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RFA MAINE

Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Ship Maine was built in 1906 by D & W Henderson & Co. Ltd., Glasgow with a tonnage of 4,688 gross tonnes, a single screw engine and triple expansion by the builder, 12.5 Knots.

She was built for Harris & Dixon & Co. Ltd., as Heliopolis and purchased by the Admiralty for conversion in 1913 at Pembrokeshire Dock. Initially called Mediator but was wrecked near Maine, off the Isle of Mull, in 1914 was then renamed Maine. She proved unsuitable for the work required and was sold back to her previous owners in 1916.

There were 5 RFA vessels called 'Maine' (RFA called all its hospital vessels 'Maine') Number 4 technically was not commissioned & the build of no 5 was not completed

3rd - RFA Maine- Hospital Ship

The third ship to be named Maine was originally launched as the SS Panama in 1902. However she was purchased by the Admiralty in 1920 for use as a Hospital ship with the Mediterranean Fleet. She entered service after conversion in 1922 and was mainly based at Malta, although in 1926 she spent a period at the China Station. In 1935 she attended King George V's Silver Jubilee Fleet Review off Spithead, hosting government guests. For this role her hospital markings were removed. On 20th February 1928 Maine broke her moorings in a storm at Malta and was grounded. Whilst at Alexandria during the Second World War Maine treated more than 13000 patients and on 6th September 1941 a bomb narrowly missed her, causing some damage. She was paid off on 21st February 1947 and was sold for breaking up.

4th - RFA Maine- Hospital Ship

The fourth ship named Maine was originally built in 1925 as the 'Leonardo da Vinci' by Ansaldo Soc Anon. In 1941 she was captured at Massawa and subsequently converted into a Hospital Ship for the army, named 'Empire Clyde'. At the end of the war she was transferred to the Admiralty. Entering the RFA in 1948 she was renamed Maine. One of her first tasks was to repatriate Australians from Pacific Theatre. She was based at Hong Kong. Maine served in the Korean War where she evacuated more than 13,000 casualties. Scrapped in 1954.

Last updated 12 June, 2011

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