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NAME

SS. COLUMBUS  (HOMERIC)

CLASS

LINER

LAUNCHED

DECEMBER 17th 1913

BUILT

F. SCHICHAU SHIPYARD / DANZIG / GERMANY

WEIGHT

34,351 TONS

LENGTH

774 FEET

WIDTH

82 FEET

SPEED

18.5 KNOTS - PISTON ENGINES - TWO PROPELLERS


Columbus was the largest liner built for the North German Lloyd Line at that time. The outbreak of World War One in August 1914 led to her fitting out being suspended until the conflict came to an end. Following Germany’s surrender in November 1918, the Treaty of Versailles awarded Columbus to Britain as compensation for ships they lost during the war. Before she joined the White Star Line, work on her completion was carried out at Danzig under the supervision of Harland & Wolff. She finally arrived in Britain ready to enter service eight years after being launched. Columbus then joined another German ship awarded to the White Star Line at that time, the Hamburg Amerika Line’s Bismarck. After Columbus had been renamed Homeric and Bismarck renamed Majestic, they joined the White Star Line’s Olympic to provide a three large ship service between Southampton and New York. Homeric set out on her maiden voyage from Southampton - New York February 15th 1922.

Homeric

Although that voyage showed she was stable in heavy seas, it also showed her to have a service speed well below that of the other ships on the Atlantic run. The White Star Line tried to solve the problem by having Homeric converted from coal to oil burning boilers in 1924. As that conversion only increased her service speed to 19.5 knots, she still lacked the speed of Olympic and Majestic. Restrictions on the numbers of emigrants entering the United States in the 1920s led to many ships being relocated on other routes. Homeric completed her final Atlantic crossing in 1932 and from then on was used solely for cruising. These cruises were normally from British ports to various destinations throughout the Mediterranean. The merger of the Cunard and White Star lines in 1934 saw Homeric marked for disposal. She was laid up at Ryde/Isle of Wight after being taken out of service in September 1935. Homeric’s final voyage took place the following year when she set out from Ryde bound for the scrap yard at Inverkeithing/Scotland.

Homeric front

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