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West Apaum


(Freighter: dp. 12,226; l. 423'9"; b. 54'0"; dph. 29'9"; dr. 24'2¼" (mean); s. 10.5 k.; cpl. 81; a. 1 4", 13")


West Apaum—a single-screw, steel-hulled freighter built under a United States Shipping Board contract at Seattle, Wash., by Skinner and Eddy Corp.—was launched on 23 May 1918 and commissioned at the Puget Sound Navy Yard on 20 June 1918, Lt. Comdr. Thomas P. Dorris, USNRF, in command.


West Apaum departed Bremerton, Wash., on 27 June and sailed south to Arica, Chile, where she loaded a cargo of nitrates for transport, via the Panama Canal, to the United States. Arriving at Savannah, Ga., on 9 September, the cargo vessel proceeded to Hampton Roads where she made port on 10 October. Eight days later, West Apaum departed Norfolk, bound for France with a cargo of steel rails, rolling stock, and general Army supplies. Delayed by a stop at Halifax to repair a damaged propeller, she did not reach La Pallice until 22 November.


The war was then over, but the job of supplying the American Army in France continued. West Apaum unloaded her railway goods, took on 2,214 tons of return Army cargo, and got underway for home on 13 December. Arriving back in Hampton Roads three days into the new year, 1919, West Apaum made two more voyages to French ports. On her final trip, she transported airplane materials to the French and returned to New York on 11 July with 5,000 tons of Army ordnance material. Two weeks later, on 25 July 1919, West Apaum was decommissioned and returned to the Shipping Board, which retained custody of the freighter until abandoning her in 1933



West Apaum (SP-3221) as delivered by her builders. "Dazzle" camouflage patterns were extensively used on warships and merchantmen alike during World War I for protection against submarines.