The JAMES PARKER (AP 46) was built in 1939 by Bethlehem Steel's Fore River shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts and christened the SS Panama. Built for the Panama Railroad and Steamship Co., the Panama and her sister ships the Ancon and Cristobal, were designed with the latest in safety and fire proof materials. Hailed as "a new era in shipbuilding standards", the Panama Lines boasted the ship had "nothing to burn but the fuel".

BUILT:  1939  BEAM:  64'  DRAFT:  26'-3" 
LENGTH:   493'-6" CARGO [cu ft]:  76,251  PASS [troop ship]: 2,324 
PROP: Turbine 2  SPEED [knots]:  17 TONS:   10,021

Transferred to the Army on 13 June, 1941 and renamed the James Parker in honor of Brigadier General James Parker, the Panama was fitted with guns fore and aft and given a dull coat of gray paint. She would ferry troops throughout the war and was returned to the Panama Railroad Company in May 1946. The ship continues to carry passengers today.

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