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NAME

RMS. CARONIA

CLASS

LINER

LAUNCHED

JULY 13th 1904

BUILT

JOHN BROWN & CO / CLYDEBANK / SCOTLAND

WEIGHT

19,524 TONS

LENGTH

678 FEET

WIDTH

72 FEET

SPEED

18 KNOTS - PISTON ENGINES - TWO PROPELLERS


With Cunard planning to build two super liners that would eclipse all other ships at that time, they were unsure whether or not to use the new turbine engines in these ships. This led to Caronia and her sister ship Carmania being fitted with the two different types of engines. Caronia entered service first with the tried and tested reciprocating piston engines that powered most other ships at that time. She set out on her maiden voyage from Liverpool - New York February 25th 1905. This crossing was completed averaging a reasonable speed of 18 knots. Carmania’s maiden voyage in December of that year showed the new turbine engines could be operated at higher speeds and were more economical to run. The outbreak of World War One in 1914 led to Caronia being requisitioned by the British Admiralty to serve as an armed merchant cruiser. Caronia’s first success in that new role came when she captured the German cargo ship Odessa on her third patrol.

Caronia

Her next wartime deployment was to Halifax so she could patrol the waters off the New York coast. With these patrols being uneventful, the Admiralty had her returned to Britain in 1915 for conversion to a troopship. Caronia was then used to transfer servicemen from Halifax - Liverpool until the end of the war. The months following the German surrender saw her take part in the repatriation of Canadian servicemen. Caronia’s interiors then had to be restored before Cunard began operating her between the London - Halifax and Liverpool - New York runs. The depression of the 1920’s led to Caronia undergoing a refit in 1926 to make her more suitable for cruising. She was then operated between cruises out of New York - Havana in winter and the Liverpool - New York run in summer. Cunard laid the aging Caronia up at Sheerness/England after taking her out of service in 1931. She set out for the scrap yard at Osaka/Japan the following year under the name Taisaiyo Maru.

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