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USS Patria in the Great War - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- USS Patria during the Great War -

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USS Patria

 American Troopship  

SS Patria

SS Patria was a 11,885 GRT French ocean liner built in 1913 for Compagnie française de Navigation à vapeur Cyprien Fabre & Cie (Fabre Line), for whom she was first a transatlantic liner and then an emigrant ship. From 1932 Fabre Line leased her to Services Contractuels des Messageries Maritimes, who ran her between the south of France and the Levant. After the fall of France in June 1940 the British authorities in Mandatory Palestine seized her in the Port of Haifa and placed her under the management of the British-India Steam Navigation Company. In November 1940 the British placed European Jewish refugees aboard her for deportation to Mauritius but the Haganah planted a bomb aboard which sank her with the loss of between 260 and 300 lives. Patria remained a wreck in Haifa port until she was scrapped in 1952.

Fabre Line ordered Patria and her sister ship SS Providence from Société Nouvelle des Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée of La Seyne-sur-Mer, near Toulon. Patria had seven decks and three funnels, but one of the funnels was a dummy. Patria had nine boilers feeding two three-cylinder triple expansion steam engines. The cylinder bores were 30.4" (high pressure), 49.36" (medium pressure) and 70.55" (low pressure), all with a stroke of 51.2". The engines gave Patria a total of 900 NHP and propelled the ship by twin screws. Patria had direction finding equipment and was the first ocean liner to be equipped with a cinema.

Patria was launched on 11 November 1913 and entered Fabre Line service on 15th or 16th April 1914.

The New York Times reported that a German submarine attacked her on 1 March 1916 off the coast of Tunis. There is no naval record of such an attack, so it is not clear what incident may have taken place.

She plied as a transatlantic liner between Marseille and New York from then until 1920, when she and Providence were reassigned to carrying emigrants to New York from Naples, Palermo and Marseille. After the Wall Street Crash of 1929 Messageries Maritimes withdrew Patria from the emigrant trade in 1930, although Providence continued to carry emigrants until 1932.

John Doran

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Those known to have served in

USS Patria

during the Great War 1914-1918.

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Want to know more about USS Patria?

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