Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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West Wood
(Freighter: dp. 12,175; l. 423'9"; b. 54'; dr. 23'11- " (mean); dph.29'9"; s. 10.5k.; cpl. 75; a. 1 6", 1 3")

West Wood, a steel-hulled, single-screw freighter built under a United States Shipping Board (USSB) contract at Seattle, Wash., by the American Shipbuilding and Drydock Co., was launched on 12 January 1918. Inspected by the Navy at the 13th Naval District on 9 March, the cargo vessel was acquired for duty with the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS) on 12 July, apparently after the ship had voyaged from the west coast to the east-and commissioned on 14 July 1918 at New York City, Lt. Comdr. Clyde F. Parker, USNRF, in command.

The day after she was commissioned, West Wood,  assigned Id. No. 2812-departed New York for Norfolk, Va. There, she loaded 6,500 tons of general cargo for shipment to France, before she shifted back to New York to join a France-bound convoy. After sailing for the Gironde on 9 August, she discharged her cargo there and returned home, eventually arriving at Norfolk on 10 October.

The ship departed the Tidewater area on 3 November with a cargo of supplies earmarked for the Army and bound for La Pallice, France. West Wood was a little over a week out of Hampton Roads when the armistice of 11 November stilled the guns on the Western Front. The freighter arrived at La Pallice on the 20th, discharged her cargo, bunkered with fuel oil for the return trip, and headed for the United States on 6 December.

West Wood made port at New York two days before Christmas of 1918. Over the ensuing weeks, she underwent voyage repairs, bunkered, loaded 6,910 tons of general cargo, and finally sailed again for La Pallice on 19 January 1919. Following her return to New York on 18 March, the ship lifted 6,666 tons of Army cargo to France and then carried 1,007 tons of ammunition and 1,487 tons of steel rails on the voyage back home which ended on 13 June at New York.

After completing four voyages for NOTS, West Wood was selected for decommissioning. After final inventories, the ship was placed out of commission at New York on 26 June 1919 and returned to the USSB the same day. Her name was simultaneously struck from the Navy list.

Carried on subsequent lists of American merchant vessels as Westwood, the cargo vessel apparently remained operational with the USSB into 1922. After that time, she appears to have been laid up on the west coast, where she gradually deteriorated. She was consequently "abandoned," due to age and deterioration, in 1933.

Published: Wed Oct 28 17:56:45 EDT 2015