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The ship shortly before completion in May 1918

USS West Bridge (ID-2888) was a cargo ship during World War I, one of the steel-hulled West ships built for the U.S. Shipping Board on the West Coast. Launched in April 1918, the ship joined a convoy of cargo ships headed to France in August. After the convoy was attacked by two German submarines and West Bridge was torpedoed, a salvage crew from the American destroyer Smith and four tugs dispatched from France successfully brought the ship into port. After seven months of repairs, West Bridge resumed Navy service until December 1919. The ship was laid up for nearly seven years from 1922 to 1929, when she was sold to 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 across the North Atlantic without incident in convoys. In May 1945, the ship was transferred to the Soviet Union under Lend-Lease. Renamed SS Lermontov, the ship continued in civilian service for the Soviets until 1966. (Full article...)

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Billy Graham in 1966
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