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Compagnie Générale d'Armements Maritimes (Shipping company, France)


Last modified: 2013-07-27 by ivan sache
Keywords: compagnie general d'armements maritimes | letters: cgam (red) |
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[Flag of CGAM]

House flag of CGAM - Image by Ivan Sache, 13 January 2012

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History of CGAM

The Compagnie Générale d'Armements Maritimes (CGAM) was founded in 1916 as a joint-venture of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique and of the Compagnie des Chargeurs Français (Plisson & Co.). The Transat became in 1919 the sole owner of the company.
The capital of the CGAM was increased to 10 millions francs in 1930; originally operating Mediterranean lines, the company moved in 1932 to the banana transportation market. To transport banana from Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guyana, the CGAM revamped five second-hand ships, Petite Terre (1932), Basse-Terre (1932), Grande Terre (1933), Caravelle (1933) and Martinique (1934). Deemed too slow, these ships were all sold in 1937-1939. In 1935, the CGAM launched two specialized, refrigerator ships (bananiers) originally dedicated to the transportation of sheep from Algeria to France, Caraïbe and Marigot, which would sail until the Second World War. The company subsequently purchased six brand new refrigerator ships in Denmark, Guyane (1936), Esterel (1936), Quercy (1937), Guadeloupe (1937), Barfleur (1938) and Maurienne (1938).
In 1937, the Transat took over banana transportation, purchasing the CGAM fleet in 1939. In 1938, the banana ships from the Transat completed 117 journeys, transporting 95,000 t of bananas.

Source: R. Jaffray, Les transports maritimes aux Antilles et en Guyane française depuis 1930

The Maurienne, commanded by Captain Yves Salaün, joined Free France on 22 June 1940. The ship reached Halifax on 28 June and the bananas were delivered by the Canadian Pacific to Ontario and Québec.
Incorporated to the Canadian National Steamships, the Maurienne operated on the Jamaica line, replacing the Lady Sommer that had been transformed into an auxiliary cruiser.

Source: La Revue de la France Libre, No. 29, June 1950

The CGAM operated in 1960 the Loire, the only oil carrier owned by the Transat. In 1968, the ship was transformed into an ore/oil carrier (O/O). The CGAM was then part of the AGPA (Armateurs de Gros Porteurs Associés) consortium, set up by Worms-Compagnie Maritime et Charbonnière, the Transat and the Compagnie Nantaise des Chargeurs de l'Ouest. The Loire was eventually scraped in 1976.

Source: Marine marchande website

Ivan Sache, 13 January 2012

House flag of CGAM

The house flag of the CGAM, as shown on a color plate, is white with a red border and the red letters "C.G.A.M.".

Ivan Sache, 13 January 2012