The Mariposa was a 18,017 gross ton ship, length 632 feet x beam 79.4 feet, two funnels, two masts, twin screw, speed 22 knots. Accommodation for 475 first class and 229 cabin class passengers. Built by the Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Quincy, she was launched for the Matson Navigation Company in Los Angeles on 18th July 1931. The Mariposa was used on the San Francisco - Honolulu - Sydney service and in 1941 entered service as a US Navy transport.

After wartime service, the Mariposa was laid up at Alameda in 1946 and in 1953 was sold to Home Lines, Panama and renamed the SS Homeric the following year. The Homeric was completely refitted with accommodation for 147 first class and 1,096 tourist class passengers. The Homeric started regularly scheduled Southampton - New York sailings in 1955 and Le Havre - Montreal sailings in 1957. From 1963 she was used for cruising only and after a serious fire in 1973, it was found uneconomic to repair her and she was sold for scrapping at Taiwan. [Source]

 General Detail


Bethlehem SB Corporation

Yard Number





192.6 x 24.2 meters or 632 x 79.4 feet

Geared Turbines

Bethlehem, Twin Screw




20.5 MPH or 22.84 knots


475 First Class, 229 Cabin Class, 359 Crew

Specific Detail


18 Jul



10 Dec



14 Dec



2 Feb

Maiden voyage San Francisco – Honolulu - Sydney


Entered service as US Navy transport troopship. 18,152 GRT


Laid up at Alamenda


Sold to Home Line, Panama. Engines overhauled at Alamenda by Todd Shipyards Corporation.

Radio station: The Australian trade magazine, "Broadcasting Business", reported in full detail in 1937 about a special broadcast from the ship. On Thursday July 22 1937, AWA engineers installed a 250 watt broadcast transmitter while the ship lay at anchor at Circular Quay (KEY) in Sydney Harbour. This unit was tuned to 190 metres, 1580 kHz, which was at the time, just above the top end of the standard broadcast band.

While the "Mariposa" was still an hour or two away from Auckland Harbour in New Zealand, a broadcast was made over this small and temporary radio station. The live programming consisted of songs by the famous Italian tenor, Tito Scipa, and a speech by the Mayor of Auckland, Sir Ernest Davies. This programming was picked up by station 2ZB in Auckland and relayed on the ZB network throughout New Zealand.

While the "Mariposa" was anchored at Suva in Fiji, Tito Scipa made another broadcast, though this time in the Suva Town Hall, and not from the ship itself.  [Information by Dr. Adrian Peterson, Adventist World Radio]

Location:  Some 20 miles from Auckland (New Zealand) in July 1937.

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