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  • The second USS Housatonic was the Southern Pacific freighter El Rio temporarily converted for planting the World War I North Sea Mine Barrage. Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company launched El Rio at Newport News, Virginia in 1899 for service between New York City and Gulf of Mexico seaports of New Orleans and Galveston, Texas. The United States Shipping Board took control of the ship from Southern Pacific Steamship Company in 1917.

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