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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
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West Lashaway

 

(Freighter: dp. 11,390; l. 423'9"; b. 54'; dr. 24'2"; dph. 29'9"; s. 11 k.; cpl. 70; a. none)

 

West Lashaway—a steel-hulled, single-screw cargo freighter built for the United States Shipping Board— was launched on 12 September 1918 at Seattle, Wash., by the Skinner and Eddy Corp.; acquired by the Navy on 30 September 1918; and commissioned at the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Bremerton, Wash., Lt. Werner Anderson, USNRF, in command.

 

Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS), West Lashaway conducted sea trials off the northwest Pacific coast before she loaded 7,790 tons of flour and sailed for the east coast on 17 October. Arriving at New York, via the Panama Canal, on 11 November—the day upon which the armistice ending World War I was signed—the freighter underwent a few minor repairs before sailing for the Adriatic Sea. Departing New York City on 29 November, West Lashaway arrived at Trieste, Italy, three days before Christmas of 1918. There, she unloaded the cargo of flour and subsequently returned to New York City, arriving there on 30 January 1919, to undergo general repairs.

 

After simultaneously bunkering and loading 5,144 tons of Quartermaster's and YMCA supplies, the cargo vessel got underway for France on 19 February. Arriving at Nantes on 7 March, West Lashaway loaded return cargo—which included 300 tons of Army ordnance materials—and sailed for New York City on 20 March. Unloading and undergoing general repairs after her arrival at New York on 4 April, West Lashaway was decommissioned and struck from the Navy list on 12 April 1919.

 

Simultaneously returned to the Shipping Board, West Lashaway was eventually acquired under a bareboat charter by the American-West African Line, Inc. (Barber Steamship Lines, Inc.). She operated with this firm on the North Atlantic to West African trade routes through the 1930's. West Lashaway was torpedoed and sunk in the North Atlantic on 30 August 1942 by U-66.