West Ekonk, a 6086 gross ton cargo ship, was built at Seattle, Washington. Launched in June 1918, after only 57 working days under construction, she was completed in mid-July, turned over to the Navy and placed in commission as USS West Ekonk (ID # 3313). Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, her first mission was to carry a cargo of flour from the West Coast to Brest, France, where she arrived in September. The ship then was employed taking cargo to Italy. She began her first voyage to Genoa before the Armistice ended World War I's fighting in November, finished her second Italian trip in early April 1919, and was then decommissioned and returned to the U.S. Shipping Board.
West Ekonk was later sold to civilian owners, who operated her commercially during the 1920s and 1930s. During the early part of World War II she was acquired by the British Government and renamed Empire Wildebeeste. The ship was torpedoed and sunk in the North Atlantic on 24 January 1942 by the German submarine U-106.
This page features all available views of the freighter West Ekonk, which was USS West Ekonk (ID # 3313) in 1918-1919.
Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.
Photo #: NH 65041-A
West Ekonk (American Freighter, 1918)
Underway, probably during her trials in July 1918, while painted in pattern camouflage. She had been launched by the Skinner & Eddy Corporation shipyard, Seattle, Washington, on 22 June 1918, after being on the building ways for only 57 work days.
Delivered by her builder on 13 July 1918, she was placed in commission the same day as USS West Ekonk (ID # 3313). The ship was returned to the U.S. Shipping Board on 9 April 1919.
The original print is in National Archives' Record Group 19-LCM.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.
Online Image: 73KB; 740 x 575 pixels
Page made 21 December 2003