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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
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Western Plains

 

(Freighter: t. 12,185; l. 423'9"; b. 54'0"; dph. 29'9"; dr. 24' ˝ " (mean); s. 10.5 k.; cpl. 70)

 

Western Plains—a single-screw, steel-hulled cargo vessel constructed in 1918 under a United States Shipping Board contract at Portland, Oreg., by the Columbia River Shipbuilding Corp.—was taken over by the Navy for service with the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS); designated Id. No. 3741; and commissioned on 17 October 1918, Lt. Comdr. David C. Austin, USNRF, in command.

 

Western Plains took on board 7,296 tons of flour, got underway for the east coast on 25 October, transited the Panama Canal, and reached New York exactly one month later. After she unloaded her consignment of flour at New York, she pressed on for Gibraltar where she took on cargo for shipment to Turkey and arrived at Constantinople on 25 January 1919. Western Plains delivered her goods; loaded 2,500 tons of Turkish tobacco; sailed for the United States on 24 February; touched at the Azores; and arrived at Philadelphia on 10 April. Western Plains was decommissioned there on 30 April 1919 and returned to the Shipping Board on the same day. She remained in the custody of that agency until abandoned in 1933