The Last Ship
Image Credit: Ross C. Baxter photo. Halifax, Nova Scotia 1954
White Star Liner RMS Georgic 1931-1956
Georgic was the last ship built by Harland and Wolff, Belfast, for the White Star Line. She was completed in 1931, and her maiden voyage was on June 25, 1932, from Liverpool to New York.
In 1941, while functioning as a troop transport, Georgic sailed to Port Tewfik in the Gulf of Suez with the same British naval convoy that hunted and sank the German battleship Bismarck. While at anchor, German aircraft spotted the the Georgic and bombed her. She was was hit twice, and the stern of the ship caught on fire as a result. The fire reached the ship’s fuel and the ammunition destroying the entire stern area. The order was given to abandon ship and the half-submerged Georgic was left to burn. Almost completely destroyed and sunk in her berth, the decision was made to salvage Georgic.
The next month Georgic was raised, and two months later temporary plugging of the hull was completed. She was towed, stern first, to Port Sudan where she was made seaworthy. A year later she had arrived in Bombay under her own power and hull rebuilding was completed. In January 1943, Georgic left Bombay for Belfast back to Harland and Wolff for a complete refit.
When completed in December 1944, the exterior had been completely redesigned. The fore funnel and aft mast had been removed and the forward mast was shortened. During the last year of the war, Georgic served again as a troop transport in Italy, the Middle East, and India. Her last war duties continued until 1948.
Georgic returned to passenger service sailing under he Cunard White Star flag. Being the last White Star Line vessel she was allowed to fly the WSL burgee. She was scrapped in 1961 after completing an illustrious career during the war.
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