Monday, 18 July 2011
'Through The Panama' is one of my favourite works by Malc. The story is based on the sea voyage made by the Lowrys from Vancouver to Rotterdam in November 1947 aboard the S.S. Brest en route to a short tour of Europe. Malc calls the S.S. Brest the S.S. Diderot in 'Through The Panama' after the French writer. Diderot was of interest to Malc and there are allusions to Diderot's work in Hear Us O Lord from Heaven Thy Dwelling Place which contains the short story.
The S.S. Brest was formerly the Liberty ship S.S. John Mac Lean.
Liberty ships were cargo ships built in the United States during World War II. Though British in conception, they were adapted by the U.S. as they were cheap and quick to build, and came to symbolize U.S. wartime industrial output. Based on vessels ordered by Britain to replace ships torpedoed by German U-boats, they were purchased for the U.S. fleet and for lend-lease provision to Britain. Eighteen American shipyards built 2,751 Libertys between 1941 and 1945, easily the largest number of ships produced to a single design.
The production of these vessels mirrored, on a much larger scale, the manufacture of the Hog Islander ship and similar standardized types during World War I. The immense effort to build Liberty ships, the sheer number of ships built, and the fact that some of the ships survived far longer than the original design life of five years, make them the subject of much study. Read more on Wikipedia
Brest (liberty-ship) 1947 - 1949
hull material : ...................
previous name(s) of ship : ........John Mac Lean
detailed type : ...................liberty-ship
type of propulsion : ..............1 propeller
building year of ship : ...........1942
name of shipyard : ................Permanente Metals Corp.
place of construction : ...........Richmond
year of entering the fleet : ......1947
length (in meters) : ..............126,79
width (in meters) : ...............17,37
gross tonnage (in tons) : .........7176
deadweight (in tons) : ............10900
type of engine : ..................inverted, triple expansion 3 cylinders
engine power (in HP) : ............2500
nominal speed (in Knots) : ........11
11 cargo liners of the liberty-ship type were entrusted with management to « Compagnie Générale Transatlantique » before the conclusion of the Blum-Byrnes agreements of May 26, 1946. Following these agreements, the French government acquired 75 liberty-ships, of which 21 in their turn were entrusted to management with Transat, which amounts their total to 32. The deliveries spread out until 1947. These ships were used, according to the needs, on the lines of the North Atlantic, of the West Indies, of the North Pacific or the South Pacific. Between 1957 and 1960, thirteen of them were especially equipped for the transport of the Renault cars in the United States and were chartered by the « Compagnie d’Affrêtement et de Transport » (CAT), then subsidiary company of Régie Renault. The first liberty-ship to leave the fleet of « Compagnie Générale Transatlantique » after the accident of the GRANDCAMP in 1947 was SAINT VALERY in May 1948 and the last DOMFRONT and BAYEUX in 1965. The last of the liberty-ships "ex-Transat" to disappear was the ARGENTAN, demolished in 1973. Built in 1942 under the name of JOHN MAC LEAN on behalf of the U.S. Shipping War Administration. Delivered to the French government in 1947. Renamed BREST and entrusted with management to « Compagnie Générale Transatlantique ». In July 1949, is transferred to the Messageries Maritimes company. Retains her name. In 1956, takes share in expedition of Suez. From 1958, is used to transport Renault cars to the United States. In 1961, is sold to a Panamanian Shipping company and renamed GALAXY. Is resold in 1969 and is renamed ELIOS. Demolished in 1970 in Kaoshiung, Taiwan. French Lines