(Freighter: dp. 12,211; l. 427'; b. 54'; dr. 24'1" (mean); s. 10.5 k.; cpl. 83; a. none)
West Carnifax-—a single-screw, steel-hulled freighter built in 1918 under a United States Shipping Board contract at San Francisco, Calif., by the Southwestern Shipbuilding Co.—was taken over by the Navy for duty with the Naval Overseas Transportation Service; and commissioned at San Pedro, Calif., on 31 December 1918, Lt. Comdr. Robert H. Cowan, USNRF, in command.
West Carnifax got underway on 31 January 1919 bound for Norfolk, Va., with a cargo of foodstuffs. Transiting the Panama Canal soon thereafter, the cargo vessel arrived at Hampton Roads on 15 March. Four days later, she stood out to sea, bound for Europe.
While originally routed to Danzig, via Falmouth, England, and the Hook of Holland, West Carnifax was diverted to Hamburg, Germany, where she unloaded her cargo from 31 March to 2 April. The freighter returned via Plymouth, England, to New Orleans, La., on 5 May. On 9 May 1919, West Carnifax was decommissioned and returned to the Shipping Board, in whose custody she remained until acquired by the Export Steamship Corp., of New York, N.Y., in late 1927 or early 1928.