Amerika at New York - SS Amerika
SS Amerika Hamburg Amerika Line Ocean Liner Painting by Marine Artist Roger H. Middlebrook GAvA
Built for the Hamburg-America Line (HAPAG) at Harland & Wolff, Belfast, SS Amerika continued the tradition of naming HAPAG ships to appeal to American clients. Entering service in 1905, the ship became a milestone in naval architecture at the time with lavish interiors and fine dining for the first class passengers. Amerika was also one of the most successful of the liners used by emigrants, Albert Ballin, chairman of HAPAG going as far as to have a specialised complex built where would-be travellers could stay before embarkation.
Along with much of Germany's Ocean Liner fleet, Amerika was abroad when WWI broke out, being berthed at New York. Rather than run the risks incurred by a return to Germany, the ship stayed in the USA until interned when the country entered the war on the Allied side.
Following use as an American troop transport, the ship was taken over by United States Lines as one of a number of ships ceded to the Allies as reparations. Amerika would sail under this flag until 1931 when the ship was deactivated.
Still not broken up, she received a new name, Edmund B. Alexander, in 1940 and was used as a floating barracks until 1942 when the ship took on another lease of life as a troopship once more, spending nearly a year receiving a major upgrade which altered her appearance somewhat.
Having been a successful troopship, the vessel was used for repatriation duties from 1946-49 whereupon she was laid up before finally being scrapped in 1957. Quite a service.