PRESIDENT HOOVER & PRESIDENT COOLIDGE (1931)
American steamship lines seemed to be more prevalent on the Pacific, than on the Atlantic, that is to say, more resources were focused on the former. (Insert your Westward Expansion theory here.) The Dollar Line took a huge gamble on the Hoover and Coolidge; they debuted after the Stock Market Crash of 1929. In 1937, Chinese planes bombed the Hoover mistaking the ship for the Japanese liner Asama Maru. A few months later, the Hoover ran aground off Taiwan, and after several salvage attempts, was declared a total loss.
The Coolidge was left to run the Pacific route solo, with a handful of aging 535 and 505 liners. By 1938, the Dollar Line was heavily in debt, and was taken over by the newly-formed Maritime Commission. (Think 2008 GM bailout.) As many of the ships were named for American presidents, the "new" company was called American President Lines.
Frank Bergman, A.F. Marten
Length: 654' | Beam: 81' | Passengers: 650 | 21,936 gross tons | Speed: 20 knots