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West Shore (Id. No. 3170)


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

(Id. No. 3170: displacement 12,000; length 423'9"; beam 54'2"; depth of hold 27'8"; draft 24'0" (mean); speed 10.5 knots; complement 70; armament 1 5-inch, 1 3-inch)

West Shore, a steel-hulled, single-screw freighter originally named War Archer, was launched on 13 January 1918 at Portland, Oregon, by the Northwest Steel Co., under a United States Shipping Board (USSB) contract; taken over by the Navy and assigned the identification number (Id. No.) 3170; and was commissioned at New York on 7 August 1918, Lt. Cmdr. Harry R. Swift, USNRF, in command.

The freighter soon shifted to Norfolk, Va., where she loaded 6,753 tons of cars and trucks for transportation to France. Returning to New York, the freighter sailed in convoy for European waters on 23 September 1918 and arrived at Brest on 12 October. West Shore unloaded her cargo and sailed on 6 November 1918, with 1,500 tons of iron pyrites as ballast, for the east coast of the United States. While the ship was making the return leg of her voyage, the Armistice was signed on 11 November 1918 ending the Great War [World War I].

Arriving back at New York on 26 November 1918, West Shore loaded 7,714 tons of flour and foodstuffs. She sailed for Europe on 18 December; touched at Falmouth, England; and made port at Rotterdam, Holland, on 3 January 1919. Departing Rotterdam in ballast on 21 January, the cargo vessel arrived back at New York on 5 February 1919. Less than a month later, on 4 March 1919, West Shore was simultaneously decommissioned, strIcken from the Navy Register, and returned to the USSB.

Eventually laid up by the USSB in the mid-1920's and listed in contemporary merchant ship lists as Westshore, the freighter subsequently deteriorated until she was abandoned in either late 1929 or early 1930. Ultimately, she was broken up for scrap at Baltimore, Md., in 1930.

Updated, Robert J. Cressman

8 February 2024

Published: Thu Feb 08 11:03:04 EST 2024