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West Coast


(Freighter: dp. 12,200; l. 423'9"; b. 54'0"; dph. 29'9"; dr. 24'˝"  (mean); s. 10.5 k.; cpl. 99; a. none)


West Coast—a steel-hulled, single-screw freighter built under a United States Shipping Board contract at Portland, Oreg., by the Columbia River Shipbuilding Co.—was launched on 6 July 1918, and commissioned on 9 August 1918, Lt. Comdr. Robert Crabb, USNRP, in command.


West Coast departed the Pacific Northwest on 15 August, bound for Chile to take on a load of guano. The ship burned out a thrust-bearing in her turbine, however, and was forced to put into San Francisco on the 17th for extensive repairs which lasted until 7 December. Meanwhile, the armistice ended World War I and curtailed the Allies' need for nitrates. Hence West Coast's voyage to Chile was cancelled, and the cargo vessel was ordered to proceed via the Panama Canal to Norfolk.


She entered Hampton Roads on the last day of 1918 and sailed for France on 6 January 1919. Arriving at Bordeaux on 21 January, West Coast discharged her cargo, loaded 1,994 tons of Army return cargo, and got underway for the United States on 16 February.


The cargo vessel reached Newport News, Va., and unloaded. She departed Hampton Roads on 18 March and arrived at New Orleans on the 26th. After loading a cargo of cotton, she sailed on 3 April and returned briefly to Norfolk, before getting underway for England on the 10th. She unloaded her cotton cargo in Falmouth and Liverpool and departed the British Isles on 30 May.


Calling at Norfolk from 12 to 15 June, West Coast proceeded for the Gulf of Mexico and made port at Galveston, Tex., on 22 June. Four days later, the cargo vessel was decommissioned and her name struck from the Navy list. Returned to the Shipping Board, she remained in its custody until abandoned in 1933 or 1934