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She was built by Blohm & Voss Hamburg originally for the Hamburg-America Line but due to reorganisation of the German shipping industry she was sold to Norddeutscher Lloyd before completion. She was a turbo-electric vessel of 19,047 gross tons and made her maiden voyage Bremerhaven to the Far East on 5th July 1935. The Potsdam was used as an accommodation ship in Hamburg and Gydnia during the war. In 1942 there were plans to convert her into an aircraft carrier. In 1945 she was used in the evacuation of the eastern territories, and was taken as a British war prize on 20th June 1945. She was placed in service as the Empire Jewel and then Empire Fowey, managed by P&O. She was soon laid up, however, due to problems with her high pressure boilers. In 1947 she was rebuilt with new boilers and turbines, returning to service as a troop ship. In 1960 she was sold to the Pan-Islamic SS Co of Karachi and entered the pilgrim trade as the Safina-E-Hujjaj. She was broken up in Pakistan in June 1976.
A J&E Hall colleague of mine John Bungay served on her as a Refrigeration Engineer in the late 50s and strangely when I was doing a refrigeration course in the 70s the lecturer taking us for science, John Sidders, had been Chief Engineer on her.
For more info and a picture go to the P&O Heritage Site under Empire Fowey.