A Postcard from Dan in Georgia. Dan is a kindred spirit who loves Ships, Airships Old Aircraft and postcards.
Thanks for the fantastic postcards, Dan. I’ve sent a couple more in reply.
Payload: 500,000 pounds
Cruising speed: 125km/h
Max speed:: 135 km/h
Passengers: 50 crew, 72 passengers
Much has been written about this amazing airship. You can see some great pictures of the interior and read more about her at Dan’s site: airships.net
Length 609 Feet
Breadth 78 Feet
Built by Blohm & Voss of Hamburg in 1928 for Swedish American Line (SAL) she was named “Kungsholm”. She ran on the North Atlantic route between Europe and North America in the 1930’s.
She was requisitioned by the US Government during World War II and renamed “John Ericsson”. During the war she operated as a troop carrier and took part in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day in 1944.
Sold to Home Lines in 1948, she was refitted and renamed “Italia”. She served until 1964 when she was sold to Freeport Bahama Enterprises who renamed her “Imperial Bahama” and used her as a floating hotel.
She was sold for scrap in 1965.
This is a Postcard from Dan in Georgia. Dan is a kindred spirit who loves Ships, Airships Old Aircraft and postcards. He runs the AirShips.Net website dedicated to the Hindenburg and other Zeppelins.
Thanks for the fantastic postcards, Dan. I’ve sent a couple more in reply!
An old WWI propaganda postcard I bought recently which shows Schütte-Lanz Airship SL2 bombing Warsaw in 1914.
The SL2 was 144 metres in length, but she was later extended to 156 meters, with a beam of 18 metres.
She could carry a payload of 8 to 10 tonnes at about 88km/h (47 knots).
“What’s an airship doing in a ShipWatcher blog” you may ask? Especially in a wartime setting. The Schütte-Lanz Airships were the precursors of the more well-known Zeppelins of the 1920’s and 30’s. The ship in this picture (and it IS a ship – even if it does fly) is about the same length as a small to medium sized cruise ship.
In fact, later designs of the Schütte-Lanz Airship reached a length of 275 metres – about the same size as a modern ocean liner, although these later designs were never actually built.
The most famous relative of these flying ships was the ill-fated Hindenburg. A Zeppelin measuring 245 metres in length, capable of carrying 70 passengers at speeds over 130km/h (70 knots). On one flight in 1936, the Hindenberg carried a specially designed aluminium grand piano – the first ever piano to be carried in flight.
Airship technology is now over a century old. Who knows? Perhaps soon we’ll have modern safer airships conducting cruises similar to those of the 1930’s.
An old photo from fellow cruising adict and friend, Jo.
Kamo Maru was built in 1908 for Nippon Yusen Kaisha line, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi.
Although there is no official record available, she was probably built in the shipyards of Mitsubishi Heavy Industry, Ltd, in Nagasaki.
At just over 8,500 GRT and 470 feet long, she operated as a passenger, cargo and mail ship, regularly visiting Australia, China and other Asian ports. In fact, as you can see from the ad from the Sydney Mail, NYK offered regular cruises out of Melbourne and Sydney via Queensland, Thursday Island, Phillippines and Hong Kong to Japan.
In 1931 The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Kamo Maru had to drop off a passenger from Shanghai who had been diagnosed with Smallpox. The ship was then quarrantined for several weeks at North Head in Sydney while the passengers were monitored to see if anyone else contracted the disease.
In 1936 she was involved in a collision at sea with another vessel while sailing to Sydney.
She continued to visit Australia until the outbreak of war with Japan in 1941.
In July 1944, the submarine USS Tinosa torpedoed and sank Kamo Maru in the East China Sea west of Kyushu.
Thanks for the fascinating photo, Jo!
A postcrossing post card from Judit in Belgium
The ship in the picture is “Carina” (you might be able to see the name КАРИНА in cyrillic on her bow).
Length: 122m, 7600GRT, 328 passengers.
She is currently known as “Rochale One” and operates as a static ship for student accommodation in Amsterdam.
She was built in Nantes, France in 1977 for the then Soviet government and named “Aywasowski”. She operated cruises out of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.
She was renamed Carina after she was bought by German company Phoenix Reisen in 1997. She changed hands again in 2000 and was renamed “Primexpress Island”, operating out of Cyprus.
The ship was impounded in the port of Limassol (Cyprus) because of unpaid bills.
She was eventually purchased by a consortium of three Dutch housing companies acquired the vessel, towed it to Amsterdam and configured it for use as hotel accommodation for students.
Her engines are kept in working order, so she is capable of sailing as and when needed.
A Postcard from Miry.
RMS Baltic is the twin funnelled ship whose stern is visibile in the picture.
At the time she was built in 1903, RMS Baltic was the largest ship in the world, with a GRT of 23,876 and a length of over 222 metres.
She was the third of a set of four ships dubbed “The Big Four”, abd built for the famous White Star line by Harland and Wolff in Belfast – the same yard that made RMS Titanic.
Her maiden voyage was from Liverpool (the port seen in the picture) to New York in 1904. Her Captain, Edward J Smith was later to be the captain of RMS Titanic in 1912.
In 1909 she rescued survivors of the collision between another White Star Liner, RMS Republic, and SS Florida off the coast of Newfoundland.
In 1912 she transmitted ice warnings to RMS Titanic before that ship’s fateful collision with an iceberg.
In 1929 she rescured passengers of the sinking ship, Northern Light.
She was scrapped in Osaka in 1933.
This postcard was mailed in 1928 from Liverpool to France (see reverse side for details).
So much history in one postcard. How wonderful!
A postcard from Grant in South Australia.
Built for Orient Lines in 1928, SS Orford was loaned to France during WW2 as a troop carrier. She ran aground in Marseilles while evacuating troops in 1940. It took seven years for her to be refloated, after which she was scrapped.
She made many journeys between Australia and England in the 1930’s. In 1934 she carried Don Bradman’s cricket team “The Invincibles” from Australia to England along with the Australian Davis Cup tennis team.
23,300 GRT, and 203m in length.
A postcard from Grant in South Australia.
Built as RMS Orion by Vickers Armstrong in 1934, she was the first single-funnelled ship to be built for the Orient Line since the turn of the century. She was also the first ship to be painted in the Orient Line’s corn-colored livery, sporting a pale yellow hull.
She was the first British ship to ever have air-conditioning. In fact her entire interior design was ground-breaking in that she departed from the formal english styles found in wealthy British homes of the time, and adapted a more open-air and spacious layout that was better suited to tropical cruising. Wide promenade decks, slideing glass doors, removable walls, and chromium / bakelite fittings made her feel roomier and breezier, which was a welcome relief in the hot ahd humid tropics.
She was launched by the Duke of Gloucester. But, unusually, he was in Brisbane at the time, and the ship was in Lancashire, UK. He launched the ship by pressing a button in Brisbane, which transmitted a radio signal to the dockyards untimatley causing the ship to slide down the slipway into the water – quite revolutionary for the 1930’s.
She served as a troopship during the second world war, and was involved in a damaging collision with Battleship HMS Revenge when Revenge’s steering gear jammed.
She had an extensive fit-out after the WW2, and voyaged to Australia and the USA.
The National Archives of Australia record that she brought many immigrants to Australia during the late 1940’s, and the 1950’s, eventually being broken up fopr scrap in 1963.
What a fascinating history.
A Postcrossing postcard from Anne in Finland.
The three masted, full rigged “Suomen Joutsen” was built in 1902. She has a steel hull and plied the trade routes between ports in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Since this was before the days of the Panama Canal, this means she frequently passed through the treacherous waters of Cape Horn on the southern tip of South America.
In 1930, the Finnish Navy purchased this beautiful ship for use as a Training Vessel.
From the mid 1950’s she was a stationery seamen’s training vessel, but in 1991 she was purchased by the city of Turku and operates as a museum.
What a beautiful grand lady of the sea. And what a gorgeous painting by Håkan Sjöström.
Thanks Anne. You made my day!
Two postcards I came across this week which highlight how ocean travel has changed over 70 years.
Tegelberg: (Info from Ronald Turner’s web page)
Dutch passenger ship
Built at Nederlandscae Sb hij in 1938
Capacity: 640 passengers.
Length: 170.5 metres,
Width: 22 metres,
Speed: 17/18 knots
Converted to a Troopship and chartered for the Ministry of War, Liverpool, in 1942, capable of housing 2681 troops.
Broken up at Kaohsiung in 1968 after 30 years of service.
Dawn Princess: (Info from Wikipedia)
Built by Fincatieri, in Italy in 1996.
Capacity: 1950 passengers, 900 crew.
Speed: 21 knots
My father travelled on Tegelberg between India and the UK in 1945. He tells me he remembers being aboard the ship, and how all the children were told to stay below decks at one point during the voyage while they buried a recently deceased Italian prisoner of war at sea.
Despite having 1/5 the GRT of a modern day cruise ship like Dawn Princess, Tegelberg was required to carry over 2,000 crew during her war service. One can only imagine how crowded that must have been.