanished without a trace after being retired.
Her new life as a merchant ship was full of ambiguity. Within a year after leaving the Navy, this ship was under charter to the German Navy in the early days of WW I when she was seized as a prize by the British; a year later, she was loading a cargo of construction material to be taken to the Far East, a move that was generally regarded as assisting the Allied cause. After departing from the Pacific Northwest on this voyage, she was never heard from again.
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