USS Eastern Light, a 7056 gross ton cargo ship, was purchased by the U.S. Shipping Board while under construction; completed in September 1918 under a Shipping Board contract by Osaka Iron Works Co., Innoshima, Japan; converted at Puget Sound Navy Yard; transferred to the Navy from the Shipping Board 6 December 1918; and commissioned the same day.
After loading a cargo of flour and other stores at Tacoma, Wash., Eastern Light departed Seattle on 29 December 1918 for the east coast, arriving at Norfolk on 9 February 1919. She loaded cargo for the Food Administration and sailed for northern Europe on 13 February via Falmouth, mooring at Rotterdam on 5 March. Her cargo was transferred to barges for use by the Relief Commission in alleviating the famine caused by the war.
Ballasted with sand, Eastern Light stood out for Plymouth and New York, arriving on 10 April after a 16-day crossing. She was decommissioned and returned to the Shipping Board on 16 April 1919. She was renamed Willkeno in 1926, Isthmian in 1937, and Illinoian in 1939, all under the American flag. She was scuttled on 28 August 1944 as a blockship at Normandy.
This page features all available views of USS Eastern Light (ID # 3585).
Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.
Photo #: NH 106026
USS Eastern Light (ID # 3585)
At Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 3 May 1919.
The original photograph is printed on post card stock.
Donation of Dr. Mark Kulikowski, 2008.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Online Image: 66KB; 740 x 495 pixels
Page made 8 August 2015