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NAME

SS. STATENDAM II (JUSTICIA)

CLASS

LINER

LAUNCHED

JULY 9th 1914

BUILT

HARLAND & WOLFF / BELFAST / IRELAND

WEIGHT

32,234 TONS

LENGTH

776 FEET

WIDTH

86 FEET

SPEED

18 KNOTS - PISTON & TURBINE ENGINES - THREE PROPELLERS


Construction of the Holland America Line’s Statendam began in 1912. With their largest ship so far being launched after the outbreak of World War One, work on her completion had to be halted to save materials for the war effort. The British Government purchased Statendam in 1915 to have her completed as a troopship. This ship finally entered service in 1917 for the British Navy under the name Justicia. Her crew was mainly made up from survivors of the White Star Lines Britannic that had sunk in November 1916. On a voyage that departed Belfast July 19th 1918 bound for New York, Justicia’s captain took a northern route along the Scottish coast towards the North Atlantic in an attempt to avoid German submarines.

Statendam

Before Justicia reached open seas, she was hit by one torpedo from the German submarine UB-46. That attack took place about 23 miles south of Skerryvore (near the Scottish Island of Tiree). Although Justicia took on a list, she stayed afloat as her watertight compartments contained the damage. The captain of UB-46 outwitted the escorting destroyers at that time by remaining in the danger area to mount further attacks. After another two torpedoes slammed into Justicia’s hull knocking out her engines, most of the crew was evacuated while escorting ships attached towlines. UB-46 succeeded in hitting the stricken ship with a fourth torpedo a few hours later. Although the escorting destroyers succeeded in damaging and scaring off UB-46 after that attack, the German submarine UB-124 arrived at the scene the following morning and fired two more torpedoes into Justicia’s hull. This time she rolled over and sank with the loss of 16 crew. UB-124 was sunk by depth charges from the escorting destroyers Marne, Milbrook and Pigeon. All but two of the submariners were picked up and taken prisoner.

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