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SS PANAMA/HMHS MAINE

Originally owned by Pacific Steam Navigation Company as 'Panama', she was built by Fairfield Co. Govan, in 1902 and eventually she was purchased by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in 1920, and converted in 1921, to become HM Hospital Ship Maine (Panama). She did not become an official HMHS until after purchase in 1920, but the SS Panama was certainly a Hospital Ship before this as a couple of nurses books printed after WW1 relate to the Panama being present off Gallipoli. She worked in the Mediterranean in 1915, with hospital accommodation for 19 officers and 217 cots, 248 berths. She had a displacement of 10,100 tons, length 401ft 3in (p.p)., beam 58ft 4in., draught 23ft 6in/34ft deep load with 2 shaft reciprocating triple expansion, 2 x double ended boilers, 2 x single ended boilers, I.H.P. 4,000 (13 knots), with a single funnel. Circa 14 February 1916 the "Panama" was ordered to return to England. She thereafter was based in Cowes, and provided a shuttle service between Southampton and Le Havre, for repatriating wounded troops from the Western Front.

Last updated 17 November, 2017

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