16 July 2009

A Short Odyssey

On this day in 1935, the newly merged Cunard White Star line was represented by Homeric at the Spithead merchant fleet review for King George V's silver jubilee. The ship had been launched in 1913 for Norddeutscher Lloyd under the name Columbus, but was given up unfinished six years later as part of war reparations to Great Britain. She was then sold to White Star, and, under the watchful eyes of British shipbuilders, was finished in Germany. After the ship was officially delivered to White Star in 1921, she was re-christened Homeric, and set off for her maiden voyage on February 21, 1922.

Homeric was known for being an unusually stable ship, earning passenger loyalty for--without stabilizers--her complete lack of rolling. Designed for the steerage trade, decreased immigration to the United States and White Star's ongoing financial difficulties--culminating in its evenutal merger with Cunard--meant the end of Homeric's career, and she made her final transatlantic crossing in June 1932. After a mere ten years at sea, she was retired in 1935 and sold for scrap in 1936, following the maiden voyage of Cunard White Star's new superliner, Queen Mary.

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