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NAME

SS.KUNGSHOLM II (ITALIA)

CLASS

LINER

LAUNCHED

MARCH 17th 1928

BUILT

BLOHM & VOSS / HAMBURG / GERMANY

WEIGHT

20,223 TONS

LENGTH

609 FEET

WIDTH

78 FEET

SPEED

17.5 KNOTS - DIESEL ENGINES - TWO PROPELLERS


After the success of the 17,993-ton Gripsholm launched in 1924, the Swedish America Line ordered their second new built liner Kungsholm. They intended Kungsholm and Gripsholm to be operated mainly as cruise ships and to provide an alternating service between Sweden and America in summer. Kungsholm set out on her maiden voyage from Gothenburg - New York November 24th 1928. Her first cruise to the Caribbean followed in January 1929. With Sweden and America declaring a state of neutrality at the outbreak of World War Two in 1939, Kungsholm was operated on cruises out of New York to avoid the war in Europe. In response to the attack on Pearl Harbor December 7th 1941, US Authorities seized Kungsholm December 12th 1941 to be operated as a troopship under the name John Ericsson.

Kungsholm

The US Navy operated John Ericsson in the Pacific and Mediterranean before joining the mass invasion of Normandy in June 1944. With this ship being in such a poor condition on her return to the Swedish America Line in 1946, she was sold to the Home Lines to be operated under the name Italia. The completion of an extensive refit at the Ansaldo shipyard in Genoa saw her enter service on the Genoa - South America run July 27th 1948. The Home Lines transferred Italia to the Hamburg - New York run in 1952. Following another refit in 1958, they re-deployed her on the Hamburg - Quebec run. Between 1961 and 1964, Italia was operated between the New York - Nassau run and cruising. Freeport Bahama Enterprises bought the aging Italia in 1964 to serve as a floating hotel under the name Imperial Bahama. With this venture hitting financial difficulties, she was sold for scrap soon after. Italia’s final voyage arrived at the Bilbao scrap yard in Spain September 8th 1965.

Italia

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