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Advertising booklet for Steamship Company, Matson Line

Date: c 1931
Dimensions:
Overall: 280 x 213 x 2 mm, 97.32 g
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Purchased with USA Bicentennial Gift funds
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Booklet
Object No: 00046766

User Terms

    Description
    SS Monterey and Mariposa were two of four luxury ocean liners in the Matson Lines "White Fleet" which included SS Malolo, and SS Lurline. They were identical, designed by William Francis Gibbs and very similar to a sister ship Lurline. All four vessels were very popular in the trans-Pacific cruise route between Australia and America.
    SignificanceThis booklet is significant in documenting the changing style of shipping during the 1930s and 1940s and the popularity of luxury ocean liners at the time.
    HistoryThe SS Monterey was a luxury ocean liner launched 10 October 1931; one of four ships in the Matson Lines "White Fleet" which included SS Malolo, SS Mariposa and SS Lurline. Monterey, the third of four Matson ships designed by William Francis Gibbs was identical to Mariposa and very similar to a sister ship Lurline.

    Monterey was built to promote travel to Hawaii and for Pacific Ocean liner service including regular stops in ports along the West Coast of the United States, Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia. On 12 May 1932 she took 83 passengers from New York City to the West Coast on a positioning cruise. Her maiden voyage officially began 3 June 1932 in San Francisco, California after which she made stops in Los Angeles, Honolulu, Auckland, Pago Pago, Suva, Sydney and Melbourne. The ship scored a public relations triumph when it carried much-appreciated supplies to the Bear of Oakland on Byrd's second expedition to the South Pole.

    In World War II Monterey served as a fast troop carrier, often operating alone so she wouldn't be slowed by formation navigation in a convoy. The United States Marine Corps chartered the vessel in 1941 before US declaration of war to carry 150 Chinese, Korean and Japanese missionaries and stranded US citizens back to San Francisco. Once home, the ship was quickly refitted to hold 3,500 soldiers. On 16 December 1941 it steamed to Hawaii with 3,349 fresh troops, returning with 800 casualties of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

    On 22 August 1942, the ship was briefly acquired by the U.S. Navy for use as a troopship and assigned the name and designation USS Alameda (AP-68), the second U.S. Navy ship to bear that name. However, it was returned to the War Shipping Administration on 25 September 1942 and thus never served under that name.

    SS Mariposa was designed for service in the Pacific Ocean including regular stops in ports along the West Coast of the United States, Hawaii, Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia. The maiden voyage began 16 January 1932 from New York City to Havana, transiting the Panama Canal and onward to the Port of Los Angeles before continuing on to tour ten more countries in the south and west Pacific.

    In World War II she served the United States as a fast troop carrier, bringing supplies and support forces to distant shores as well as rescuing persons stranded in foreign countries by the outbreak of war.

    In 1947 the ship was mothballed for six years at Bethlehem-Alameda Shipyard in Alameda, California. The engines were overhauled by Todd San Francisco Division. Home Lines bought the vessel and renamed it SS Homeric, sailing to Trieste for reconstruction to allow 1243 passengers: 147 First Class and 1,096 tourist class. Gross register tonnage increased to 18,563. Total length increased to 641 feet (195.5 meters). Home Lines operated the ship beginning 24 January 1955 for liner service between ports in the north Atlantic. In 1964 it replaced the SS Italia to steam on the regular run between New York and Nassau, Bahamas, and then in turn was shortly replaced by SS Oceanic. SS Homeric was reassigned to intra-Caribbean cruises. In 1973, a major fire destroyed much of the galley and restaurant and the ship was scrapped in Taiwan in 1974. During the ship breaking process, a sister ship Ellinis (ex-Lurline) suffered major engine damage on a cruise to Japan; Chandris Lines was able to purchase one of the Mariposa engines from the ship breakers.




    Additional Titles

    Web title: Advertising booklet for Steamship Company, Matson Line

    Assigned title: Advertising booklet for the Oceanic Steamship Company, Matson Line- SS MARIPOSA and SS MONTEREY

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