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West Kyska (Id. No. 3701)


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

(Id. No. 3701: displacement 12,200; length 423'9"; beam 54'0"; depth of hold 29'9"; draft 24'0" (mean); speed 9.0 knots; complement 86; armament none)

West Yaquima, a steel-hulled, single-screw cargo vessel built in 1918 at Portland, Oregon, by the Northwest Steel Co., under a United States Shipping Board (USSB) contract, was renamed West Kyska prior to completion; taken over by the Navy for operation by the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS), she was given the identification number (Id. No.) 3701, and commissioned on 22 November 1918, Lt. Cmdr. Henry J. Hobbs, USNRF, in command.

West Kyska made one cargo-carrying voyage for NOTS. Laden with 8,130 tons of flour in her holds, the freighter departed Seattle on 7 December 1918, bound for the Mediterranean. Proceeding via the Panama Canal to the east coast of the United States, the freighter stopped at New York for repairs from 11 January to 2 February 1919 before resuming her journey to Europe. Stopping at the Azores for fuel and at Gibraltar for onward routing instructions, the cargo vessel arrived at Trieste, Italy, on 27 February. After discharging her cargo there, she returned to the United States in ballast, arriving back at New York City on 17 April.

Decommissioned on 3 May 1919, West Kyska was simultaneously stricken from the Navy Register and returned to the USSB. Remaining in government ownership until 1932, the freighter was subsequently owned and operated by the Waterman Steamship Corp., of Mobile, Alabama. She was returned to government ownership at 8:00 a.m. on 18 February 1942 at New York, N.Y., then delivered to the Waterman Steamship Agency, Inc., under a term charter agreement. She was delivered to Waterman under a general agency agreement at midnight on 26 August 1943 at Hoboken, N.J. as a trade-in. 

Terminating her last voyage at San Francisco, Calif., West Kyska entered the Maritime Commission's Reserve Fleet at 6:00 p.m. on 15 October 1945, being laid-up in Suisun Bay, Unit B-10. Ultimately, costly repairs militated against her being retained, so she was sold to Kaiser Co., Inc., on 18 June 1947, to be broken up for scrap. The purchaser took delivery of the vessel at 12:30 a.m. on 2 July 1947. 

Updated, Robert J. Cressman

5 February 2024

Published: Mon Feb 05 16:45:03 EST 2024