Changing the ship’s name was quite necessary. There is a certain humor in the thought of the
confusion that allied naval skippers would have if she had continued operating under the name of the German emperor who helped
trigger the war.
Operating as an allied troop carrier, the Agamemnon carried an estimated 42,000 American soldiers
home after the war. In August, 1919, the Agamemnon was decommissioned and sold to the United States Army for use as a transport
ship. It was given a third name, the Monticello, in 1927.
During its career, this vessel was sunk at least twice and was involved in at least two collisions.
The liner was launched in 1902 and made its maiden voyage from Bremen to New York in the spring of
1903. The ship experienced a vibration problem so a newly designed propeller was installed. The Kaiser Wilhelm II not only
smoothed her performance, but set new speed records for Atlantic crossings.
The record shows that the liner sank at its pier in Bremerhaven while taking on coal. In June 1914
she was involved in a collision off the Needles. While operating as a troop ship under the name Agamemnon, she was struck
amidships by her sister ship, the former Kronprinz Wilhelm, then another seized American troop ship, the USS Von Steuben.
Four months after that, she sank again while taking on coal. Then in 1918 the vessel was laid up for major repairs after taking
damage in rough seas.
Released from military service in 1920, the Agamemnon was never used again. She was laid up in the
Patuxent River to await a refitting and return to passenger service for her new owners, the United States Shipping Board.
During that time the ship acquired a third name, Monticello, in 1927.
Her only voyage under that name was in 1940, when she was taken to Baltimore for scrapping.