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Winding Gulf


(Freighter: dp. 12,163; l. 395'1"; b. 55'0"; dph. 34'5"; dr. 27'0" (mean); s. 12.0 k.; cpl. 75; a. 1 5", 1 3")


Winding Gulf—a steel-hulled, single-screw freighter launched on 22 June 1918 at Camden, N.J., by the New York Shipbuilding Corp. for Castner, Curran, and Bullitt, Inc.—was taken over by the Navy on 19 August 1918 for operation by the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS); designated Id. No. 3379; and commissioned on the same day, Lt. Comdr. Charles A. Geddes, USNRF, in command.


Winding Gulf departed her builder's yard on 23 August and, two days later, arrived at Pier 5, Bush Docks, New York City. There, she took on board 6,119 tons of locomotives and sailed for France in convoy on 2 September. Arriving first at Verdon Roads, France, on 19 September, Winding Gulf shifted successively to La Pallice, Quiberon, and St. Nazaire before she finally unloaded her cargo at the last-named port. After she had completed the discharging process and had gotten underway, Winding Gulf struck a concrete pier and damaged four plates and 10 frames in her bow. Following temporary repairs, the freighter shifted to Quiberon on 4 October to await the formation of a homeward-bound convoy.


The ship departed the French coast on 8 October and arrived at New York City on 21 October. After discharging ballast at Pier 5, Bush Docks, the cargo vessel shifted to Shewan's Dry Dock, where repairs were made to the vessel's bridge, bow plates, winches, and main engines. She undocked on 11 November 1918, the day the armistice was signed bringing World War I to a close.


Winding Gulf sailed on 22 November with 6,983 tons of general cargo in her holds but collided with Edward Luckenbach (Id. No. 1662) one day out. After returning to port and undergoing repairs, Winding Gulf got underway again on 12 December to continue her interrupted voyage and arrived at Verdon Roads on the day after Christmas. Congested port facilities there caused the ship to move to La Pallice. After unloading there, Winding Gulf took on ballast and 4,110 tons of return Army cargo. Although the ship was ready to sail on 18 February 1919, damaged lock gates at the harbor basin delayed her departure for another week; and she was unable to get underway for home until the 25th.


After arriving at New York on 13 March 1919, Winding Gulf was decommissioned, struck from the Navy list, and turned over to the United States Shipping Board on 26 March 1919. Returned to Castner, Curran, and Bullitt, Inc., Boston, Mass., Winding Gulf operated in the freight trade through the 1920's. Acquired by the Mystic Steamship Co., of Boston, in 1926, the steel-hulled cargo vessel was in the hands of the Koppers Coal Co., of Boston, in the 1930's and later operated with the Eastern Gas and Fuel Association until being ultimately broken up for scrap in about 1947.