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

Westford

 

(Freighter: dp. 12,175; l. 423'9"; b. 54'0"; dph. 29'9"; dr. 23'11 ¼ " (mean); s. 9.0 k.; cpl. 89; a. 1 5", 1 3")

 

Westford—sometimes referred to as West Ford—was a steel-hulled, single-screw freighter launched under a U.S. Shipping Board (USSB) contract on 2 July 1918 at Seattle, Wash., by the Ames Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. She was taken over by the Navy for operation by the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS), assigned Id. No. 3198, and commissioned on 2 July 1918, Lt. Comdr. Louis C. Drewson, USNRF, in command.

 

Departing Seattle on 25 July with 6,982 tons of flour in her five holds, Westford sailed for the east coast of the United States. She transited the Panama Canal en route, and stopped briefly at Norfolk for voyage repairs before pushing on, in convoy, for France, on 7 September. Arriving at Le Havre, on 26 September, the freighter shifted to Devonport, England, on the 11th. After discharging the remainder of her cargo there, she took on board 763 barrels of lube oil and 2,000 tons of Army return cargo and departed the British Isles on 15 October.

 

Westford arrived at New York on 1 November, 10 days before the armistice ended World War I. Loading with Army supplies over the ensuing weeks, Westford departed New York on 16 November. She arrived at Marseilles on 5 December, discharged her cargo, and took on board 2,000 tons of return Army cargo for the voyage back to New York.

 

Underway four days before Christmas, the freighter stopped briefly at the Azores for fuel before proceeding on toward home. Arriving at New York on 28 January 1919, Westford soon took on board 4,961 tons of foodstuffs and flour and subsequently sailed for Rotterdam on 16 February. Making port on 7 March, the ship unloaded her cargo and subsequently departed the key Dutch seaport on 29 March for New York.

 

Arriving at that destination on 13 April, Westford was decommissioned, returned to the Shipping Board, and struck from the Navy list on 21 April 1919. She remained under government ownership, laid up until abandoned due to age and deterioration in 1933.