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NavSource Online: Identification Numbered Ship Photo Archive

West Lianga (ID-2758)

Civilian call sign (1919):
Love - King - Quack - Rush

Helen Whittier call sign (1933):
King - Jig - Affirmative - Option


  • Laid down in 1918 at Skinner and Eddy Corp, Seattle , WA, under a United States Shipping Board (USSB) contract
  • Launched 20 April 1918
  • Acquired by the Navy 19 August 1918 and assigned to the Navy Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS)
  • Commissioned USS West Lianga (ID-2758), 20 August 1918 at Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Decommissioned 24 June 1919, at New York
  • Struck from the Naval list 24 June 1919 and returned to the USSB
  • Laid up from 1922 to 1923
  • Acquired in 1929 by the Los Angeles Steamship Co. of Los Angeles, CA (later Matson Navigation Co.) and renamed Helen Whittier
  • Renamed Kalani in 1940
  • Transferred in 1940 to the United Kingdom's Ministry of War and renamed Empire Cheetah
  • Transferred in 1942 to The Netherlands and renamed Hobbema
  • Torpedoed and sunk 4 November 1942 by the German submarine U-132 south of Iceland (5538'N 3952'W) while a member of Convoy SC-107 en route from Sydney, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia,
    Canada to the United Kingdom


  • Displacement 12,191 t.
    1933 - 5,506 t.
  • Length 423' 9"
    1933 - 409.6'
  • Beam 54'
    1933 - 54.2'
  • Draft 24' 1½"
    1933 - 27.1'
  • Speed 11 kts.
  • Complement 70
    1933 - 32
  • Armament: One 5"/51 gun mount and one 6-pounder
  • Propulsion: Three single ended coal fired boilers, one 2,500shp Curtis steam turbine with reduction gear, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    SS West Lianga
    West Lianga 170k c. February 1918
    Under construction at the Skinner and Eddy plant in Seattle, Washington
    Photo by Charles Phillip Norton from Harper's Pictorial Library of the World War, Albert Bushnell Hart, et al., New York: Harper, 1920
    Robert Hurst
    West Lianga 55k 20 April 1918
    At launching
    University of Washington: Special Transportation Photographs Collection
    Photo added 2 June 2022
    West Lianga 82k 20 April 1918
    Photo from the June 1918 edition of The American Review of Reviews (Vol. LVII, No. 6)
    West Lianga 115k Underway off Seattle, Washington, on 4 May 1918, the day of her trial trip and delivery. Built by the Skinner & Eddy Corporation, Seattle, she had been constructed in 67 working days (79 calendar days)
    U.S. Navy photo NH 65075-A
    Naval Historical Center
    USS West Lianga (ID 2758)
    West Lianga 173k At Bordeaux, France, 2 October 1918, while operating as a unit of the NOTS
    Photographed by Robert W. Neeser
    U.S. Navy photo NH 48487
    Original photo: Richard Leonhardt
    Replacement photo: Naval Historical Center

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR Louis Laverge, USNRF19 August 1918
    02LCDR Louis E. Congdon, USNRF1919
    Courtesy Joe Radigan

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