The United States commandeered the German ocean liner SS Kronprinzessin Cecilie after relations with that country were severed in February 1917. Renamed the USS Mount Vernon, she served as an American troop transport ship. This photograph was taken just after the ship's return to Boston, where it was to receive repairs for damage due to a torpedo strike the previous month.
The ever-present threat of submarine attack, the crowded conditions, and boredom made the lengthy Atlantic crossing a challenge shared by all Americans who served in Europe. This YMCA pamphlet attempted to make the trip easier for soldiers by providing detailed information about the voyage and conditions on the troopships.