(Freighter: dp. 12,287; l. 423'9"; b. 54'; dr. 24'2"; s. 10.5 k.; cpl. 71; a. none)
West Zula—a steel-hulled, single-screw freighter built under a United States Shipping Board contract and launched on 4 July 1918 at San Pedro, Calif., by the Los Angeles Shipbuilding and Drydock Co.—was acquired by the Navy on 26 September 1918 and commissioned at San Pedro on the same day, Lt. Walter E. Manning, USNRF, in command.
Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS) and designated Id. No. 3501, West Zula conducted sea trials and then sailed for Chile. She loaded a cargo of guano at Arica, got underway on 22 November, and proceeded via the Panama Canal toward New York. Re-routed to the Florida coast soon thereafter, the ship unloaded her cargo of nitrates at Jacksonville before steaming on to Philadelphia for repairs which lasted until the end of January 1919. Shifting to New York City on the final day of the month, West Zula underwent further repairs before she was decommissioned and returned to the Shipping Board on 24 February 1919. Simultaneously struck from the Navy list, West Zula was berthed in the Shipping Board's reserve fleet at Norfolk, Va. While she was laid up, the freighter deteriorated until she was abandoned in 1933.