US NAVY SHIPS
USS Western Chief (ID # 3161), 1918-1919.
Originally S.S. Marne. Later named Western Chief (American Freighter, 1918)
USS Western Chief, a 12,185 ton (displacement) cargo ship, was built in 1918 at Portland, Oregon as a 5759 gross ton civilian freighter. Originally ordered on French account as S.S. Marne, she was renamed Western Chief while under construction. The ship was taken over by the Navy upon completion and placed in commission in early July 1918. On her maiden voyage, she took a cargo of flour from the West Coast to New York. Western Chief made one trip to and from France during August-October 1918 and had begun another when the 11 November Armistice brought World War I's fighting to an end. After completing that voyage she made two more, calling at ports in France, England, Holland, Denmark and Poland. Decommissioned and returned to the U.S. Shipping Board in July 1919, Western Chief entered commercial service. During World War II she worked on behalf of the British Government and was torpedoed and sunk south of Iceland by the Italian submarine Emo on 14 March 1941.
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