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

Western Light

 

(Freighter: dp. 12,185; l. 423'9"; b. 54'0"; dph. 29'9"; dr. 24'1" (mean); s. 10.5 k.; cpl. 116; a. 1 4", 1 3")

 

Western Light—a steel-hulled, single-screw cargo ship built in 1918 at Portland, Oreg., by the Northwest Steel Co., for the United States Shipping Board (USSB) and completed in 1918—was taken over by the Navy at Portland on 30 July 1918 and was commissioned the same day, Lt. Comdr. Claude Smith, USNRF, in command.

 

Designated Id. No. 3300, she sailed for Chile in August, took on a cargo of nitrate at Arica, and got underway on 17 September for home. Proceeding through the Panama Canal, she arrived at Philadelphia on 7 October and discharged her cargo. She then shifted to New York to join an east-bound convoy on 4 November for the first of her three transatlantic voyages, carrying cargo to European ports for American forces in France.

 

Her ports of call included Verdon-sur-mer, France; Falmouth, England; and Rotterdam, Holland—carrying a total of 17,540 tons of hay, oats, flour, and lard, in addition to other varied Army supplies. Returning to New York from Rotterdam on 8 May 1919, Western Light was placed out of commission on 14 May and returned to the USSB. She remained in the custody of the USSB until abandoned in 1933.