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West Mead


(Freighter: dp. 12,175; l. 423'9"; b. 54'0"; dph. 29'9"; dr. 24'11 ¼  (mean); s. 10.5 k.; cpl. 113; a. none)


West Mead—sometimes referred to as Westmeadwas a steel-hulled, single-screw, coal-burning cargo vessel built in 1918 at Seattle, Wash., under a United States Shipping Board contract with the Ames Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. Inspected by the Navy in the 13th Naval District on 26 October 1918, West Mead was assigned Id. No. 3550 and commissioned on 29 October 1918, Lt. Comdr. N. A. Nelson, USNRF, in command.


Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS), West Mead loaded 6,865 tons of flour, departed the Pacific Northwest on 15 November, and proceeded via the Panama Canal to New York where she arrived on 14 December after a stop at Balboa, Canal Zone, en route. She underwent a few minor repairs, bunkered, and sailed in convoy for the British Isles on Christmas Eve. West Mead made port at Falmouth, England, on 9 January 1919.


She shifted to Rotterdam, Holland, on the 24th, and there unloaded her cargo of flour. She sailed for home, in ballast, and arrived at New York on 3 March. West Mead then proceeded to Savannah, Georgia, where she took on board a cargo of cotton and lumber and got underway for her second voyage to the British Isles on 2 April. She reached Liverpool on the 21st, discharged her cargo there, and returned to Savannah, arriving on 7 June 1919.


Decommissioned on 9 June 1919, West Mead was simultaneously struck from the Navy list and returned to the USSB. Apparently operating under the name Westmead, the erstwhile NOTS ship wore the flag of the USSB until she was laid up in the late 1920's. Eventually acquired by the Babcock Steamship Co., and renamed Willanglo, the ship operated with that firm until about 1929, when she was acquired by the Pacific-Atlantic Steamship Co., of Portland, Oreg., and renamed San Angela. In response to the need caused by German U-boat activity in the North Atlantic convoy routes early in World War II, the British government acquired a number of former USSB ships in both American private and government ownership; San Angela was among them. She was carried on the Lloyd's Register of Shipping as belonging to the Ministry of Transport in 1940-1941 but disappears from the list thereafter. Her fate is unrecorded