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West Kyska


(Freighter: dp. 12,200; l. 423'9"; b. 54'0"; dph. 29'9"; dr. 24'˝" (mean); s. 9.0 k.; cpl. 86; a. none)


West Kyska—a steel-hulled, single-screw freighter built in 1918 at Portland, Oreg., by the Northwest Steel Co., under a United States Shipping Board (USSB) contract—was taken over by the Navy for operation by the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS) and commissioned on 22 November 1918, Lt. Comdr. Henry J. Hobbs, USNRF, in command.


West Kyska made one cargo-carrying voyage for NOTS. Laden with 8,130 tons of flour in her holds, the freighter departed Seattle on 7 December 1918, bound for the Mediterranean. Proceeding via the Panama Canal to the east coast of the United States, the freighter stopped at New York for repairs from 11 January to 2 February 1919 before resuming her journey to Europe. Stopping at the Azores for fuel and at Gibraltar for onward-routing instructions, the cargo vessel arrived at Trieste, Italy, on 27 February. After discharging her cargo there, she returned to the United States in ballast, arriving back at New York City on 17 April.


Decommissioned on 3 May 1919, West Kyska was simultaneously struck from the Navy list and returned to the USSB. Remaining in government ownership until 1932, the freighter was subsequently owned and operated by the Waterman Steamship Corp., of Mobile, Ala., until again acquired by the government in 1944. She remained under government ownership for the second time until she disappeared from the merchant vessel lists in 1949.