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White Star Liner SS Medic

White Star Line SS Medic. Sunk by U-608 during WWII

 

Medic was a passenger/cargo ship built in 1898 by Harland and Wolff shipbuilders in Belfast for the White Star Line. She was one of the five "Jubilee Class" liners  (Medic, Afric, Persic, Suevic and Runic) Medic was built specifically for the Liverpool - Cape Town - Sydney route.

She was a single-funnel liner just under 12,000 tons, 550 feet in length and had a 63 foot beam. Medic was powered by two 4-cylinder quadruple expansion steam engines with two prop shafts that provided a cruising speed of 14 knots. She could carry up to 320 passengers, (no 1st or 2nd class available) and 100,00 refrigerated beef carcasses.

 

 

 

SS Medic aft boat deck view

 

 

 

 

 

 

In October of 1900, while anchored in Neutral Bay, Sydney Harbor the crew decided to take part in what became known as the "Fort Denison Incident." It was a prank intended to fool the locals into believing a Boer raiding party was attacking the city. The citizens were not at all amused. As a result the White Star Line apologized, fired the crew, and paid for the damages to the city.

Medic served as an Australian troopship in the Boer War, and served in WW I as a cargo transport, returning to cargo/passenger service at the end of the war..

After a 30-year service with the White Star Line and the British Government, she was sold in 1928 and renamed Hektoria, The new owners converted the former SS Medic into a whaling ship. When WWII broke out, Hektoria was once again requisitioned by the government and functioned as an oil tanker. On Sept. 11, 1942, she was torpedoed and sunk by U-608 during World War II. One crew member was killed and the remaining crew was picked up by the Canadian corvette, HMCS Arvida, a small warship used for escorts. (*Note - as of 1997, the Arvida was still being used as a cargo ship)

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