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Western Maid (Id. No. 3703)


The Navy retained the name carried by this vessel at the time she was acquired.

(Id. No. 3703: displacement 12,185; length 423'9"; beam 54'0"; depth of hold 29'9"; draft 24' - " (mean) ; speed 10.5 knots; complement 70; armament none)

Aisne, a steel-hulled, single-screw cargo ship laid down on 20 March 1918  under a United States Shipping Board (USSB) contract at Portland, Oregon, by the Northwestern Steel Co., was launched on 8 July 1918, sponsored by Mrs. H. D. Wheelwright. The ship was renamed, prior to completion, to Western Maid.  Delivered to the USSB, she was  acquired by the Navy on 17 August 1918; given the identification number (Id. No.)  3703; and commissioned on the same day, Lt. Edmond O. Smith, USNRF, in command.

Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS), Western Maid departed Portland on 21 August 1918, bound for Chile with a full cargo of flour. Loading a consignment of nitrate soon after her arrival at Arica, the cargo vessel sailed, via the Panama Canal, for the Gulf of Mexico and arrived at New Orleans on 23 October. Western Maid subsequently sailed for New York, N.Y., on 11 November, the day fighting stopped in Europe.

The cargo vessel arrived at New York on 17 November 1918 with 6,082 tons of general Army cargo on board. She sailed in convoy for northern Europe on 10 January 1919, but engine trouble forced her to return to New York for repairs. She got underway again on the 14th. After visits to Plymouth and Falmouth, England, and to Rotterdam, Holland, Western Maid returned to the east coast, arriving at Baltimore, Md., on 12 March 1919.

Western Maid was simultaneously decommissioned and stricken from the Navy Register on 20 March 1919  and returned to the Shipping Board, in whose custody she remained until abandoned in 1933.

Updated, Robert J. Cressman

21 February 2024

Published: Wed Feb 21 20:02:40 EST 2024