Cruise Line History brings us the untold story of California Maritime Academy’s training ship the TS Golden Bear. They write:
California Maritime Academy’s third training ship started as a cargo-passenger vessel. The Delta Line’s DELORLEANS served briefly on the “banana” run to South America just before World War 2 and an American flag was painted on her hull proclaiming her as a neutral ship.
As World War II got underway Americans were not taking holidays in Europe but Delta Line’s South America run out of New Orleans was neutral territory.
There were to have been six sister ships to serve the Delta Line’s “Coffee Run.” offering American flag service, between New Orleans and South America. The ships were to be symbols of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor Policy with South America and would be the first passenger-cargo ships of the 1938 Merchant Marine act – the DELBRASIL, DELORLEANS, DELARGENTINO, DELURUGUAY, DELORLEANS and DELARGENTINO but only three of the six ships had pre-war careers on this run.
You can read the full post, complete with historic photos, HERE.