USS West Ekonk (ID-3313) was a cargo ship for the United States Navy during World War I. She was later known as SS West Ekonk in civilian service under American registry, and as SS Empire Wildebeeste under British registry.

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  • USS West Ekonk (ID-3313) was a cargo ship for the United States Navy during World War I. She was later known as SS West Ekonk in civilian service under American registry, and as SS Empire Wildebeeste under British registry. West Ekonk was launched for the United States Shipping Board (USSB) in June 1918 as a part of the West ships, a series of steel-hulled cargo ships built on the West Coast of the United States for the World War I war effort. At one point West Ekonk had the distinction of being the ninth fastest-built ocean-going ship in the world. Pressed into cargo service for the US Navy, USS West Ekonk was commissioned into the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS) and completed three round-trip voyages to Europe for the Navy. After decommissioning in mid 1919, she was briefly in cargo service out of Baltimore and New York before being laid up in Norfolk, Virginia. West Ekonk was reactivated for cargo service out of Los Angeles in early 1924. By 1926, she was sailing out of New York and called at ports such as Liverpool and Hamburg. In 1933, she was sold to the Lykes Brothers Steamship Company and operated for two of its subsidiary shipping lines through the mid-1930s. In late 1940 she was sold to British interests to help fill the United Kingdom's urgent need for merchant ships. After sailing to the UK as West Ekonk, the ship was renamed Empire Wildebeeste and sailed in transatlantic convoys, making three round-trips between March 1941 and December 1942. On the westbound leg at the beginning of her fourth round-trip, she straggled behind her convoy and was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-106 on 24 January 1942. Nine men died in the attack; the 22 survivors were rescued by American destroyer USS Lang (DD-399) and landed at Bermuda. (en)
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  • USS West Ekonk (ID-3313) was a cargo ship for the United States Navy during World War I. She was later known as SS West Ekonk in civilian service under American registry, and as SS Empire Wildebeeste under British registry. (en)
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  • USS West Ekonk (ID-3313) (en)
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