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President Hoover

President Hoover

American President Lines

Painting by John Batchelor in my collection

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Built in 1930, this ship had a rather unlucky history. In 1937, during the Sino-Japanese war, she was bombed in error, despite having a 30-foot American flag draped over her upper deck. However, she was not bombed by the Japanese, but by the Chinese. Chaing Kai-Shek, who was a personal friend of the ship's owner, threatened to have the officer responsible shot - until he learned that it was his American aviation adviser, Colonel Claire Chennault! (Several years later Chennault became the commander of the American Volunteer Group, popularly known as "The Flying Tigers"). After the ship was repaired the captain decided to take no further chances on involvement in the Sino-Japanese conflict by avoiding the China coast and sailing a different route, along the East Coast of Formosa (Taiwan). Unfortunately, due to the war the Japanese authorities had taken the precaution of turning off all the coastal lighthouses, which resulted in the ship running aground on a reef. Although no lives were lost, the ship became a total loss.
 

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Having looked up the story about the wreck of the President Hoover the photos show her at that time still wearing her Dollar SS Line funnel colours. It would therefore seem that John Batchelor has pictured the ship in an imaginary setting by applying the American President Line livery. Can anyone confirm this is the correct interpretation please? Derek
 

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I, too, have this post card in my collection, and indeed a bit of artistic license has been used. PRESIDENT HOOVER never carried APL livery, she was lost a year before the Dollar Line was taken over by the US Government, and continued as American President Line. Her sister ship, however, PRESIDENT COOLIDGE, did indeed sail with APL livery, as seen in this photo from my collection:

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/152713/title/president-coolidge/cat/520

Rich
 

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Category
Maritime Art
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DLongly
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