Headline: The Atlantic Transort Line 

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S.S. West Ekonk

Built by Skinner & Eddy of Seattle, Washington, yard # 25
Launched June 22, 1918; Torpedoed, 1942
Length 409' 5"; Beam 54' 2"; 5,630 tons; 11.5 knots
Single screw; Curtis geared steam turbine
Official Number 216620; AKA Empire Wildebeeste


The West Ekonk was launched for the U.S. Shipping Board in June 1918 — a photograph of her launch appeared on the cover of the August 1918 issue of Pacific Marine Review. She was completed on July, 13, 1918, 73 working days after her keel laying, and in 1920 was listed as the ninth fastest-constructed ship in the world. Her final cost was $1,776,468. On completion she was handed to the U.S. Navy and commissioned into the Naval Overseas Transportation Service. She completed three roundtrip voyages to Europe before being decommisioned in April 1919.

In mid-June of 1919 The Washington Post reported that West Ekonk would be one the 26 ships allocated by the U.S. Shipping Board to sail out of Baltimore later in the month. She sailed out of Baltimore and New York for a short period, partly on Atlantic Transport Line business evidently. She was then laid up in Norfolk, Virginia until early 1924, when she started sailing from Los Angeles. She was sailing from New York to Liverpool, Hamburg and other ports by 1926 and in 1933 was sold to the Lykes Brothers Steamship Company. In 1940 she was sold to British owners and as Empire Wildebeeste sailed in three transatlantic convoys between March 1941 and December 1942. Early on her fourth voyage she was sunk by U 106 on January 24, 1942.

For much more information visit Wikipedia.


For more information ...

Kinghorn "The Atlantic Transport Line 1881 - 1931" McFarland, 2011

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