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Banana Boat SS Erin ca. 1935

Banana Boat SS Erin ca. 1935

Jamaica DiirectFruit Line aka Jamaica Banana Producers SS Co Ltd

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Owner Standard Fruit & S.S.Co. (also listed Vaccaro Line), built 1932, transferred to Elders & Fyffes 1947 as MANISTEE, broken up 1960.

CVB
 

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the Erin's corporate ownership, probably due mainly to the depression of the thirties, was rather complicated, but I don't believe she was ever in the service of the Jamaica Banana Producers.
She is shown in the livery of the Standard Fruit & Steamship Company (Vaccaro Bros.), being built for them in 1932. Owned or chartered by various subsidiaries of the company under the British and United States flags until she was chartered to to Elders & Fyffes in 1937. E&F bought the ship in 1947 and renamed her 'Manistee' (3). Scrapped in 1960.

1932, Workman, Clark, Belfast.
5,739GT, 415' x 55', single screw, 3Exp plus exhaust turbine, 15 knots.
12 passengers
(as built)
 

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The postcard (postmarked 27.11.1933) from which this picture is taken, and which was purchased on board has printed on reverse 'London to Kingston by The Jamaica Direct Fruit Line'.
 

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I'd be grateful for any corrections to what I think I've discovered about this ship . . .

The SS Erin was launched on 5 April 1932 from the Workman Clark shipyard in Belfast, and fitted out by Welin-MacLachlan Davits Limited for the Standard Fruit & Steamship Company (Vaccaro Bros.), and the “V” of ‘Vaccaro’ can be seen emblazoned on the funnel. She had a sister ship, the SS Eros. However, the Erin lead a slightly complicated life, and despite the livery, was leased and operated by the Jamaica Direct Fruit Line Limited from new. As a result the Erin was the only vessel in the JDFL fleet not to carry the forename “Jamaica”.

She serviced the London to Caribbean route, docking regularly in Kingston, Jamaica until around 1937, when she was transferred to Elders & Fyffes. The SS Erin was operated by E&F as a “banana boat” until the outbreak of the Second World War, when she was requisitioned by the Royal Navy. She worked on several convoys, initially servicing Gibraltar and the Mediterranean, before being renamed “Maplin” in 1941. She then took part in more than a dozen trans-Atlantic crossings (including one in June 1941 when she was attacked, but undamaged) until the end of hostilities.

The Erin/Maplin survived the war and was returned to Elders & Fyffes, who purchased the ship outright in 1946 or early 1947. She was renamed 'Manistee' in honour of the Elders & Fyffes ship of the same name, built by Cammell Laird & Co Ltd, Birkenhead in 1920, which had been torpedoed and lost to enemy action in February 1941. There were no survivors among the officers and crew. Interestingly, several online references to the older Manistee are illustrated by photographs of the re-named SS Erin.

As the Manistee, the SS Erin continued to operate with Elders & Fyffes until the late Fifties. She was eventually sent to the scrapyard at Newport in 1960.
 

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Cargo vessels
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lochfada
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