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West Elcasco


(Freighter: dp. 12,200; l. 423'9"; b. 54'0"; dph. 29'9"; dr. 24'2" (mean); s. 11.25 k.; cpl. 70; a. none)


West Elcasco—a steel-hulled, single-screw freighter built in 1918 under a United States Shipping Board contract at Seattle, Wash., by Skinner and Eddy Corp. —was acquired by the Navy on 23 October 1918 for use with the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS); designated Id. No. 3661; and commissioned the same day, Lt. Comdr. Lt. T. Ward, USNRF, in command.


Laden with a cargo of flour, West Elcasco departed Seattle on 31 October, bound for the east coast. After stopping briefly at San Pedro, she transited the Panama Canal and arrived at New York on 2 December. With her cargo consigned to European food relief, she got underway for Europe on 8 December and arrived at Gibraltar on the last day of 1918. From the strait, she proceeded to the Adriatic Sea and arrived at Trieste on 11 January 1919. After discharging part of her cargo there, West Elcasco shifted to Gallipoli, on the Dardanelles, where she delivered the remainder of her cargo. She then took on a cargo of depth charges and headed home on 15 February.


After her arrival at Philadelphia on 7 March, she shifted to Boston and loaded a cargo of foodstuffs for France. She got underway on 8 April for France and delivered her cargo after arriving at Verdon-sur-mer. Returning from Europe, via New York, to Boston on 9 June, West Elcasco was decommissioned on 14 June. Transferred to the Shipping Board on that day, the freighter was sold in 1930 to the Mississippi Shipping Co. and homeported at New York. In 1943, the United States Army Quartermaster Corps acquired the ship and renamed her Major General Henry Gibbins. She served under that name until she disappeared from vessel registers in 1949.