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West Coast (Id. No. 3315)


The Navy retained the name carried by this vessel at the time of her acquisition.

(Id. No. 3315: displacement 12,200; length 423'9"; beam 54'0"; depth of hold 29'9"; draft 24'0"  (mean); speed 10.5 knots; complement 70; armament none)

West Coast, a steel-hulled, single-screw cargo ship built under a United States Shipping Board contract at Portland, Oregon, by the Columbia River Shipbuilding Co., was launched on 6 July 1918, and commissioned on 9 August 1918, Lt. Cmdr. Robert Crabb, USNRF, in command.

West Coast departed the Pacific Northwest on 15 August 1918, bound for Chile to take on a load of guano. The ship burned out a thrust-bearing in her turbine, however, and was forced to put into San Francisco, Calif., on the 17th for extensive repairs which lasted until 7 December. Meanwhile, the Armistice ended the Great War [World War I] and curtailed the Allies' need for nitrates. Hence West Coast's voyage to Chile was cancelled, and the cargo vessel was ordered to proceed via the Panama Canal to Norfolk.

She entered Hampton Roads on the last day of 1918 and sailed for France on 6 January 1919. Arriving at Bordeaux on 21 January, West Coast discharged her cargo, loaded 1,994 tons of Army return cargo, and got underway for the United States on 16 February.

The cargo vessel reached Newport News, Va., and unloaded. She departed Hampton Roads on 18 March 1919 and arrived at New Orleans on the 26th. After loading a cargo of cotton, she sailed on 3 April and returned briefly to Norfolk, before getting underway for England on the 10th. She unloaded her cotton cargo in Falmouth and Liverpool and departed the British Isles on 30 May.

Calling at Norfolk from 12 to 15 June 1919, West Coast then got underway for the Gulf of Mexico and made port at Galveston, Texas, on 22 June. Four days later, the cargo vessel was decommissioned and her name stricken from the Navy Register. Returned to the Shipping Board, she remained in its custody until broken up at Baltimore, Md., in 1930. 

Updated, Robert J. Cressman

2 February 2024

Published: Fri Feb 02 09:01:13 EST 2024