Shipping Board name retained.
(AK: dp. 9,606; lbp. 358'; b. 51'; dr. 22'9"; s. 12 k.; cpl. 70)
Eastern Chief (No. 3390) was built in December 1917 as Yoshida Maru No. 3 by Uraga Dock Co., near Yokosuka, Japan, for the U.S. Shipping Board; transferred to the Navy 25 September 1918; converted at Charleston Navy Yard, S.C.; and commissioned 27 September 1918, Lieutenant Commander A. P. Jensen, USNRF, in command.
Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, Eastern Chief sailed from Hampton Roads 9 October 1918 via Sydney, Nova Scotia, for repairs, and arrived at La Pallice 26 November to discharge her cargo and load ordnance and engineering stores. She departed the French port 14 December 1918 and arrived at Norfolk 8 January 1919. On 9 February she was again underway for France. Six days later, Eastern Chief went to the rescue of NOTS cargo ship Westhaven (No. 2159), standing by until a tug came to assist. She helped tow her into Bermuda, then resumed course for La Pallice, which she finally reached the 23d.
Shifting up to Belgium, she finished offloading at Antwerp, and sailed for Norfolk 3 May 1919, arriving in 20 days. She was decommissioned and returned to the Shipping Board, both on 29 May 1919.