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Identification Numbered Vessel Photo Archive

West Alsek (ID 3119)

Civilian call sign (1919):
Love - King - Tare - Watch


  • Built in 1918 by the Skinner and Eddy Corp., Seattle, WA
  • Launched 11 May 1918
  • Acquired by the Navy 4 June 1918 and commissioned the same day
  • Decommissioned 27 January 1919 and returned to the United States Shipping Board
  • Abandoned in 1933.


  • Displacement 12,226 t.
  • Length 423' 9"
  • Beam 54'
  • Draft 24' 2"
  • Speed 10.5 kts.
  • Complement 70
  • Armament: One 4"/40 mount and one 6-pounder
  • Propulsion: Three single ended boilers, one 2,750ihp vertical triple expansion steam engine, one shaft.
    Click on thumbnail
    for full size image
    Size Image Description Source
    West Alsek 133k Underway during builder's trials, off Seattle, Washington, on 4 June 1918, while painted in pattern camouflage. She was built in 78 working days
    U.S. Navy photo NH 102368
    Naval Historical Center

    Commanding Officers
    01LCDR James Spaulding Gibson, USNRF4 June 1918 - 1918
    02LCDR William DeLisle Lent, USNRF1918 - 27 January 1919
    Courtesy Joe Radigan and Wolfgang Hechler

    Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships History: West Alsek--a single-screw steel-hulled freighter built under a United States slipping Board contract at Seattle, Wash., by Skinner and Eddy Corp.--was launched on 4 May 1918; acquired by the Navy for duty with the Naval Overseas Transportation service; assigned Id. No. 3119- and commissioned on 4 June 1918, Lt. Comdr. J. S. Gibson, USNRF, in command.West Alsek departed the Pacific Northwest on 16 June, with 7,067 tons of flour on board, for New York, where she arrived on 16 July. Soon after her arrival, she formed up with Convoy MB-8, eastbound for French ports, and got underway on 1 August. On the 15th, two weeks out of New York, German U-boats V-90 and U-107 singled out Montanan and West Bridge (Id. No. 2888), respectively, and torpedoed them, the former sank the following day, but the latter, after great feats of navigation and seamanship, reached Brest under tow on the 22d. Meanwhile, West Alsek and the remaining cargo vessels in convoy continued on to France, arriving at Verdon-sur-mer on 18 August, and unloaded their cargo before heading back to the United States.

    Arriving at New York soon thereafter, West Alsek departed again on 27 October with a slow convoy for Quiberon and Nantes, France. She remained at Nantes unloading her cargo from 15 November to 30 December 1918 before sailing on 30 December for the American east coast.

    West Alsek reached New York on 19 January 1919 and was soon in line for demobilization. On 27 January, the cargo vessel was decommissioned and returned to the Shipping Board, in whose custody she remained until abandoned in 1933.

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