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Episode 296

USS West Bridge
Sun, 2018-Feb-25 03:11 UTC
Length - 3:05

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Sunday, 25 February 2018 is USS West Bridge.

USS West Bridge (ID-2888) was a cargo ship in the United States Navy during World War I. She was begun as SS War Topaz but was completed as SS West Bridge, though she was referred to in some publications under the spelling Westbridge. After the ship was decommissioned from the Navy, the ship returned to civilian service as SS West Bridge, but was renamed SS Barbara Cates, and SS Pan Gulf over the course of her civilian career under American registry. Near the end of World War II, the ship was renamed SS Lermontov (Russian: Лермонтов) when she sailed under the Soviet flag.

West Bridge was one of the West ships, a series of steel-hulled cargo ships built for the United States Shipping Board (USSB) on the West Coast of the United States. The ship was launched in April 1918 and delivered to the U.S. Navy upon completion in May. After commissioning, USS West Bridge sailed from the Pacific Northwest to the East Coast of the United States and joined a convoy of cargo ships headed to France in August. After West Bridge suffered an engine breakdown at sea, the convoy was attacked by two German submarines and West Bridge was torpedoed and abandoned. A salvage crew from American destroyer Smith boarded the ship the following day, and, working with four tugs dispatched from France, successfully brought the ship into port. Four men received the Navy Cross for their efforts in saving West Bridge.

After seven months of repair, West Bridge resumed Navy service until her December 1919 decommissioning and return to the USSB. West Bridge was laid up for nearly seven years from 1922 to 1929, when she was sold for service on an intercoastal cargo service under the name SS Barbara Cates. By 1938, the ship had been renamed Pan Gulf for service with a subsidiary of the Waterman Steamship Company. During World War II, Pan Gulf made nine round trips between the United States and the United Kingdom without incident in wartime convoys. She also sailed between New York and ports on the Gulf Coast and in the Caribbean. In May 1945, the ship was transferred to the Soviet Union under Lend-Lease. Renamed SS Lermontov, the ship sailed in support of the war and continued in civilian service for the Soviets until 1966, when she was scrapped at Split.

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They are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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Abulsme Productions also produces Curmudgeon's Corner, a current events podcast.

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