West Mead was set because the commercial steel-hulled, single-screw, coal-burning steam cargo ship SS War Dido for that U . s . States Shipping Board through the Ames Shipbuilding and Drydock Company at San antonio, Washington her name later was altered to SS West Mead or Westmead and she or he was finished in 1918. On 26 October 1918, the 13th Naval District inspected West Mead for possible U.S. Navy service during The First World War. The Shipping Board transferred her towards the U.S. Navy, the Navy assigned her the naval registry identification number 3550, and she or he was commissioned on 29 October 1918 as USS West Mead or Westmead (ID-3548) with Lieutenant Commander N. A. Nelson, USNRF, in command.
Allotted to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service, West Mead loaded 6,865 a lot of flour, departed the Off-shore Northwest on 15 November 1918 (four days following the Armistice with Germany had introduced The First World War for an finish on 11 November 1918), transited the Panama Canal, and stopped at Balboa within the Panama Canal Zone. She then began from Balboa to New You are able to City, where she showed up on 14 December 1918. She bunkered and went through repairs at New You are able to.
West Mead departed New You are able to on 24 December 1918 in convoy for that Uk and showed up at Falmouth, England, on 9 The month of january 1919. She gone to live in Rotterdam within the Netherlands on 24 The month of january 1919 and unloaded her cargo of flour there. She came back towards the U . s . States in ballast, coming at New You are able to City on 3 March 1919.
West Mead next began from New You are able to City to Savannah, Georgia, where she required aboard a cargo of cotton and lumber. She departed Savannah on 2 April 1919 bound for that Uk, and arrived at Liverpool, England, on 21 April 1919. She discharged her cargo there, then came back to Savannah, where she showed up on 7 June 1919.
West Mead was both decommissioned and stricken in the Navy List on 9 June 1919, and also the Navy transferred her to the U.S. Shipping Board within 24 hours. She then operated commercially as SS Westmead underneath the possession from the Shipping Board until she was laid in the late 1920s.
In 1927, the Shipping Board offered Westmead towards the Babcock Steamship Company of recent You are able to City, which came back her to service and renamed her SS Willanglo. In 1929, the Off-shore-Atlantic Steamship Company of Portland, Or, purchased her and renamed her SS San Angela.
As a result of the necessity brought on by German submarine activity within the North Atlantic against Allied convoy routes at the start of The Second World War, the British government acquired numerous former U.S. Shipping Board ships under both American private and government possession San Angela was included in this. She was offered towards the British Secretary of state for War Transport in 1940 and renamed SS Empire Springbuck, and operated under the treating of W. A. Souter and Company of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England.
Empire Springbuck was around the second leg of the voyage from Cuba to Leith, Scotland, via Sydney, Quebec, Canada, once the German submarine U-81 torpedoed and sank her off Cape Farewell, Greenland, on 9 September 1941.