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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Western Belle

 

(Freighter: dp. 12,100; l. 423'9"; b. 54'0"; dph. 29'9"; dr. 24' ½ " (mean); s. 10.5 k.; cpl. 88; a. none)

 

Western Belle—a single-screw, steel-hulled cargo vessel completed in 1918 under a United States Shipping Board (USSB) contract, at Portland, Oreg., by the Columbia River Shipbuilding Corp.—was commissioned on 22 November 1918 at Bremerton, Wash., in the Puget Sound Navy Yard, Lt. Comdr. Olaf Breiland, USNRF, in command.

 

Taken over by the Navy for use with the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS), Western Belle—classified Id. No. 3551—sailed from Puget Sound on 22 December with a cargo of 6,818 tons of flour for delivery to New York, N.Y. Proceeding via the Panama Canal, she arrived at New York on 7 January 1919 and bunkered with coal prior to heading for Gibraltar on 18 January. After a brief stay at Gibraltar from 3 to 8 February, she was routed on to Deringe, France, where she off-loaded her cargo. On 20 March, she got underway for home with 924 tons of Army cargo.

 

Arriving at New York on 20 April, Western Belle was decommissioned on 3 May 1919 and returned to the USSB, which retained custody of her until 1932. The ship was then purchased by Merritt, Chapman, and Scott. She was abandoned the following year