Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Camouflaged SS West Indian 1918

Portside, SS West Indian in camouflage (1918)
Above The SS West Indian painted in a dazzle-camouflage scheme in 1918. The ship's departure is noted in the news article below. Original photo courtesy Naval History and Heritage Command (NH 102523).


Anon, O.P. RANKIN COMMANDS PORTLAND BUILT SHIP in Oregon Daily Journal (Portland), June 2, 1918, p. 28—

Aboard the 8800-ton steel steamer West Indian, which left Portland recently, is Lieutenant Commander Oliver P. Rankin, USNRF, as commanding officer…With [him] on the camouflaged West Indian are a number of Portland young men who have seen and accepted the delights of service with the merchant marine. The West Indian, gay in her camouflage, is the product of the Columbia River Shipbuilding corporation, and is now upon the high seas headed into the big game of carrying stores to the allies and to our own soldiers.