Being an American assigned to the Philippines involved a three week trip aboard an ocean liner. If you were an enlisted man in the armed forces this meant basic accommodations on the SS Thomas or another Army Transport. If you were an officer or a civilian you took a commercial steamship line, usually the Dollar Steamship/American President Lines or Canadian Pacific Lines. At the end of a 2-3 year tour of duty a “Home Leave” of 3-6 months was in order. Usual stops along the route east were Hongkong,Shanghai,Kobe,Yokohama Honolulu with final destination Seattle or SanFrancisco. Connections were then made to board North Coast Limited trains to Chicago or New York. The Westward trip to New York made ports of call at Singapore,Penang,Colombo,Port Said,Alexandria,Naples,Genoa,and Marsailles.
In 1935/36 travel by air became a possibility both to North America by Pan American Airways Clippers and to Europe by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. This shortened the trip to one week but at roughly the equivalent cost of buying a Ford car.
This section begins with a 1922 Admiral Lines brochure from the collection of Bjorn Larsson (www.timetableimages.com) advertising the new American Government owned and built SS President McKinley with all its merits and beaconing Americans to make a booking. BB
Download Admiral Lines brochure