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With Reuben Goossens
Maritime Historian, CruisenShip Reviewer & Author
Compania Argentina De Navegacion Dodero S.A.
Dodero Line - Transferred to ELMA
The original Company was named; Compania
Argentina De Navegacion Dodero S.A., or as they were known
- the Dodero Line. This company
operated a considerable fleet of passenger liners, and they had 8
ships operating on the very busy
There would be two new ships on the horizon for the company, but they already had a history prior to their arrival and this is their story.
The first ship was originally to have been
simple C-3-S-A1 Class freighter and she was originally to have
been named SS Mormacmail for the famed American Moore
McCormack Lines, but long before she could be completed she
was required for the US war effort and then the British Navy and
she was rebuilt and completed as Escort Aircraft Carrier by
Williamette Iron & Steel at Portland, Oregon. Thus the now ex
freighter being quite a different ship was launched on March 7,
1942 and named HMS Tracker, with her Battle Number being BAVG-6
just whilst she was under
The Royal Navy HMS Tracker D-24
The second ship was also a C-3-S-A1 Class ship, originally named USS Jamaica and she was going to be used by the US Navy, but again she was also seconded to the Royal Navy become a Prince William Class Escort Aircraft Carrier and she was launched on April 21, 1943 and was named HMS Shah, with her Battle Number being D-21.
And here we have a superb aerial view of the HMS Shah D-21
Both ships had admirable war records that can be located online and LINKS are available at the bottom of this feature! After the war these brave ships were laid up and placed on the open market and they were purchased on June 20, 1947
Both the ex HMS Tracker and Shah were sold to
An illustration of what the two ships would look like, thus a massive transformation!
Finally upon their completion, both were sold
to the Argentinean, Compania Argentina De Navegacion Dodero
S.A. to operate them as immigrant ships and both were
transferred to the Argentine Flag and Registry given the name of
SS Corrientes and
Dodero Lines would place them on
Just for interest: At a later time these ships
must have had a refit for they had 4 passengers in First Class
and 18 additional passengers, a total of 1,338 in Third Class.
Thus these rather small, 12,000-ton ships had a huge
1,342-passenger payload and that was simply ridiculous to say the
least! These ships were obviously were obviously intended to
transport emigrants and I would assume that their public
facilities would have been quite modest to say the least.
Just for interest: At a later time these ships must have had a refit for they had 4 passengers in First Class and 18 additional passengers, a total of 1,338 in Third Class. Thus these rather small, 12,000-ton ships had a huge 1,342-passenger payload and that was simply ridiculous to say the least! These ships were obviously were obviously intended to transport emigrants and I would assume that their public facilities would have been quite modest to say the least.
The completed SS Corrientes and SS Salta entered the Genoa to Buenos Aires service early in 1951, and they were without a doubt solid ships, and certainly not unpleasant looking ships externally, for the result of a conversion at the Newport shipyards, although purely practical, amazingly they had a reasonably pleasant profile and certainly very much better than many other C-3 class conversions, which were externally far more basic and boxlike!
An official postcard of the SS Corrientes a pleasant looking ship, see another C-3 conversion below
The Sitmar liner SS Fairsea, seen as Woolloomooloo Wharf Sydney, Australia on December 31, 1949
She did receive additional improvements to het exteriors, but never became a beautiful white swan!
Both ships had two Steam Turbine Engines having
been manufactured by Allis Chalmers, which were good and reliable
After the fall of the Peron Government in 1955, sadly the Dodero Line ceased operations and the management of all their ships fell under the control of the Government, but soon it passed to Flota Argentina de Navegación de Ultramar also known as FANU. But, in 1962, FANU merged with the state-owned Flota Mercante del Estado to form a new company named Empresa Lineas Maritimas Argentinas or ELMA.
Regardless of the legal and economic
circumstances at the time, the SS Corrientes and
The SS Salta became well known as she was
involved with an incident with a famous classic passenger ship
that was built in
greatly beloved JVO departs Wellington New
She had donated her ships bell to one of the local High Cchools!
Photograph © by the Author, Reuben Goossens
Here we see the Lakonia looking good and preparing for, as the Greek Line advertisements and handbooks
Here is a
This Christmas cruise certainly would be remembered, but for all the wrong reasons!
Whilst she was on an eleven-day Christmas cruise to Madeira, Tenerife and Las Palmas, etc, in December 1963, however, as she was just 180 miles North of Madeira and 550 miles northwest of Casablanca-Morocco on the evening of the 22nd.a small fire broke out in the barber shop, however it rapidly caught hold and it spread throughout of the ship, which had to be evacuated, it was a disaster. The Greek crew proved to be mostly useless and could little to nothing with the original small fire, besides being far too slow to act! In addition, far too many proved to be utter cowards as they preferred to save themselves rather than passengers, although there were some who were heroic! Signals were sent out for help and the SS Salta received the call and she sailed at full speed toward the Lakonia.
The SS Salta seen around 1963-64
Early the next morning, Monday December
23, at just after 3:00 a.m., being just four hours after the
first distress call for the Greek ship, the Argentinean liner, SS
Salta arrived on the scene and commenced the rescue. The
SS Salta excellent master, Captain José Barrere--
But by Tuesday the 24th, Christmas Day she was
listing some 10 degrees whilst continuing to burn deep within.
The elegant spotless white liner that had departed
Finally on the 24th.Dutch
and Norwegian tugs with naval assistance, managed to attach
towropes to the stricken ship and commenced to tow the crippled
There was no doubt,
but her end was certainly very fast; it was within three minutes
that she heeled over onto her starboard side and with a massive
splash she disappeared under the waves. It was a tragic end to a
ship that had been such a great and much loved liner, for the MS
Johan van Oldenbarnevelt was loved worldwide from Northern
The SS Corrientes is seen at what looks like Funchal
Sadly due to the maintenance of the SS
Corrientes, she was completely disabled due to a severe engine
failure in August 1964 and she had to disembark all her
Specifications SS Corrientes & SS Salta:
Owner: Compania Argentina De Navegacion Dodero S.A.
Other names: SS Corrientes: HMS Tracker.
. SS Salta: USS Jamaica, HMS Shah.
1949-1951 Newport News S.B. & D.D. Co. at
Tonnage: 12,053 GRT (Gross Registered Tons).
Length: 492ft 142.7m.
Breadth: 70ft 21.2m.
Power: Steam Turbine Engines by Allis Chalmers.
Speed. 16.5 knots service speed 17.5 knots max.
Passengers: 1,320 Third Class as built.
. 4 First Class & 1,338 Third Class at a later date.
View the War Records for the HMS Tracker and the HMS Shah
Also read about the TSMS Lakonia tragedy, the ship built as the
Luxury Dutch Liner - MS Johan van Oldenbarnevelt
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Who is the Author of ssMaritime?
Commenced in the Passenger Shipping Industry in May 1960
Where the ships of the past make history & the 1914 built MV Doulos Story
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Photographs on ssmaritime and associate
pages are by the author or from the authors private
collection. In addition there are some images that have been
provided by Shipping Companies and private photographers or
collectors. Credit is given to all contributors. However, there
are some photographs provided to me without details regarding the
photographer/owner concerned. I hereby invite if owners of these
images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me (my email
address may be found on www.ssmaritime.com only), in order that due credit may be
Photographs on ssmaritime and associate pages are by the author or from the authors private collection. In addition there are some images that have been provided by Shipping Companies and private photographers or collectors. Credit is given to all contributors. However, there are some photographs provided to me without details regarding the photographer/owner concerned. I hereby invite if owners of these images would be so kind to make them-selves known to me (my email address may be found on www.ssmaritime.com only), in order that due credit may be given.
This notice covers all pages
This notice covers all pages, although, and I have done my best to ensure that all photographs are duly credited and that this notice is displaced on each page, that is, when a page is updated!
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