Once a ship had been built and launched she then had to be out-fitted, and then complete sea trials
before being handed over to her new owners, who would look to have that ship at sea, as long as possible to pay for her build costs and of course to make the company good profits.
To this end one company may have had no requirement for a particular ship after a time and would then sell her on just like any other disposable commodity.
Hence a ship may have had a few owners and would go through many changes and names during what was hoped for a long and successful working life.
The twin screw motor vessel SOFALA was built for one of the biggest shipping companies in the world at the time, the British, India, Steam & Navigation Co. Which had the parent company of P&O.
Sofala was specifically built for the East African Coastal Trades, she had four work boats aft to assist in cargo working at Roadstead ports, and she was the first Company ship with her Engine Room aft.
At the start of the second world war she was taken into Naval service, to carry cased petrol.
In October of 1942 she became a Cased Petrol Ship and had the distinction of being the first British Merchant Ship to enter Benghazi four days after it had been captured by the Allies in 1942.
After the war she returned to peacetime duty with BI plying her trade up and down the East African trade routes.
We try here to give as full an account of her history as time and research permits, if you know of missing info
or you have any photographs of her, then please get in touch and we shall update her story as we go along.