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Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive

El Occidente (ID 3307)



Civilian call sign (1919):
Love - Boy - Rush - Mike

El Occidente served both the U. S. Army and the Navy.


Freighter:

  • Built in 1910 by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, VA for the Morgan Line
  • Launched 24 September 1910
  • Delivered 2 December 1910
  • Acquired by the Army 30 May 1917
  • Transferred to the Navy 27 August 1918 and commissioned USS El Occidente (ID 3307) the same day
  • Decommissioned 18 March 1919 and returned to the United States Shipping Board for return to her owners
  • El Occidente was also employed during World War II under the ownership of the War Shipping Administration. Operated under Panamanian registry by United States Lines, she was sunk north of Norway by the German
    submarine U-435 on 13 April 1942, while en route from Murmansk, Russia to Iceland with convoy QP-10. Nearly half of her crew members were lost with her.

    Specifications:

  • Displacement 10,500 t.
  • Length 430' 2"
  • Beam 53' 1"
  • Draft 26'
  • Speed 16 kts.
  • Complement 112
  • Armament: Four 4" mounts
  • Propulsion: One 5,500ihp steam engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    SS El Occidente
    El Occidente 73k Photographed prior to her World War I era Naval service.
    U.S. Navy photo NH 70470
    Naval Historical Center
    USS El Occidente (ID 3307)
    El Occidente 129k Navy cargo ship photographed circa early 1919. Location may be the Gironde River, France, off the American Bassens port facility. This ship is either El Oriente (ID-4505), or El Occidente (ID-3307), or El Sol (ID-4505). What may be a name board on her bridge face indicates, from its length, that El Occidente is the more likely identification. The ship still carries her bow gun, and is still in freighter configuration. El Oriente and El Sol were converted to transports in the spring of 1919, while El Occidente was decommissioned in March of that year.
    Donation of Dr. Mark Kulokoski, 2008
    Naval Historical Center photo NH 106039
    Robert Hurst

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships: El Occidente, a transport, was built in 1910 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co., Newport News, VA.; transferred to the Navy from the Shipping Board 27 August 1918; and commissioned 27 August 1918, Lieutenant Commander E. S. Campbell, USNRF, in command.

    After conversion to an animal transport, El Occidente sailed to Norfolk to load cargo which included 585 horses and mules, sailing for France 17 September 1918. She offloaded her cargo at St. Nazaire and Verdon, and returned to Norfolk 1 November, to load for a second voyage, carrying 1,467 tons of cargo and 800 animals to Verdon between 17 November and 19 December.

    Returning to Baltimore for repairs and alterations which included the removal of her armament and the stalls for animal cargo, El Occidente sailed again 15 January 1919 for Bordeaux where she unloaded cargo for the Army of Occupation and embarked 90 passengers for return to the United States. She was decommissioned at New York 18 March 1919, and delivered to the Shipping Board the same day.


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