From Our Contribution
Revision as of 14:53, 2 December 2019 by Linton
Built for the Matson Lines, "White Fleet". Because of her speed, she could sail independent of Naval escort after she was chartered by the US Government in 1941.
On 22 August 1942, the ship was briefly acquired by the United States 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, she was returned to the War Shipping Administration on 25 September 1942 and thus never served under that name.
Her usual peace time employment was on the San Francisco to Melbourne via Honolulu, Pago Pago, Suva and Auckland. Post WW2 she was purchased from the US Government on 3 Feb 1956 and rechristened SS Matsonia. Her later names were Lurline from 30 Nov 1963, Britanis from 30 Jun 1970, and Belofin-1 from 1998. Her new owners intended to recoup their investment by selling the ship to scrappers, but a downturn in steel prices held them up for more than a year.
On 3 July 2000 Belofin-1 was towed by the Ukrainian tug Iribis out of Tampa Bay with the CN Marine ferry Bluenose lashed to her port side. The group was bound for ship breakers in India. Belofin-1 began taking on water and listing during the voyage but nobody was on board to right the list. The tugboat crew cut her free and Belofin-1 capsized and sank due to progressive flooding some fifty miles off Cape Town, South Africa on 21 October 2000.